Sunday, August 1, 2010

Embarrassed

It's interesting to read conservatives who are profoundly embarrassed by the sorry state of what has become of movement conservatism. Although I seriously doubt I'd agree with Professor Bainbridge on most political questions, we do share a disdain for the anti-intellectualism and anti-science stance that characterizes the current movers and shakers in the the GOP (or should we just go ahead and start calling it GOTea?). Really, in any civilized nation in reasonable health politically and economically, most folks would consider these loons little more than a fringe movement and would not be giving them the airtime, column space, and paid blog space that they currently get (let alone be serious contenders for public office).

I'd add to this simply that I'd love to see more civil, literate discourse than is currently the case. That would require a paradigm shift (for lack of a better term right now) in our country to transpire. What I see as crucial to debating and solving the problems that face us as a nation, and face us globally, is an openness to a variety of perspectives outside one's own pet perspective, a willingness to engage in reflective thinking (i.e., critical thinking, tolerance for ambiguity, etc.), a healthy respect for intellect (science, literature, the arts). In such an environment, demagoguery, appeals to authority, uncritical acceptance of urban myths, conspiracy theorizing, and so on would simply not be accepted. I'm not especially hopeful that we'd see such a transformation, but I do know this much: as an individual consumer of news and opinion I can and do refuse to support those media outlets and commentators who fail to rationally make whatever point they wish to make.

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