The Willfully Ignorant
It is a truth universally accepted that people will always have different political and economic views. What is the appropriate degree of government control? How much should they collect from the people in taxes, and how should they allocate the budget? Is the Keynesian model of economics more viable than the Austrian one?
Yet regardless of political affiliation, there are certain objective, data-driven facts upon which we should all be able to agree. It is incredibly frustrating that in 2017 there could still be any doubt, question, or “entitlement to opinion” on these topics and more.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
Climate change is real, even if “this past summer was so mild!”
Abortions do not “rip out babies” and are not performed with the goal of “harvesting body parts.”
Terrorist attacks have not been perpetrated by anyone from the seven countries on President Trump’s Muslim ban list.
The number of illegal crossings at the United States–Mexico border is currently the lowest it has ever been in the past 40 years.
Stop putting your own child, and everyone else’s children, in danger because of some stupid paper that has already been retracted. NASA has been collecting and publishing climate data for decades. The right-wing narrative about abortions is pure medical nonsense, and that Planned Parenthood video was fraudulently edited. And though you are entitled to your opinion that the Muslim ban and Mexico wall would be good ideas, I hope you have good supporting reasons.
Lack of proper education is one thing. To be clear, nobody deserves disdain or animosity simply for not knowing. Our school systems could use improvement, and there are wide disparities in the availability and quality of educational services across the nation. Not everyone knows everything, even the supposedly well educated.
However, when presentation of the facts leads to dismissal or silence, it indicates willful ignorance. We now live in a culture of devalued truth. Acknowledging “I was wrong” is admitting weakness. It is more shameful than lying and denying, and leads to the uncomfortable matter of having to reevaluate other related principles. Instead of seeking to learn and improve, people only want to reinforce their constructed realities and burrow deeper into the sand.
“Fake News” Criers
I hate that this has become such a go-to rallying cry for the willfully ignorant. I hate that, instead of thinking critically about information, people are simply slapping “fake news” and “alternative facts” labels on the parts they dislike.
One can’t even really blame them for it, though. News outlets have always vied to present the juiciest, goriest, most scandalous stories for higher readership counts and TV ratings. With online views tied to ad revenue, journalistic integrity has been getting sacrificed for click-bait headlines. There have unfortunately been many precedents of fake news.
I hate that the corporate greed of the mainstream media has caused a segment of the population to shut down their brains this way.
It is painful to see all the horrible words and actions coming from people claiming to be Christians, and tragic to consider how far they have strayed from the teachings of Jesus Christ. True Christians do not shame people for being non-white, LGBTQ, or poor. They do not shun foreigners seeking aid and refuge. They do not clamor for the deaths of other individuals. Those who do are hypocrites and losers.
True Christians would understand that being pro-life means having plans and services in place to care for humans after birth. They would realize that fiscally conservative policies are antithetical to Christianity. They would strive to understand and help others — not oppress them out of ignorance, fear, and greed.
I am disgusted by friends who allow friends to post factual inaccuracies, unfounded assumptions, and hateful prejudice on social media without responding and holding them accountable. This is how the chasm between communities grows wider: through the absence of dialogue and mutual understanding.
Most of my friends keep themselves informed about politics, but some feel uneasy discussing it. Some are too busy with work and other priorities. Some feel their voices are insignificant, their protests futile. Others claim to be worn-out from having to explain things to too many people already.
Your silence may make day-to-day life easier, but it also empowers their idiocy.