“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.