Ignorance is bliss

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:42 PM

Ben Franklin said: "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." This brilliance is something I think about nearly every day as I click through the news. I am forever amazed at how uninformed and willfully uneducated so many people remain, even in this age of instant information literally in your hand. I get push notices on my phone; breaking news alerts as they happen. I have my fitness tracker set up to also deliver whatever alerts my phone has received. They are tied together by Bluetooth.

The internet itself is a bastion of information. It matters not whether you lean left, right or stand fairly straight in the middle. It’s easy to find information about what you’re looking for. It’s easy to educate yourself. Main stream news happens to be my preference because I don’t always want dogma and the left slant. I know how I feel; I know which way my emotions and loyalties tilt. What I want is reporting, news. I crave the facts. Opinions are fine and I read those, too, but I don’t only read people who agree with me. I try to also sneak into enemy territory in order to get a glimpse into how they’re thinking and feeling. Sometimes I get a lot of good information there, too. I don’t always agree with it, but I can appreciate its clarity of thought. 

As Jack Ryan said in The Hunt for Red October, in Russian – “It is wise to study the ways of one’s adversary.” –and Captain Ramius answered, in English – “It is.” –  it’s important to know both sides in order to have a well-rounded opinion of your own. And to have the facts. Ben Franklin’s quote above offers incredible wisdom about the dumb and ill-informed. It also offers great truth. 

The Republicans have crafted a health care bill in total secret that will repeal Obamacare. This bothers me greatly, and not just because of the ripe hypocrisy of it all. It will directly affect me; ultimately it will affect everyone but the ridiculously rich. And most people refuse to see it. Ask people who will lose their Medicaid, whose premiums will skyrocket to nearly half of their yearly income, how they feel and they’ll say they’re worried. In the next breath, they say that the president will never do that. 

Meanwhile, he’s sitting behind his tiny desk with pen poised to wipe out millions of people with his seismographic signature. 

These, of course, are the same people who when interviewed on the street say they’re very much opposed to Obamacare but they like the benefits they receive from the Affordable Care Act.

That sound you hear is me, hitting my head against anything that is hard. It beggars belief that we are this ignorant as a country, that we are this purposefully uneducated about the things that will ultimately affect our lives. 

I have been busy writing to and calling my representative and my senators. I do not hold out much hope because their ideology clashes so completely with my own. They simply believe it’s not the government’s job to help those who can’t completely help themselves. To which I answer, then whose job is it?

I think, I feel, I help, I learn. Constantly. My question to others then, to quote President Andrew Shepherd in The American President, is: “Why don’t you, Bob?” Or Mitch, or John, or Rob, or Susan, or Lisa, or Jeff, or Dean, or [fill in another name here]. 

The day draws to a close, taking with it the exhausting heat we’ve been experiencing in the west. Tomorrow comes the release of this new bill. Tomorrow comes the further exploitation of the ignorant. Justin wants to somehow force people to become educated and I can’t seem to convince him that it’s not possible. But I admire his passion. I admire his hope. Because as Benjamin Franklin also said: “The doors of wisdom are never shut.” And that possibility is worth celebrating.

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live out loud

Comments (3) -

6/22/2017 3:07:05 PM #

Since Trumpussy always holds up his "seismographic signature" for all to gawk at like lame twits, I always think of it more like a cardiogram. And I confess, I'm not above hoping I see a flat line emerging one day.

Fred United States

6/22/2017 8:12:38 PM #

That works for me!

And thanks. I literally laughed out loud.

admin United States

6/23/2017 7:49:33 AM #

Now just watch. The Secret Service will come knocking on my door now, I'm sure.

Fred United States

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