Eureka! I believe I have discovered the key to the problem of our divided country. It’s going to sound very prosaic, something you have heard a thousand times, but I think it gets lost in all the rhetoric and emotion. Here it is:
What I mean by ignorance is not knowing facts. Case in point: my son’s landlords. Nicest people in the world, think the world of my son and wife, long history in their words of not being any sort of bigot, and by all appearances just plain good people. But they believe Isis is in Yuma. Why? Why do they swallow all the Fox News and Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh craziness? It is not religion, it is not prejudice against groups, it is not fear. They just don’t know how to evaluate the information fed them from so many sources. This is where the propaganda machine of the Right comes in: they know how to couch, clothe and frame information in terms and references and tropes people who are not able to discern clearly will take in. They take it in b/c they have no tools to evaluate critically the information, hence the call for critical thinking skills in our schools.
I’ve been involved in an exchange with a man who questions many Liberal positions and tends to favor Libertarian and conservative interpretations like Obama is acting unconstitutionally. He says we see these things differently b/c we have different world views but I question that. He thinks the facts on my side of these arguments come from my world view; I think they come from knowledge. It’s been an interesting exchange, summarized in my Magnum Opus found here.

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