Rachel Maddow


“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Many have adopted that Eleanor Roosevelt quote as a guiding principle in their lives. Powerful ideas have enabled great advances in technology and have inspired the masses to take action, both for good as well as ill. But like any piece of wisdom, it can be misapplied and dogmatically adhered to in a way that is simply self serving.

The Haiti earthquake is seen by the religious right as an opportunity to spread the evangelical version of christianity, and to hell with the haitian people? Others on the extreme right have used the Haiti earthquake and President Obama’s response to it as their latest vehicle for their not so subtle racist views.

Naturally this disgusts those commentators seen as carrying the progressive banner:

Historical context only serves to magnify the depths to which those exploiting Haiti to push their ideology have really sunk:

And that is not even considering US and France’s involvement in the overthrow of exiled ex-president Aristide. It is very easy to anger those with more centrist views by highlighting the spokes people for religious and racist superiority.  Free market ideology is another matter, but deserves an equal amount of scrutiny and perhaps a comparable level of outrage.

There are times when we need to be thinking with what Eleanor Roosevelt calls a “small mind”. This is one such time.

The trouble with treating all basic science research as an earmark in the same class as that infamous bridge to nowhere, are all those nasty unintended consequences.

Is it now a scientist’s responsibility to defend the funding of basic research against cuts made by a Christian fundamentalist who denies anthropogenic global warming, defends creationism being taught alongside evolution as science, entertains thoughts of banning books, and believes she needs protection from witchcraft?

UPDATE: Keith Olbermann also weighs in: