NPR is currently under fire for some comments a departing administrator said. Among other things he said “It feels to me as though there is a real anti-intellectual move on the part of a significant part of the Republican Party. It’s not all Republicans..” This was critical.
It is also somewhat true.
I used to get almost daily emails from my father advocating some Conservative talking point that was taken almost verbatim from the Snopes website. After pointing out how most to all of them were untrue, he dropped me from his email distribution. My problem with it is that my father does not care if the emails are true or not. He has said as much, that he will oppose “Obammy” with his dying breath.
My father is an unapologetic racist as well.
Couple this with his views on Muslims (completely uninformed), economics (completely uninformed), politics (completely uninformed), and you have a fairly ignorant individual. My father is very intelligent, but he does not have information to process. The hard drive, so to speak, is empty.
My mother is the same, minus the exaggerated racism. She thinks Obama is a Socialist, Communist, Facist, etc… I have explained the definitions of these political philosophies and asked for an example, and she cannot give one, but that does not change the opinion. She has said that “He is Evil!!!” but can give no evidence of said evil.
Mom is devout LDS, Dad is inactive, just as a point of reference.
Now consider Mike Huckabee’s recent comments concerning Obama’s anti-British influences. Huckabee said…
Huckabee: “I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits — ”
Malzberg: “Of Winston Churchill.”
Huckabee: “The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”
Now, these comments are almost completely untrue. The above is linked to the fact checked data. The comments are almost completely divorced from reality, but does either Huckabee or his constituents really care? Who cares if it is untrue as long as it is negative? This is what passes for politics, and it is a sad state of affairs.
I am not necessarily a Communist, Socialist, or a Fascist, but I have studied all three. I did so because it was part of an academic course of study I was involved in, but I did put the effort into learning. I have studied Islam extensively for a decade and change. All of which is necessary to understand some of the issues going on in the world. I am not saying that everyone needs a degree in political economy, but some study is necessary. Wikipedia can be a good source of information. Books are good. Whatever the source, an opinion MUST be based on some study. Even the BOM is confirmed after STUDY and prayer, at least that is our theology.
For whatever reason this study is NOT happening in some Conservative circles. Glenn Beck is a terrible source for information about anything. If you believed the opposite of what Glenn Beck said you would be better informed than if you believed what he said. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Fox News in general is a tremendous source of really bad information.
NPR is actually pretty good. So is Al-Jazeera, but that is another story. What the ousted administrator said was certainly not kind, but it was also somewhat true. Knowledge and education are becoming more and more rare. And this is not because people are stupid. My parents are both very intelligent, but they have put no effort into education on the issues they feel so passionately about, which is not only contrary to the way they raised me, but contrary to Gospel principles. Are we not encouraged to search and ponder in all things? Isn’t the Glory of God intelligence? Why not study more and watch polemical television less?
I do not agree with Fascism, but I do know what it is. I am not Communist, but I know what it is. I am not a Muslim, but I have studied Islam. I do not know how to form an opinion without doing this. I think our national problems would be less severe if there were more attempts at study and understanding and less commentary.