Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Politics in 2015: Ignorance is an asset

The first two “official” Republican candidates for the presidency, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, are fumbling their way from one gaffe to the next, and left-wing commentators and publications are having a field day. From the shirt-rending hypocrisy of Ted Cruz signing up for Obamacare after spending 24/7, 365 days a year trying to destroy it to Ben Carson’s bloodthirsty homophobic rants, columns of eye-rolling, head shaking revelations are being posted at Salon, The Huffington Post, Raw Story and many other zines.

The one point that is overlooked in all of the verbiage is that in today’s Republican Party, ignorance is an asset. The religious right and Tea Party members are deeply distrustful of people outside their ideological circle, which is the majority of Americans, seeing them as snarky know-it-alls who look down their noses at America’s true patriots and their bedrock values. As difficult as it is, we have to come to grips with the fact that one of the two major political parties in America values superstitious beliefs and unquestioning adherence to a faith-based ideology over reason and objective reality, and that this group is putty in the hands of today’s ruling elites.

Politics in America today is not about competing solutions to our major problems, it is about competing views of reality. Our political leaders can’t even agree on what’s real and what isn’t real. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we have people in positions of power who believe the earth is 6000 years old, that humans and dinosaurs lived together; that global warming is a hoax; that homosexuals should be put to death; and yes, that dark-skinned people are inferior.

Many of us shake our heads in astonishment when Ben Carson reveals he knows absolutely nothing about modern-day Israel, a country he loudly supports with every fiber of his being, but that attitude only strengthens him in the eyes of his supporters. Ignorance is strength. War is peace. Up is down.

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