“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
Which leads to the question: “Are Americans Too Stupid for Democracy?” (Turns out, we don’t exactly lead the pack in our attention to national and world affairs.)
And to the related question: what if even an informed, newspaper-reading citizenry isn’t getting the truth?
This latter is explored in Charles Lewis’s compelling 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity.
What if — as in the case of the events leading up to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that gave us the Vietnam War or the events leading up to our invasion of Iraq (planned long before 9/11) — we’re being misled?
What if, as is demonstrated in Merchants of Doubt, the same scientists paid to mislead the public about the dangers of tobacco are being paid to mislead the public about the looming catastrophe that is climate change?
What if — 880,000 TV spots designed to disparage it at a cost of $418 million notwithstanding — Obamacare is on balance a very good thing?
What if it’s the middle class, not the wealthy, who are the job creators?
What if, when 91% of the publc and 74% of NRA members favor universal background checks, we required them?
What if, when the Senate voted 68-32 for comprehensive immigration reform and the House would have passed it on for the President to sign had there been a vote, there had been a vote?
What if we borrowed at today’s historic-low interest rates to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure?
What if we worked to make it easier to vote, not harder — and almost everybody did?
I’m an optimist not a cynic. But I do think it behooves us all to . . . pay attention. And that you might find both those books of interest.
Quote of the Day
Panics do not destroy capital; they merely reveal the extent to which it has been previously destroyed by its betrayal into hopelessly unproductive works.~John Stuart Mill, 1867 (Like shopping centers in the middle of the desert. Or millions of pages of legal documents.)
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