by Dr. Ed Berry
Greg Gianforte does not understand the Montana Republican Party. There are four faces to the Republican Party (before Donald Trump carved a new face). He does not understand that he is in the Very Conservative Evangelical (VCE) face which is only 20 percent of the Republican Party. He does not get it that he needs the support of the other 80 percent of Republicans as well as Independents to win his race for governor.
He supports a museum that preaches the Earth, sun, and universe are only 6000 years old, and dinosaurs lived in the last 6000 years. This is a radical belief that requires rejection of known science. Only a minority of evangelicals believe this.
Gianforte claims this is part of his “religion.” Therefore, he says this subject is not open to public discussion. But our freedom of religion regards our beliefs about the non-physical world. When people bring their religious beliefs into our physical world, they affect other people.
For example, we don’t care what Muslims “believe” about God. But when they claim God tells them to cut off people’s heads and blow people up, we have reason to say the Muslims are wrong.
The 6000-year-old Earth”religion” takes its religious beliefs into the physical world. We can test their beliefs. We can disprove their beliefs if they are wrong.
Such is the case of the belief that the Earth, sun, and universe are only 6000 years old. The data that proves the Earth and universe are billions of years old are extensive. The data that prove this belief is wrong are found in physics, astrophysics, cosmology, geology, archeology, biology, and even in our DNA.
Those who claim their personal interpretation of the Bible is more accurate than proven science about the physical world reject the basis of knowledge. When they reject the basis of knowledge, they screw up their minds. When they screw up their minds, they cannot make good decisions and judgments. Most of these people have found their way into the Tea Party.
The fact is real world data proves their interpretation of the Bible is wrong. They need to reinterpret their Bible in light of facts.
How about the Governor’s race?
In my opinion, governor candidate Greg Gianforte has not addressed the major issues he must address to win.
The major issues are not his various political proposals for Montana. The major issue is how does Gianforte think and make decisions?
Before I can endorse Greg Gianforte for governor, I need his answers to four very critical questions that determine how he would act if he were governor.
- If he had been governor in 2015, would he have supported or opposed the CSKT Water Compact?
My perception is he would have opposed the Compact. I base my perception on the fact that a significant majority of candidates he funded voted against the Compact. Of 33 candidates Gianforte funded, only Fitzpatrick and Meyers voted YES on the Compact. (followthemoney.org)
If he opposed the Compact then I conclude his bad judgment would have done more economic damage to Montana than all the possible benefits of the economic measures he now proposes for Montana.
- Does he support the MTGOP effort to close Republican primary elections?
If he does, then I conclude he does not have the political judgment necessary to be a governor. While the lawsuit led by Monforton may be technically legal, it is a tea party marketing disaster.
A political party succeeds by having a bigger tent than its opposition. If a political party shrinks its tent, as this lawsuit would do, the party will not elect many candidates.
My perception is Gianforte supports the lawsuit. I base my perception on the known views of the company he keeps.
- Does he, as a business leader, endorse Donald Trump, also a business leader?
If he does not support Trump then he sends the message that his own business experience is not relevant to his own candidacy.
If he does not support Trump then he must support Cruz. If he supports Cruz then I have no confidence in his political judgment.
My perception is Gianforte does not support Trump. I base my perception on the known views of the company he keeps.
- Does he support true science on Montana’s schools, or does he support the pseudoscience he believes in?
Would Gianfote require charter schools to teach true science about geology, astrophysics, and biology? Or would he allow Montana schools to teach students his incorrect view of science?
Based upon the museum he has supported, my perception is Gianforte would allow Montana charter schools to teach what is in his museum as facts.
The answers to the above four question would tell more about how a governor Gianforte would help or harm Montana. I believe he must answer these questions forcefully if he expects the majority of Montanans to vote for him in November.