I love following American politics. It’s so much more fun than in other countries. I think my fascination comes down to the exceptional degree of chutzpah shown by candidates and commentators, and the almost inevitable exposure of the mismatch between what they say and what they do. Once the flaw is exposed, it is fascinating to watch the public story unravel day by day. In the UK recently, we could enjoy the hilarious backsliding, lies and coverups by the Defence Minister; in contrast, such exposure occurs on an almost daily basis in the US during election period (which is in fact most of the year).
And with the death of one of the most insightful US political analysts, Hunter S. Thomson, I rely on The Daily Show for the most pleasurable way to follow US current affairs.
Last week, however, there was a particularly gob-smacking moment with a send-up interview with Republican Party Consultant and Strategist, Noelle Nickpour, on the subject of the place of science in the US.
Watch it and be afraid. Nickpour is actually serious about what she says!
Nickpour: It’s very confusing for a child to be only taught evolution to go home to a household where their parents say, “Well, wait a minute … God created the Earth!”
Daily Show Interviewer Aasif Mandvi: What is the point of teaching children facts if it’s just going to confuse them?
Nickpour: It confuses the children when they go home. We as Americans—we are paying tax dollars for our children to be educated. We need to offer them every theory that’s out there. It’s all about choice; it’s all about freedom.
Mandvi: It should be up to the American people to decide what’s true.
Nickpour: Absolutely! Doesn’t it make common sense?