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Ignorance as Authenticity


  • There is something profoundly diseased about a society that idolizes its ignoramuses and disdains its experts.
  • People are allergic to the facts

Joe Klein, Swampland

I was struck by this comment by a voter in today's (Oct 14) New York Times account of last night's U.S. Senate debate in Delaware:

While Mr. Coons had broader range on issues and current events, he sometimes seemed mean-spirited. When Ms. O'Donnell asked whether a company he was connected to would benefit from the clean energy bill, he scoffed, “It was difficult for me to understand from her question what she was talking about.”

That could just serve to reinforce Ms. O'Donnell's image, which has had deep resonance this election season — that of an ordinary person trying to bring common sense to Washington.

That appealed to Alexandra Gawel, 23, a sociology major at the university who has worked her way through college as a waitress.

“She is someone I can relate to,” Ms. Gawel said, outside the debate hall in the late afternoon. “She's not had everything handed to her.”

This is a classic American myth, perpetrated by Hollywood, starting with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--and it's a lovely fantasy.



Joke Line is Making Sense, BooMan, Booman Tribune

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

I guess Joe Klein agrees with me that the single most harmful thing a politician has done to our country since the invasion of Iraq was John McCain's decision to put Sarah Palin on the ticket. The Stupid has metastasized, and we're in for a world of hurt. We could do okay by replacing our 100 senators with 100 well-educated civilly-minded people off the street. But that's not what the Republican Party is offering. They're offering a slate of kooks, cranks, and crooks. Some are exceedingly stupid. Some of them are ridiculously ideological. Some are petty criminals. Some are all three. We aren't just celebrating ignorance. We're celebrating aggressive stupidity and a climate of lawlessness.

People Are Allergic to the Facts, Tom Jacobs,

  • New research finds we trust experts who agree with our own opinions, suggesting that subjective feelings override scientific information.
  • Insanity Is Deja Vu All Over Again
  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings

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