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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who may run for the presidency, refused Wednesday to answer the direct question: “Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you believe in it?”

Walker, you see, must navigate the difficult terrain of the Republican primary process if he wants to earn his party’s nomination, and so he must at least pretend to be an idiot.

That’s a charged word, and perhaps unfair to the many decent people who challenge conventional wisdom, but there comes a point when enough is enough. The activist base of the Republican Party is so hostile to science, one wonders if photosynthesis or gravity will prompt the next wave of GOP skepticism.

I’m not going to defend the science of evolution. We’re past that. Except, perhaps, to say that the best argument against natural selection is the abundance of fools who have managed to procreate into a sizable voting bloc.

If this sounds elitist, it is. I don’t need the president to be the smartest, best-looking Nobel laureate, but he or she must at least have the courage to step over the lowest common denominator of knowledge.

And I definitely don’t want a man or woman who believes that men and dinosaurs hung out together only a few thousand years ago anywhere near the nuclear launch codes.

Plenty of smart people have made dumb decisions. That’s how we ended up with the Vietnam War, American-armed Mujahedeen and Internet Explorer. But we seem to be drifting backward in the annals of stupidity.

We now poll and report on whether voters like a candidate’s hair or taste in beer. Are you fucking kidding me?

A reporter shouldn’t have to ask whether someone campaigning to be the most powerful person on Earth believes in evolution. It’s a tough job, not a tough question.

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