Monday, April 25, 2011

Connecting Some Dots, Drawing Some Parallels

I just read PZ's most recent post on the NCSE and was particularly struck by the following passage:

I really feel that the NCSE has lost its way on this issue. I want to support the NCSE, but it has become increasingly hard to do. I have heard these arguments over and over again that they have to coddle religious believers because they need them to support science. They don't. ...

It's funny. The organization has such a finely tuned political sense and diplomatic strategy to promote science to the whole of the United States, and have managed to profoundly alienate that segment of our society that is most dedicated to promoting science. That's quite an accomplishment. Maybe we should stop supporting them because they're that incompetent at the political side of their mission.

That's a damn near perfect echo of Glenn Greenwald's recent lament regarding "loyal partisan voters". But notice the difference here: Greenwald has no solutions to offer while PZ immediately identifies a corrective course of action.

Which lends credence, I believe, to my contention that our political duopoly is the root cause of Greenwald's unhappiness. The best leverage that the average joe has over any organization is simply withdrawal of eir support. We can do that in the case of the NCSE since there are plenty of other groups out there supporting science education. However, the vast majority of Democrats are, for reasons which I've previously discussed, unable/unwilling to withdraw their support from the Democratic party. Until such time as there's a viable alternative to both the Democrats and the Republicans we're just screwed.

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