Worse Than Ignorance

We live in strange times, at least from a political perspective.  On one hand, we have a massive federal government that seeks to dominate the states and the citizens regardless of any supposed restrictions set forth by the Constitution.  Deficits and spending are recklessly multiplied ensuring the economic slavery of future generations.  But on the other side of things, states are beginning to reassert their power through rejection of nationalized health care, sovereignty resolutions, and the push for nullification.  More and more ordinary American citizens are starting to take a keen interest into both domestic and foreign policies.  For far too long, politicians assumed that the indifferent silence of the average voter equated to tacit consent of beltway policies.  And all the while, conservative and liberal pundits temper the news with their particular brand of spin.

Obviously we all have to get our political news from some source or another.  Ideally, the well-rounded person will have several avenues of information.  Regrettably, some folks are content to rely on a single pundit.  Now don’t get me wrong, there many good commentators out there.  Unfortunately, a great many of them do not advance political dialogue, but hinder it instead.  They treat politics like a kindergarten argument where the person who is the loudest, most disagreeable, interrupts constantly, and hurls the cruelest insults is considered the winner.  You cannot refute this kind of pundit without being declared stupid, brainless, or otherwise mentally incapacitated.  These kinds of antics strip politics of any sort of dignity and warp it to be more like an unpredictable circus comparable to the Jerry Springer show.

Don’t think that either the right or the left holds a monopoly on civility; both conservatives and liberals are guilty of dumbing down and stifling discourse.  Talk show hosts on the television and the radio, bloggers, writers, and even politicians can all fall prey to this sort of rubbish.  Oh, you’re just a “libtard”, a “teabagger”, or a “nutjob”.  Therefore, we can’t trust your opinions on any issue and your thoughts are equally worthless.  They don’t confront and refute contrary opinions, but rather attack their opponent’s credibility and basic human decency.  Ultimately, I believe these tactics display the shortcomings of the argument of those who employ them because it shows that their own evidence is weak, exhausted, or likely both.  Their listeners, watchers, or readers are no more enlightened than they were prior to reading their rude drivel, but instead falsely empowered with the worst aspects of political rhetoric.  Although a few people may claim otherwise, I try to hold my writing and this blog to a higher standard.

In the first few pages of his First Discourse, Jean-Jacques Rousseau laments the earlier understanding of mankind.  “A nondescript scientific jargon, even more despicable than ignorance, had usurped the name of knowledge, and opposed an almost invincible obstacle to its return.  A revolution was needed to bring men back to common sense”.  Today, some residents fill their heads solely with the vulgar prattling of some pundit or other, holding their petty rudeness as sacrosanct as the writings of the prophets of old.  This advice may sound strange coming from an unapologetic conservative, but I encourage you to listen to the words of conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and statists alike.  Of course, you do not have to agree with them all (and obviously you cannot for their ideologies are diametrically opposed).  Nevertheless, in order to be good citizens and also informed, we must explore and discuss thoughts contrary to our own.  By doing so, we increase our political intelligence and bolster our beliefs without denying the right of others to disagree.  We must avoid the common pundit’s snare of propagating a political environment devoid of rationality and proof, but one that is rich in slander and childishness.  If we fail to do so, then we will never escape our current state of discourse that, for many, is even worse than ignorance.

2 Replies to “Worse Than Ignorance”

  1. Balance is so important, good article.

    My concern is that we maybe to the point of no return with the strong control the hard core left has on the Democrat party. I fear we are right around the corner where the bitter enemies will not be able to reconcile the vast difference at the table of negotiation. I pray and hope that I am very wrong.

    I have come to the point of not trusting politicians period. All parties are going to have have to prove to me they really have the citizens best interest at heart by returning our nation to rule by limited constitutional government.

    Who among our leaders has the backbone to lead us back to the original principals that the founding fathers put in place?
    Can we reverse course peacefully, through the electoral process and straighten out this mess over a period of years?

    Keep on what your doing, I hope that we as everyday American’s (many who have came to their senses in the last couple of years) can make a difference before the final penalty is due. Because of our sins of negligence and indifference. Sorry I went to rambling.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      It does seem like the statists have a firm grim on the Democrats. I cannot recall the last time that one of their emails dealt with the topic of liberty or even used the word. Fortunately more and more Republicans are coming to the realization that some GOP members (like W. Bush) didn’t really support the ideals of limited governance and shouldn’t be remembered for doing so.

      I appreciate your words of encouragement. I will continue to fight for my cause for I am certain that it is the right thing to do.

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