Think For Yourself

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I seldom queue my blog posts, generally I write within 24 hours of making them public. But I do keep a file of potential topics filled with ideas for future posts or issues that needs some research before I expound. Earlier this fall (Sept. 6th, 8th10th) I put up quote inspired posts. I had gone through my cyber-stock of quotations and pulled out four that tweaked my fingertips; I then produced three posts and one draft. That draft has sat here in the blog queue for two months; every week or so I post-date it by another week and then it rolls around again and I shove it into the future again. Clearly I want to say something but I also just didn't seem ready.

The quote I am kicking around is the one by Goethe above:
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.

Which sounds a bit like #99 on my 100 Things About Me:
I have one prejudice; I abhor voluntary stupidity.

Last week Monday I spent an afternoon searching for "Voter on the Street" interviews just a day before the mid-term election, I continued that experiment on election day watching exit interviews done at polls around country. What struck me is that it may not be stupidity I dislike so much.

My issue has never been with IQ or education, no it has always been with entrenched points of view that are resistant to facts, logic, open discussion or new information. Voter after voter parroted some sound byte created by some political wonk or wonkette for the express purposes of giving those voters a rational for their position. Further investigation showed that these pithy bits o'wisdom were nearly always focused on a set of beliefs not on a particular policy or candidate. It seems if you question a single nugget of illogic you are, in fact, shaking the very foundations of an entire complex of beliefs that a person has constructed to frame their view of "How Things Really Are" and/or "How Things Ought to Be."

I do believe I am going to alter my point of view. Stupidity is not really what bothers me. What I abhor is the inability to change; the unwillingness to hear another point of view and consider the merits of that position. To believe so fervently in your own worldview as to be invulnerable to enlightenment.

Perhaps they shouldn't have started this great endeavor with words like: "We know these truths to be self-evident . . . " But then again, I've been wrong before.