Setting Traps for Conservative Politicians and How to Avoid Them

Once again a Republican presidential hopeful is under attack by the Left and some on the Right for comments about the age of the earth. An article in GQ, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, magazine wanted a little more information on what Florida Senator Marco Rubio meant by socialism not having “worked in 6000 years of recorded history.” The media don’t want to know why socialism doesn’t work; they only want to set traps for non-liberals.

Candidates need to understand how to answer “trap” questions, no matter what they are. A trap question is designed to get a candidate off topic and raise an issue that is irrelevant to the discussion. It takes practice and skill to learn how to deal with “trap” questions.

The first thing that a Conservative candidate must understand is that a reporter is not his friend. A reporter is not after the truth, will most likely not report the whole truth even if he knows it, and probably wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked him in the face.

Let’s take the age of the earth question. I never would have commented on the age of the earth, something that Rubio never brought up. It was the reporter who raised the issue based on Rubio’s comment about 6000 years of recorded history. While the earth may be 4.5 billion years old, as most scientists contend, recorded history is about 6000 years old, and anything that old was most likely written on clay or carved into stone, and we don’t have very much of it.

We have artifacts that may be older, but they do not meet the modern definition of “written history.” On this point Rubio was right. Recorded history goes back about 6000 years. Here’s the opening paragraph on Wikipedia on “Recorded History”:

Recorded history is the period in the history of the world that has been written down using language, or documented using other means of communication. It starts around the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing.”

Let’s do the math: 4th century BC (4000 years) + 2000 years AD = 6000 years. Rubio should have answered the question with a question: “Are you saying that written recorded history is older than 6000 years?”

Of course, the reporter was not interested in this fact. He wanted to trap Rubio into making a comment that could be used against him, to make him sound foolish in the eyes of high-browed intellectuals who are doing such a good job running the country.

At the bottom of it all, the folks at GQ wanted Rubio to talk about evolution with the age of the earth as a foot in the door.

I would love someone to confront liberals on the evolution question by asking them a few questions. Do the folks at GQ believe the cosmos sprung into existence out of nothing, a view that is contrary to every principle of science known to man? I would then have asked whether they could supply any empirical data that shows that chemicals evolved into biological life forms. From there I would ask the origin of the organized information necessary to animate the newly evolved chemicals into life forms. Then just one more question. Can you account for morality, the origin of it and its legitimacy, given evolution’s something-out-of-nothing beginnings? How can anything be right or wrong when we’ve evolved from chemicals? Were any of these original chemicals obligated not to kill other chemicals?

With no answers forthcoming, I would then have said the following:

“The evolutionary model is more of a religion than science. Phillip E. Johnson described it this way: ‘In the beginning were the particles. And the particles somehow became complex living stuff. And the stuff imagined God, but then discovered evolution.’1

“The age of the earth — whether it is 6000 or 6 billion years old — is a debate that does not affect the moral question unless you’re an atheist who has to account for morality in a world that ‘consists entirely of particles,’ and nothing but particles, the only things that scientists can study since nothing else exists but particles.

“So much could be said on the moral implications of a purely materialistic view of humans who are only a few DNA measurements away from ape-like animals that often kill and eat their own without any legal consequences.”

“Then I would ask this question: How would you develop a moral worldview from the following comment made by Richard Dawkins, the premier evolutionist of our time, and apply it to the realm of morality and politics?: ‘In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”

Debating the age of the earth is a red herring. Debating if there is right and wrong given the materialistic assumptions of evolutionists is a question that should be asked of every politician and every liberal reporter.

  1. In the Beginning Were the Particles” (March 5, 2000). []