A Little Knowledge is Dangerous.

“A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

What exactly did Alexander Pope mean when he penned this phrase? Had he run into many nincompoops in his daily life, dimwits and dunderheads? I have. I meet them daily in both hyperspace and in the flesh.  There is an endless supply in the blogosphere, as many may already know.

In Pope’s time his nincompoops did not have a voice like those of the 21st century. The 18th-century poet may have brushed into them at the pub after they downed several pints. There is nothing like alcohol to reduce inhibitions. Yet today, no alcohol is needed for the dolts blogging away on the Internet. They let it all hang out and are proud of it. Take Ayn Rand for example.  Apparently the film version of Atlas Shrugged was a big hit with right-wingers; it was touted and recommended on several of the posse blogs.

Obviously missed by the posse and others on the far-right edge of the flat earth is the fact that Rand was an atheist who advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge . She rejected all forms of faith and religion. Imagine that- reason and atheism.   Well, no imagination required. Only reason.   So much for the conservative, fundamentalist believers, eh? Reason and atheism.  Oh well.

Another hot topic currently babbling on the blogs is socialism. It actually a perennial babble-point, but during this election year, it drives the sheep endlessly in circles. The right-wing posse, like urban gangs, create their own internal vocabulary.  ‘Liberals,’ their sworn enemy, are now referred to as liberal- communist- socialists. Apparently redundancy is never a problem. To the point: the right-wing echo chamber of blogging runs with the condemnation of Obama that drips off of the lips of the GOP presidential candidates- that he wants to turn the U.S. into a [failed] socialist state like Europe. Yes, I know, Europe is a continent of 27 independent nations, not a state, but that is way-over the heads of the bloggers.

Failed socialist state? Which German, Belgian, Luxembourger, Dutch, Swede, Norwegian, Dane, Swiss English or French citizen would trade their ‘socialist state’ for the wild-West, frontier-like,  roll-of-the-dice social network offered here in the United States? Few if any. Imagine telling a Stuttgarter [my ancestral area] that if they emigrate to the U.S., they will need to buy health insurance to cover hospitalization, physician care and prescriptions. And that this insurance may not cover all health problems nor will it be operative in all of the 50 states. And that, if a female, not every hospital or clinic will avail themselves of full gynecological needs. And if they bring with them to the U.S. a pre-existing condition, they may not be able to purchase health insurance except at a very high rate.

What does a Luxembourger [my maternal heritage] think when they hear all four GOP presidential candidates tout the killing of the one and only universal health care plan in effect in the United States? And, at the hearing of these campaign speeches, the American audiences cheer loudly at the proposal?  If they were young, would they be lured to emigrate knowing this clutch of idiocy exists in large numbers here?

Further, how do Europeans react to the religious talk among the right-wing candidates like Santorum and Gingrich? What role does religion play in the life of a young adult in Denmark or Sweden? Would they be incited to pack up and hop on a plane to come to America because the right-wing fundamentalists want more religion in both society and government?

What about American’s young adults? What are they thinking about? Do they, like the right-wing bloggers and politicians, cheer for less of a safety net and more religion in the public square and in the government centers? Are they demanding less regulations which would allow corporations to not only pollute the air, alnd and water, but to screw The People at their whim? Is this what they want?

How many young Brits or Finns would be enticed to settle in Florida, Georgia or Arizona knowing that their next door neighbor may have a concealed carry permit and could shoot them dead ‘in self-defense’? Wild-West justice. Yeehaw!

There’s a quick examination of the so-called European Socialism model.

Finally, regarding Pope’s famous 5-word dictum, how much knowledge does the American voter actually have? Do they know as much about their own country as the young Europeans do? And further, is it more or less than the amount of propaganda stuck in their heads?

A little knowledge is dangerous indeed.


17 thoughts on “A Little Knowledge is Dangerous.

  1. A further note:

    The nation of Greece is often singled out by the GOP candidates as the ‘worst’ example of the socialist-European model. Of course the people who actually listen to and believe this stuff have ‘little knowledge’ of the facts.

    The fact is that the per-capita GDP of Greece is higher than the states of Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Montana [all red states]. The per-capita GDP of Greece is only a few hundred dollars lower than Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky [all red states].

    A little knowledge…

      1. Who has more legislative power, M_R? Sen. Baucus of Montana
        or President Obama? While you have your wonderful Kasich
        as Governor and helping to destroy the remaining middle class
        in Ohio, Montana has a Democratic Governor that is preventing
        a GOP legislature from running amock.

        As to the Presidential elections, Ohio has voted but four (4) times for the Democratic candidate and six (6) times for the GOP
        candidate. That’s 60% for the GOP. Montana’s electoral vote
        is 3, hardly an influencer of presidential elections…..Me thinks,
        M_R, you protest too much about other States, while Ohio has
        no outstanding progressive legislative record.

          1. We’re having a discussion in our household about which states are considered the “deep south”. With Louisiana joining Mississippi and Alabama on the Santorum bandwagon, the only other -I can’t think of a polite word to describe them- state in the South I would think would be South Carolina (although TGP is from North Carolina). I’ve been to Georgia and I think Atlanta would take them out of the running, the southern part of Georgia not withstanding. Texas is just embarrassing and only northern Florida is -still can’t come up with a polite word- is that way. What’s your take?

            1. We could, like the right-wingers, gerrymander a Deep South area that omits Atlanta and Jackson and other large urban centers in the South. These, like Austin Texas, are outliers in a swath of goobers.

        1. I don’t get the math. In 1803 when Ohio was admitted as the 17th state, it was considered a progressive state. And actually, that characterization has kind of stuck. And I’m pretty sure the state has participated in every Presidential election since.

  2. I thought that by now, M_R, you would have responded to my statement that Obama is no TR, FDR, or Truman. Obviously,
    from your silence, you know that is the case…Moreover, I tend to believe that you recognize that Obama is a failure, as the only
    reason that you can give or retaining him as President is the
    Supreme Court.

    1. not the ‘only’ but the first.


      Two-term presidents often go down in the history books as having been very successful- perhaps because they had 2-terms to complete their work. Obama’s is only helf-done; as the Super Bowl commercial said, ‘It’s half-time in America.’ The 2nd half is often more exciting and more accomplished than the first.

      Look at the list of successful 2-term presidents: Washington, Madison, Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton.

      Obama needs [and so does America] a 2nd term.

  3. well, of course everybody knows that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and now, the good people at Santorum Knowledge Disposal Industries can help you deal with your dangerous excess knowledge disposal problems….we can help you prevent the unsightly build up of toxic knowledge deposits by preventing them in the first place! no more tedious books, schools, or libraries! prevent unsightly and uncomfortable sexual problems! the trained and highly skilled technicians at Santorum Knowledge Disposal Industries can help you with your brain cleansing, exorcism and general knowledge prevention needs in the safety and the comfort of your own home.
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    The technicians at SKDI are ready to take all of your untidy, unpleasant and inconvenient ideas and store them safely in a secure knowledge containment facility somewhere far away in a desert somewhere or at the bottom of an ocean or use them for landfill in your local fracking facility until we can figure how to dump them all on Iran!
    Little Ricky says, “VOTE FOR ME AND YOU’LL NEVER HAVE TO THINK AGAIN!” Hooray! USA! #1! Hooray!

  4. How would even a right wing ultra nationalist French man react to the American GOP Slate? Even Marine LePen must offer more than the mental dandruff Newt Gingrich passes off as ideas.
    Very interesting, chaotic presidential race here. After a week of dealing with the fallout of a lunatic serial killer in Toulouse, still going into the 1st turn of the election in 28 days, it’s Socialist Hollande in first, Sarko second and suddenly, The very interesting Front Gauche…ultra leftist, Jean-Luc Melenchon in third place! He is polling ahead of ultra right Front National candidate Marine LePen! One week ago, Melenchon had a rally in Paris in front of the Bastille and over 100,000 people showed up in the rain.
    Sarkozy was counting on co opting the platform of the Front National to get the votes he needs, but suddenly the man to court is Melenchon! But, wait, most of Melenchons ideas are already part of the Socialist platform! It would seem that the role of Melenchon is to drive the Socialists even more left! It doesn’t hurt that Jean-Luc is a very witty, charismatic personality who is a firebrand in the classic sense! 28 days and counting!
    …sorry I haven’t been posting more. It’s been hard to find time to write for my own blog. lot’s of little problems and work, but things are being resolved!

  5. 1 more thing…I’ve read a lot of comments from gun rights advocates trying to take advantage of the tragedy in Toulouse to promote gun owners rights. I would gather that most of these folks have never been to Europe and don’t even possess a passport.

    1. But they sure know all about Europe (it’s all one Country, right?). I wouldn’t mind their ignorance of Europe, but it’s all the mis-information they suck up that annoys me.

      And that’s not the worst of it! The Republican candidates seem to be as misinformed as the fringe groups. The first President I voted for was Nixon and I’ve voted for a Republican everytime since except in 1996. You know it’s got to be bad for me not only to plan on voting for President Obama, but actually go out of my way to help him get re-elected.

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