From Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell, at the NewScientist, "Lefty nonsense: When progressives wage war on reason":
We have all heard about the Republican war on science; we want to draw attention to the progressive war on reason.Be sure to read the whole thing, since there's a fabulous introduction on how the congressional Democrats switched to "environmentally sustainable" utensils at the Capitol Hill cafeteria in 2007, only to abandon the program (and blaming the Republicans for pulling the plug) after the GOP took back power in 2011.
We recognise that the term "progressive" is potentially troublesome, so let us lay our cards on the table. In the US, "progressive" and "liberal" are often used interchangeably. But the two should not be confused.
Liberalism, as defined by John Locke, means the pursuit of liberty. By that definition progressives are not liberal. Though they claim common cause with liberals (and most of them are Democrats because very few progressives are Republican), today's progressive movement is actually socially authoritarian.
Unlike conservative authoritarians, however, they are not concerned with banning "immoral" things like sex, drugs and rock and roll. They instead seek dominion over issues such as food, the environment and education. And they claim that their policies are based on science, even when they are not.
For example, progressive activists have championed the anti-vaccine movement, confusing parents and causing a public health disaster. They have campaigned against animal research even when it remains necessary, in some cases committing violence against scientists. Instead of embracing technological progress, such as genetically modified crops, progressives have spread fear and misinformation. They have waged war against academics who question their ideology, and they are opposed to sensible reforms in science education.
We do not want not to demonise all progressives. Some are genuinely pro-science. We recognise the huge value some progressive ideas have had, and that vilifying an entire philosophy based on the actions of its radical ideologues would be unfair.
But we do want to demonise the lunatic fringe. We contend that there is a disturbing and largely unreported trend among influential progressive activists who misinterpret, misrepresent and abuse science to advance their ideological and political agendas.
Of all of today's political philosophies, progressivism stands as the most pressing problem for science. Progressives, not conservatives, are the ones most likely to replace scientific research with unscientific ideology.
Conservatives who endorse unscientific ideas are blasted by the scientific community, yet progressives who do the same get a free pass. It is important the problem be recognised, and that free pass revoked.
I also like how the authors do not identify leftists as "liberals." That's important. They are not liberal. They are authoritarian.
Most of all, though, the conclusion bears repeating: "Of all of today's political philosophies, progressivism stands as the most pressing problem for science. Progressives, not conservatives, are the ones most likely to replace scientific research with unscientific ideology." Word.