Fidel Castro may be one of the favorite boogeymen of the right, but the aging president of Cuba has shown he’s still up for a fight. Just two days after the Republican debate in Florida, Castro called the Republican presidential race the “greats competition of ignorance that has ever been.”
And he’s right on the money.
Castro’s remarks did not specifically reference the direct attacks Romney and Gingrich made against Castro during the Florida debate, but he doesn’t need to. The candidates are all too eager to put their own ignorance on display and had no problem pandering to the local political dynamics in Florida.
But Castro makes a larger point, and one I think everyone can stop and consider, regardless of political affiliation. And that is the United States remains one of the most powerful global empires and its leadership, for good or for bad, helps drive global debates and policy decisions surrounding poverty, social justice and human rights.
So when an entire field of candidates shows hostility toward science, education and governance and embraces instead short-term political gain and power, the entire world should be asking what is the matter with the United States. More importantly, AMERICANS should be asking this question. Conservative ideology has not always viewed science and academics with suspicion, nor has it always put forth an agenda grounded in religious evangelicalism over all else.
But that is the current face of the GOP and their zealotry, if transformed into actual policy, will have devastating global consequences.
Photo from dbking via flickr.