Better Questions - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Better Questions

This month it has become apparent that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is a major candidate in the 2016 GOP primary race, and thus the predictable media assault on his character and intelligence has begun.

Every GOP candidate for national office gets the third degree from the Democrat press, and since Walker hails from a state where hostility to Republicans among the public employee union crowd and the loopier-than-usual university Left takes a back seat only to California in its gusto, he’s surely prepared for the current wave of attacks. After all, some $140 million was spent by the unions and the Democrats’ other sugar-daddies to keep Walker out of the governor’s mansion in Madison in three elections over four years, and Walker neither moderated his conservative positions nor lost a race. This is a man who can take a punch.

And so far, the blows haven’t been particularly hard ones. Walker’s failure to graduate from Marquette University — he put four years into pursuit of a degree, but was less-than-enthusiastic about some of the course requirements for graduation and decided to leave school to take a job with the American Red Cross 34 credits short of a sheepskin — was the subject of a rather obnoxious bit of punditry by former Democrat party chair and failed 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, who suggested Walker was too “unknowledgeable” to be president. Dean’s statements, airing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, evoked jeers from host Joe Scarborough, but they certainly reflect the elite Left’s judgment of the Wisconsin governor.

Particularly in the context within which they were made. Walker had traveled to London on a mission to promote Wisconsin for trade purposes, and an interviewer had asked him the tiresome and irrelevant question whether he believes in evolution. Walker refused to answer the question. “That’s a question politicians shouldn’t be involved in one way or another,” he said. “I am going to leave that up to you. I’m here to talk about trade, not to pontificate about evolution.”

Asking a Scott Walker whether he believes in evolution when only 19 percent of the American populace believes it to be the only explanation for why we are here is a device for measuring his membership in the smart set. After all, Walker isn’t the only prominent American without a college degree. Take NBC News, for example. Its outgoing serial fabulist anchor Brian Williams never graduated from college, and neither did Williams’ replacement Lester Holt. But both Williams and Holt would dutifully parrot the “pro-science” viewpoint that yes, yes, evolution explains the origins of mankind. It’s only those knuckle-dragging white Christian rednecks from flyover territory who believe otherwise. And since Walker lacks an Ivy League pedigree or in fact even a degree at all, if he can be engaged to spout bible-beating hokum on foreign shores that surely would be the end of him.

Walker didn’t give that interviewer what he wanted, and so he’ll be considered of “questionable” intellect. Just like Ronald Reagan was, just like Gerald Ford was, just like George W. Bush was (even Bush’s degrees from both Yale and Harvard didn’t protect him from those charges). And because Walker is a conservative dunce without proper credentials, he is to be derided with patronizing questions about the beliefs of his primitive tribe.

Well, if that’s to be our process for vetting candidates for next year’s presidential race, I have a few I’d like to see answered by those who would run on the Democrat side. It seems there is little appetite by the Left’s patron saint Elizabeth Warren for a 2016 run and New York governor Andrew Cuomo might find his legal situation untenable for a national campaign. That would leave Hillary Clinton with the nomination to lose, with Joe Biden reprising his frequent role as hopeless also-ran and perhaps Martin O’Malley as the man holding the bag in the (inevitable?) event that Hillary should implode prior to the Democrats’ convention in Philadelphia.

No matter the potential nominees, the answers should be interesting — much more so than whether Scott Walker agrees his ancestors were chimpanzees. But assuming Hillary is the standard-bearer for the Democrats, the public deserves to know just how scientifically enlightened — or gullible — she is.

Let’s ask Hillary Clinton whether she believes vaccines cause autism. Does she agree with her senior advisor John Podesta’s belief in UFOs? Does she believe she can commune with the deadWhat is her opinion on the use of a spiritual medium — the real thing, or hocus pocus? Does she believe in séances?

Does she believe human life begins at conception? If not, when does it begin? How about GMOs — are they safe, or does she agree with the majority of Democrats that they’re a threat to our health? What plays a larger role in governing the temperature on Earth — carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere or the intensity of solar radiation reaching the planet? Does she attribute snowstorms to global warming? Does she believe cholesterol is harmful? Can someone choose their sex? Is Earth overpopulated? Are homeopathy, or naturopathy, or acupuncture, viable medical alternatives that should be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or Obamacare?

Does she believe nuclear power is safe? Does she believe that crystals can provide a bio-electric shield for their wearers? And does she believe George W. Bush and his cabinet had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks?

If these aren’t fair questions, if they’re more of the “gotcha” variety, so what? It seems we’re going to have more than a year of interviewers attempting to make Republican contenders, or their supporters, look stupid. What’s good for the goose is certainly good for the gander.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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