Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ignorant and Free

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson.

Many among the Tea Party and Religious Right are fiercely resistant to fact-based logical reasoning. They have their faith, either in religion or in cartoonish versions of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. Bumper sticker slogans masquerade as political philosophy. "Tax and Spend!"

Ignorant and Free
Social conservatives often hold intellectuals in contempt, speaking disparagingly of "elites." They don't want intelligent, competent officeholders. They want "authentic" folks in government. Folks just like them. Folks who share their belief system. Well, the Founding Fathers were an intellectual elite, the progressives of their time, and there is more in the Constitution than the Second Amendment. 

Nature respects neither the common touch nor conservatives' notions of "commonsense." It doesn't have a political philosophy or a religion. It obeys only its own laws. If our public policy is not informed by facts, rational thinking, and best science, then it is doomed to fail. What Jefferson said is both profound and true. As a nation we ignore it at our peril. No amount of praying and magical thinking, and certainly no amount of political pandering, will make it otherwise.

submit to reddit Share on Tumblr

No comments:

Post a Comment