Public doesn’t know enough

Balderdash, always in good supply about this time every election cycle, seems to be particularly abundant this year. There’s a bumper crop of distortions, misinformation and outright lies. Who is taken in by it? Well, to read the letters to the editor section or to look at the opinion polls, “most of the people, most of the time.”

It’s pretty sad to see how many people believe in long-term climate change, called global warming by its devotees and that it constitutes a threat to our well-being despite the complete lack of credible, scientific evidence. It’s sad to see how many people think that massive expenditures on mass transit will reduce congestion and air pollution despite decades of contrary experience in other cities. And, it’s sad how many people are willing to sacrifice more of their freedoms in exchange for the beneficence of government, notwithstanding the universal failure of socialism in the last 50 years.

The Unibomber’s Manifesto was considered to be evidence of Ted Kaczynski’s deranged mind and he was put away. But, the Manifesto was based on the heavily annotated copy of Earth in the Balance found in the Unibomber’s cabin and the author of that gem is running for president. Al Gore still apparently believes that the automobile is the greatest threat to our survival; that all manner of draconian measures are necessary to reverse global warming; that the Constitution is no barrier to a greater intrusion of the government into our lives and that increased government largesse will all be paid for by Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Deodorant or “the rich.”

There is plenty of room for honest disagreement about many things amongst moral people who are well informed and who exercise sound judgment. I can live with that. What disturbs me is that so many things are being decided by so many who know so little about so much. If you don’t know anything about history, never read a serious book, never study scientific reports, and can’t do the math in weighing the merits of competing viewpoints, do us all a favor and don’t vote.


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