Sciencedebate.org sent all the presidential candidates a list of 20 questions about science policy, and most of them have sent in their answers. Gary Johnson didn’t bother. Jill Stein did, but I admit, I didn’t bother reading her answers; I have no intention of voting for her, so I don’t really care, although she did seem to take the questions seriously and had some lengthy answers. I skimmed Trump’s answers (it was easy; they’re short) mainly as a point of comparison with Clinton’s.
Hillary Clinton gives substantial answers to every questions. Sometimes they aren’t very specific, but even there she hints at positive attitudes. For instance, the question on scientific integrity isn’t very good — of course every candidate supports scientific integrity, or at least says so! — and Clinton doesn’t hit on any specific points, but does say she supports “public access to research results and other scientific information”, which is a good thing. But on the question of immigration, she immediately proposes specific bills to assist qualified people in the tech sector. On climate change, she’s going to set ambitious goals.
Generally, my impression was that she (and her staff) made a serious stab at explaining her policy, with enough details that it’s clear she really has plans. This is what I want from a serious candidate.
Trump, on the other hand, had nothing. He’d too frequently wave his hands (his tiny, tiny hands) at “market solutions” providing the answer to everything. He dismissed serious issues: his reply to the question about climate change begins,
There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of “climate change.” Yes, he actually put it in scare quotes. Fuck him.
OK, I decided I wasn’t being fair to Stein, who put almost as much effort into her answers as Clinton did — I can definitely say she’d be a better candidate than Trump. So I looked at some of her longer answers. She lost me with her strategy for protecting biodiversity:
Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on new GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.. Nope. Sorry. Does she even realize that GMOs are a fantastic tool for reducing reliance on pesticides?