Columbia, SC — Now that dust has settled from the elections, there is little value in rehashing the disregard for facts that many candidates and political pundits demonstrated, i.e., the redefining of rape as “legitimate” or “non-legitimate,” the false reports that the manufacture of all Jeeps would move from the United States to China, the disregard by Karl Rove, Dick Morris, George Will, Charles Krauthammer and many others of scientifically derived polling results that predicted the election outcome.
What is important is that those who make and influence decisions that affect the future of our state and nation use established facts to guide the development of legislation.
Let’s expect, for instance, that our legislators and political pundits consider the following facts: Marijuana is much less harmful to the individual and society than alcohol, cigarettes and even obesity. Climate change is real, and the practices and needs of the more the 7 billion people on the planet contribute measurably to our deteriorating environment. The United States pays almost twice as much per capita as the average of developed countries for health care yet ranks in the bottom half of those nations on most vital statistics. Taxing the wealthy does not have a significant effect on employment rates. There is little evidence that charter schools or voucher programs contribute significantly to overall improvement in public education.
Let’s all commit to seeking and using facts in our dialogue and asking our legislators and news sources do the same.
Roger G. Sargent