Wisconsin governor Scott Walker attended a conference on trade in London. Heedless of questions of relevance to the occasion, an enterprising reporter asked him for his opinion on evolution. Walker chose to “punt” and moved on. As a result, I am moved to go ahead and just fix this problem for everyone henceforth.
Many of us remember the film Bull Durham. Kevin Costner plays a veteran catcher who has spent most of his career in the minor leagues. Tim Robbins is a fireball throwing rookie who is headed to the pros. Part of Costner’s role is to bring the rookie along. In one memorable scene, he coaches the up and coming star on how to give an interview. The goal is to keep the player from injuring himself, his team, and his reputation in the interview.
Given the tendency of political interviewers to try and create a sensation with questions about science, contraception, abortion, etc., it is time to coach the interview.
Here we go!
Reporter: Do you believe in the scientific theory of evolution?
Candidate: I understand that evolution is the dominant theory of biological development and that it enjoys tremendous respect among scientists. Students should certainly learn about important matters such as that one in school. As it pertains to me personally, I would just say that whatever the course of human development, I believe that we were created by God and that we have souls. As God’s children, we have rights and dignity. Part of the job of government is to protect those human rights. Whatever the scientific theory is, I intend to respect the rights and dignity of my fellow human beings.
Reporter: Do you believe in banning abortion in all cases, including with regard to rape, incest, and the life of the mother?
Candidate: I believe that unborn human beings are still human beings with a right to life. If the life of the mother is seriously endangered by her pregnancy, I don’t think the state should be in the position of deciding between the two. The mother has to make that decision. In the matters of rape and incest, I would argue that we are still talking about a human life being at stake and that we should respect that human life even if it is small and weak. The fetus bears no guilt for the circumstances of his or her conception. That having been said, there is much we could do to protect the unborn short of impinging upon those controversial exceptions. We haven’t done enough.
(FULL STOP. Please do not speculate on whether the female body shuts down conception in the instance of rape or whatever other novel idea captures your fancy. You are a politician and not a biologist or medical professional.)
Reporter: Do you think women should have a right to contraceptive products?
Candidate: If you mean birth control pills and condoms, then it seems to me that women have broad commercial access to those products and they are heavily advertised. I also note that they are not especially expensive. If you mean that some other private party, such as an employer, should be forced to purchase those products as part of a contract for employment, then I would suggest that view is indicative of an insufficient regard for rights of conscience and religious liberty.