Master Planning at Irvine Valley College: correspondences (Saturday)
MORE ON THE IGNORANCE OF THE AMERICAN VOTER:
1. COWARDLY "LEADER" REFUSES TO LEAD. A special challenge for you Birthers out there. Please explain why Republican leader Boehner is convinced that Obama is a U.S. citizen. Evidently, he's no birther. Or is his stated position part of a pro-Obama conspiracy? How does the conspiracy work exactly? Or maybe he's "going along" with a "lie" for some reason consistent with understanding "the truth." Please spell out the reasons.
2. GENERAL POLITICAL IGNORANCE. Americans cannot even name the leaders of their own government. Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Fewer than half of Americans could tell you her name during the length of her entire tenure. William Rehnquist was chief justice of the Supreme Court. Just 40 percent of Americans ever knew his name (and only 30 percent could tell you that he was a conservative). Going into the First Gulf War, just 15 percent could identify Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense. In 2007, in the fifth year of the Iraq War, only 21 percent could name the secretary of defense, Robert Gates. Most Americans cannot name their own member of Congress or their senators.
—From Rick Schenkman’s Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter
|Niece Natalie, Saturday night.|
Natalie doesn't believe in witches.
—American Ignorance (Inside Higher Ed, 2006)4. WHAT IS MOST TROUBLING. Long-time readers of DtB know that we have long chronicled the ignorance of Americans and where that ignorance predominates (viz., toward the right & toward the religious−roughly, toward the Tea Partiers and the so-called "Republican base").
What is most troubling about these trends is the apparent fact that many Americans, especially on the right, now seem incapable of distinguishing reliable from unreliable sources.
Birthers: How does Senator McCain fit into your Weltanschauung? Why does he believe that Obama is a citizen? Is he a traitor? A dupe? A liar? Please explain.
5. SO SAYS THE NATIONAL REVIEW. Over the weekend David Gregory asked Speaker Boehner…whether he would “stand up” to the birthers’ “ignorance” beyond saying that he believes Obama to be a Christian and a citizen. I am fairly certain that these Republican leaders are not trying to advance birtherism surreptitiously. They just don’t want to have to say that a large portion of the Republican base is evil or crazy. And they resent the fact that they’re asked these questions when Nancy Pelosi was never asked if she thought Cindy Sheehan was a nut (for example). ¶ But isn’t there a simple solution here? Some of the birthers clearly are crazy. But the millions of Americans who think Obama is a Muslim, for example, are just misinformed, misled by his name, aspects of his background, and the enigmatic profile he has cultivated. So why not say something like this? “David, I have already said that I think questioning Obama’s religion and citizenship is deeply misguided. I disagree with it. It’s no part of my critique of Obama’s administration. I don’t think everyone who holds these views is malicious or nuts. A lot of people hold a lot of mistaken views. You know, back in 2008, a lot of Americans thought Obama was a moderate!”
—From the National Review Online (Feb. 14)