Ignorance: the Downfall of a Democracy

I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.  – Jefferson

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

Today’s civics students are hopefully learning more important skills than merely memorizing dates, people and places. When the Common Core Standards are written for Civics, it will surely signal a much more informed public. Right now, standards are written for only mathematics and English/language arts, yet not everyone favors such standards. GOP Governors especially are ‘against’ them for obscure, political reasons. Keep them dumbed-down?

While American students wait for new civics standards to be written, our nation slides further into the dark cave of misinformation. I have often postulated on this blog my belief that in comparing the ‘enlightened’ nations of the world, the U.S. no doubt ranks at the bottom. We have masses of gullible, propaganda-absorbing citizens who ‘believe’ things said by so-called authority figures. Rush Limbaugh, for example. Or Laura Ingraham. Or Pastor Bloviate. My brother-in-law, for example, often tells me, for verification,  that “he heard it on WSPD radio.” Right-wing talk radio. Sadly, he has a college degree.

Take the current bugaboo fixation by the herd of sheep on grazing on the right-edge of the pasture: Obamacare. Or, graphically represented in their minds: OBAMACARE!!!

The facts regarding the Affordable Care Act are not important. Not at all. Rather, nincompoops spout the lines of propagandists that they hear on WSPD radio. The skill of the propagandist lies in the tactic of linking fear of the other with a specific agenda and it doesn’t take much to imagine what ‘fear’ they are mongering regarding the black president in the white house.

I suspect that our cultural bombardment with hours and hours of TV and the associated slick commercials have softened the brain of the viewers and this cerebral atrophy, in my non-professional opinion, enhances their susceptibility for propaganda absorption.

Altogether, the picture is dim- as dim as the altered brain state of many on the far-right. How is a democracy suppose to function, to prosper when so many of its citizens have been zombie-ized, traumatized by slick propagandists in the media? I fear that it can’t- looking at the fiasco currently unravelling in DC.

We may be doomed.

And this may be just the beginning…

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19 thoughts on “Ignorance: the Downfall of a Democracy

  1. Headline this AM on CNN: Climate change report: It’s ‘extremely likely’ that humans are responsible.

    …then there are the climate-change deniers [see post above for more symptoms of brain atrophy]

    1. …but we were very interested in politics and learned through our experience with that avocation. But, what about our fellow students who had no such interest. Did they remain as dumb as a potato regarding civics?

      Tangentially, I think of our fellow classmates and their post-religion studies. Did they ‘grow’ in their understanding of Christology or do they remain where they were when they walked out of their last religion class?

    1. Of course YOU are not. I am for philosophical reasons- if that can meld with theology.

      My point re inclusion was that it may be that some of our ‘elite’ (your word) classmates stagnated after HS and are no further along than they were in ’59.

  2. Yep, the fact that he was catholic was very secondary to me. Yet,
    I think that most of those who have studied that vote, say religion was very much in play…Catholics voting overwhelmingly for Kennedy, and Protestants voting overwhelmingly for Nixon.
    Their point is that the election results were so close because of his
    catholicism…Why werre we outside the box?

    1. …and now many Catholics vote GOP because they ‘believe’ (read: brainwashed) that the GOP is the ‘pro-life’ party. Hoodwinked, pure and simple. Spongeon brains absorbing theology and political pap equally easily. Pathetic.

  3. Yes, we have, so lets carry it to fruition. Lets do something positive
    and together!

    Namely, offering an organization to take the place of the defunct
    labor unions in organizing political support by congress people
    for progessive legislation. I too have your concern of our physical stamina to do this, but who else? Look at this way, if we made it together to the top of Pikes Peak, what can stop us, lol… Have you noticed the auto commercial on TV about the car climbing Pikes? Ha, we did it in a ’58 chevy! And, you know what, we still have the
    same drive. It seems to me we are minimizing our abilities to
    comment on “issues of the moment, or what’s in the press, maybe
    they are talking points”, but as we both have said we are talking to the choir…Now, we can continue to do that here, but at the same
    time we could begin to organize a group to sway congressional memmbers or elections to put those “talking points” into law.

  4. “THOUGHT’? Rome is burning!

    Well, while your recouping your energy, so think of a word to express the
    idea of such an organization. something like COP = Citizens of Progress,
    Congress of the People, AFP= Action for People, CAP = Congressional
    Action for the People

    COP would be interesting as the organization representing the 90 percenters on the congressional “beat” lobby only for them!

  5. Just a new “talking point: Bill O’Reilly”s new book is “Killing Jesus”, and in it
    he claims Jesus could not have said the words attributed to him on the cross as he was slowly suffocating. More of the Jesus myth?

    Speaking of the surname O’Reilly, my great grandmother came from County
    Cork, and she was an O’Reilly!

    1. I am surprised that you brought up a RELIGIOUS discussion! Not only did Jesus NOT say anything on the cross, no one was there to listen. It’s ALL made-up stuff.

  6. I had a senior moment!

    Are you saying that there is not an historical person named Jesus who was crucified for revolution against Rome?

    I see billboards across the congressional districts of Latta/Parker from RIP,
    Responsibility in Politics, accusing them of extra-constitutional actions causing a govwenment shutdown, the government they are sworn to keep
    open and functioning.

    ASIDE: Are these Republicans any different than the FAA controllers who
    were fired by Reagan for not reporting to work while collecting their
    government p ay check? Hmmmm….don’t we have a strike going on
    against government?

  7. “Implementing Obamacare is a criminal act.”

    Gov. Rick Perry said it in NJ yesterday. It’s a “criminal act” to enforce
    a constitutional law of the United States! If that is not nullification, then
    what is? The “supreme laws” of the Constitution MUST BE accepted
    and put into force. It is sedition otherwise. This was decided in 1865.
    Perry should be arrested and tried for sedition and for fomenting
    the encouragement of anti-constitutional revolutionary activity. It is not “criminal” to enforce the supreme law of the land.

  8. What is the title of this post??

    “Perry should be arrested and tried for sedition and for fomenting
    the encouragement of anti-constitutional revolutionary activity.”

    Of course he ‘should,’ but not in today’s society which is as dumbed-down as Perry.

  9. That’s exactly why “they” get away with it, and with each concession the
    country moves Right! Holder should be all over it….

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