Monday, May 14, 2012

Freedom Isn't Free

Bill Maher
"Freedom isn't free. It shouldn't be a bragging point that 'Oh, I don't get involved in politics,' as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn't insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable."

Panderbear has no problem with those who choose not to spend their time determining the facts of issues of public policy and the positions of the various candidates. Not everyone needs to be a politics wonk. However, those who insist on voting have a civic duty to use informed, fact-based logical reasoning to determine how they vote.

Those who choose to be independents, because they can't be bothered to learn the facts involved in the issues of the day and take reasoned positions are not laudable non-ideologue centrists. They are just intellectually lazy and should have the good grace to refrain from casting uninformed votes.

Scientists, the segment of the population most likely to apply fact-based logical reasoning to their decision making, are far more liberal than the average American voter. As noted in Scientists Have a Liberal Bias in a 2009 Pew Research survey only 6% of scientists identified themselves as Republicans and 9% as conservative. If a higher percentage of the uninformed refrained from voting and more of the informed, reason-based voters actually turned out, this nation would move significantly to the political left.

Sadly, Panderbear thinks low-information voters will continue to dominate elections, their ignorance of the issues not withstanding, and many informed citizens will not bother to cast votes out of apathy or for lack of hope that reason will prevail.

submit to reddit Share on Tumblr


  1. Amen, again, Panderbear! This has been my issue for a long time. I'm no fun on Facebook, according to some friends, because my intent is to discuss issues of the day--few ever respond. But I keep at it anyway.

    1. Same for me on FB. If you haven't already read it, see the first paragraph of the Editors Needed page.

  2. I think the issue is not liberal vs. conservative but solidly defined parties (Democrat and Republican) that force allegiance to one set of beliefs or the other, rather than the broader spectra of choices in other republican systems.

    1. Correction: ...but having only two solidly defined parties in the US...