The method of liars, cowards, bullies, and hypocrites, is ever and always to block the road of inquiry. I see in the news that a Missouri State Senator wishes to obstruct the completion of a Ph.D. candidate’s dissertation, a study of the effects of how the state’s 72-hour wait period on abortions actually effects women. It of course goes without saying that the senator creating this obstruction is a Republican, which is to say, a conservative. Conservatives have never been shy about suppressing academic speech (political correctness is not an exclusively liberal problem), and others before me have written about the “Republican war on science.” This latter has been objected to on the grounds that liberals are as likely to hold anti-scientific views as conservatives. I’ll address this in a moment.
The question to ask right here is: if truth is on your side, why would you demand that research be terminated before it is even published? The liars, the cowards, the bullies, and the hypocrites, will all proclaim that the results are nothing more than mere propaganda. But how would they know that? Where is their research to show as much? The answer, of course, is that they have no research; their conclusions are nothing more than vicious ideology which they have imposed upon the world by force, rejecting out of hand any form of inquiry. Perhaps the dissertation, once finished, will be flawed in some respects. Such flaws, by the bye, need not in any way undermine that dissertation’s qualities as a piece of research. All research is, in some very real sense, flawed, because no line of inquiry – insofar as it is rational – can ever be the final word on a subject. Inquiry advances our state of knowledge by enabling us to ask better questions. And herein lies the objection of the liars, cowards, bullies, and hypocrites: they don’t want better questions, because they refuse to permit any questions at all. Continue reading