(Readers: Please note the blog is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, after reading a few recent entries, you might want to start at the beginning. More about the blog and about the author. )
I noted in Entry #65 (Independence Day Musings) that nothing of late has changed my belief the US is headed for a 5th revolution, which I labeled the “Revenge Revolution.” The lack of change by people to avoid the revolution should not be a surprise. I believe we all suffer from some degree of procrastination, and some changing only when faced with cataclysmic circumstances. And some never change despite the consequences.
But another phenomenon also exists — blatantly disregarding facts. For a number of years I have been puzzled by seemingly educated people taking positions on certain issues, despite overwhelming empirical data to the contrary.
This past weekend results of a study were published in The New York Times indicating many reasonably educated people simply discard facts to support an ideological position. The study suggests people who ignore facts are not uneducated about the issue but are familiar with the issue and simply ignore the facts.
Another finding of the study is those who discard facts are highly unlikely to change opinions. Not a surprise, but certainly disheartening.
So what do the findings of this study mean for this blog? While I am curious about the cause of the behavior, the focus of this blog is to discuss consequences of this type behavior. Based on the study, it is highly unlikely the hard-core on either side of an issue are unlikely to change…unless, of course they are faced with the motivating cataclysmic event. That event might be the 5th US revolution.
Being naïve and optimistic (but not bored), I’ve decided to continue writing the blog. OK, so no one reads the blog and no one changes his or her mind. But maybe, just maybe some people read the blog, talk to others and we avoid the revolution.
I’m going to spend the next few days sorting out topics for the next phase of blog. Topics are numerous but some attitudes and activities by groups in the US are real head scratchers. These attitudes and activities deserve more discussion.
As a reader, if you think I pick on Republicans more than Democrats, you’re probably correct. All writers look for material and right-wing Republicans make themselves such easy targets.
Some positions are so absurd that I have to laugh. A perfect example is the group that claims, “As a landowner I can do what I want on my land. And no government regulation should get in my way.” Excuse me son, but who or what organization provided you the title to the land? The king? Probably not. Try the dreaded government.
Government laws allow you to think you own the land, government laws allow you to transfer ownership to someone else and government laws protect you from private individuals confiscating your land. But, please keep in mind, without government you would have no ownership. Comprende?
OK, so not everyone is that extreme. But a surprising number of people think similarly. Some other topics being considered for the next phase include:
• When did liberal become a dirty word? This is especially intriguing since the founders of this country were liberals by standards of the day.
• When did conservative begin to mean not conserving?
• If Republicans keep harping on blacks to get an education and make something of themselves, why is Barack Obama not the poster child for Republicans?
• Why do blacks continue at the bottom of the economic ladder when every other ethnic group has made significant progress within a few generations? This might be the most controversial topic. As a country, we…left and right…have to find an answer. The problem is perplexing, especially since it has been 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years since the Civil Rights Act.
• Not to worry I’ll add a couple more issues on the left
If you have a topic of interest, please let me know. Thanks.
(Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10, #11-20, #21-30 formatted as an e-book? Entries #31-40 available soon. Click links for download. America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10), America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20), America’s 5th Revolution Volume III (Entries 21-30)