Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Is Ignorance Really Bliss?
I wonder... the other day I watched a bit of "The O'Reilly Factor." A lot of people watch that show. Likewise, a lot of people refuse to watch that show. These are people with a particular political point of view that differs from the political point of view that is found on Fox News Channel. It doesn't make sense to me that people would flat out refuse to watch a channel that they disagree with on a political level. You see, I watch a lot of channels which have a slant which I disagree with. I think I am not alone in that.
Anyway, I watched that O'Reilly show because it promised a segment called "Watters' World" where Watters interviews mostly young people about the elections on Tuesday. I like these segments because they reveal a lot about average people. Some might think Watters edits the clips to show people in a bad light. He swears he doesn't do that, though he acknowledges that he doesn't leave out the most outrageous comments. In general, the people he interviewed were ignorant of many things: who controlled the Senate, for example, and who was running for office.
I can believe Watters doesn't do ideological editing because I have known many people in my life who paid no attention to politics, local or national. And studies show a large portion of the electorate are, well, ignorant. Yet who we elect matters a great deal, especially according to the political parties involved. But what else would you expect of them?
What really bothers me is the lack of some basic knowledge about our system of government. How many senators in the Senate? Who is the vice-president of the United States? Who is the governor of your own state? I remember a "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" (it's on HBO) where the host opined that people had no idea who their state representative was. I have to admit that I have no idea who mine is. I know who my Congressional Representative is (Tom Rooney-R) but my state rep? No clue. And Oliver talked about how many laws they passed (well, more likely voted on... not necessarily passed) in the last year in comparison to Congress. A total of some 24,000 bills were at least considered by state legislatures. Most of these impact your life in one way or another. His point? Why get all bent out of shape about the federal government when it's unlikely you know what is happening in your state capital? It's a good point.
Still, it's upsetting to me that so few people seem to know the history of this country, how it is supposed to work, and don't seem to want to know. Scary... especially when they are urged (exhorted, really) to vote. Each party hopes their base will turn out and vote blindly for party. Yet, these would likely be votes of ignorance. We have poor turnouts at the polls, especially for mid-term elections (most presidential elections see no more than a 70% turnout, mid-terms are much lower). I would rather most people stay home if they don't really have a clue about what is going on politically but I also know that isn't going to happen.
By now, the results are in for Tuesday's elections. I have no idea how they turned out because I am writing this on Monday. I can only hope good decisions were made... but I am not holding my breath.