Matt HealeyFriday,9 November 2012

The Snap:

It really seems like the “Why America is Fucked” part of this series is making a real comeback. The current source of frustration is the continued devaluation of expertise. It seems like Americans are increasingly becoming actively hostile to people who actually know something. It is most obvious in politics. I was reminded of this because of the attacks on Nate Silver by the right in the closing days of the election.

The Download:

I think the main source of the devaluation can be tied to a two things that are very closely related Republicans and religion. lets start with Republicans. It is easy to say it started with the idiot McCain selected for VP. Remember, the one who could not name a newspaper she reads? I suspect it started much earlier. In the 96 election one of the metrics that was used was “Which candidate would you most want to have a beer with?” Bush was the obvious choice over Kerry. This is an idiotic metric. The reason is that I don’t want to have a beer with the President because I want a President that is so smart that I would sit there quietly and not say anything so as to not embarrass myself. But for the GOP, this is a solid metric, so idiocy rules.

The next part is religion. Clearly religion holds back scientific advancement. All you have to do is look to the arguments that the world is 5000 years old and god created the world in 6 days. That BS has been thoroughly refuted (or refudiated – for any GOP readers) last century. However, the religious are still insisting that it be taught in schools. When you combine these two forces, you end up with approximately half of the electorate who want to remain ignorant and want to be lead by the ignorant and thus the attacks on expertise continue to gain strength. The problem is that in the changing world, it is knowledge and expertise, not ignorance and superstition,  that are going to carry the U.S. forward. The world is a complicated place and we need to trust experts even if we do not understand them and not attack them.

Hat Tips:

Examiner.comDeadspinThe New York TimesIdiot America, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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