I was thinking about Joe Miller’s abuse of the media as I was listening to the radio this morning, several people called in to support him as a man who stands for freedom, in the face of him demonstrably standing against it. Think about Ted Haggard or Eddie Long both of them still have defenders. I think the reason might be simply that they talk so much about how they are against the thing that secretly they are very much for (namely fascism and sodomy). I think that it is very attractive to just listen to what people are saying and rely on that as a means to asses their position. Life would be much simpler if we could just look at someones words and ignore their actions, so people are choosing the intellectual easy road, even though it leads to a place where we might not want to go.
We only have a limited amount of intellectual energy to spend on judging the world around us, and there is a real personal advantage to just blindly trusting someone in the face of evidence to the contrary. I suspect that the root of our problem is a lack of critical thinking skills taught to students. I think that making logic and critical thinking part of the curriculum for teachers might do wonders to improve how our students and our future citizens perform. A well educated electorate is vital for the maintenance of our democracy, and that means more than an electorate that can remember a lot of facts.