Neil deGrasse Tyson's rational advice for life under an irrational administration.

Neil deGrasse Tyson for president?

That's what some people were shouting for during a recent appearance by the astrophysicist and pop-culture icon. Would he ever run? Tyson said, as he has before: "No. No. Uh, nooooo."

But that wasn't all he had to say on politics.


Surely no question gets just an easy "no" from Tyson. Photo by Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images.

While picking up the Lincoln Leadership Prize on March 10, he dropped five to-the-heart points for his fellow American citizens:

1. Why aren't there more scientists in government? Because people vote for charisma over knowledge.

Getting different types of people in office would mean "we have to really rethink what we are as a democracy," he said. "Voting for someone because of what they know — what a concept!"

He makes it seem so mind-bogglingly simple. Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Popular Science.

2. Don't blame politicians. Blame voters.

"You voted for these people! ... If you have issues, your issues are not with the politician. Your issues are with your fellow voters," he said.

At first, it seems Tyson is repeating what so many do: Voters can just vote out leaders they don't like. But there's more to it, he explained, because just thinking this way — that merely changing one person at the top will make everything be fine — "implies that we're all just here, the electorate, and don't really matter."

Does Tyson have a fix for this kind of dysfunctional electorate? Oh, yes.

3. Fix the electorate by arming them with science!

"I will go to the electorate and say, 'Here is what science is and how and why it works, and here's how you can become empowered thinking that way,'" he explained.

It's the best kind of evil plan, isn't it?! There's no time for a presidency when you're already working to make a better government by arming voters with objective facts for their personal philosophies so they can be choosier about their leaders.

Knowledge really is power!

4. What about the EPA being headed by a climate-change denier? He says: Watch for actions, not just words.

The Trump-appointed Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, denies humans are causing climate change and has even sued the EPA multiple times. While you might expect a science whiz like Tyson to fire up arguments against a denier, he leaned on logic and voter responsibility.

"We live in a free country; you should think what you want," he said, and that includes Pruitt. But what the country can and must do is push back against misinformation when it turns to legislative and regulatory action.

5. Defending the truth means defending democracy.

"When people are fighting over what is actually true when we know what is true? I don't know what country that is," he said. "But what I do know is that it's the beginning of an end of an informed democracy when that happens."

Scientists often have a flair for the drama of impending doom, but these words genuinely strike loudly right now. How many of our friends' political discussions lately just seem like two siblings fighting over who's to blame for a party that left the house trashed? That's definitely not an informed democracy making any sort of progress, is it? Meanwhile, the objective fact is that something must be done about the mess.

So, take note, people of the electorate! Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to guide you.

He wouldn't be our president, but he's already giving us what we need to hear to ma​ke our own changes.

More
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular