Willful Knownothingness - The Frustration Grows

I haven't posted in the past few days due to some work commitments, but also because I have had to deal with some very difficult, close-minded people and I needed to back away from the keyboard to prevent me from writing something that would inevitably lead to something that I would come to regret. Hence my dearth of posting. However, once I cooled down enough I felt I could finally put down into words my thoughts. So here goes.

I have to admit that I am becoming increasingly frustrated with level of willful ignorance, closed mindedness, and belief in things that “just ain't so” amongst our more leftist brethren. I see it again and again and I end up shaking my head and muttering something along the lines of “How can some of these folks be so effin' blind?”

I am not implying or stating that I am much better or smarter or superior to anyone. (I let others tell me that.) I have traveled across this nation and across the world, seen amazing places and met equally amazing people. I have also been to some real s**tholes and met people I wouldn't turn my back on on a dare...or unarmed. I'd like to think this gives me better insights than those who have never left the comforts of their home towns except maybe for a vacation at the seashore or Disney World or some other sanitized vacation spot. (I don't consider places like Cabo San Lucas or the Bahamas or other highly developed tourist destinations as real travel to foreign lands. They tend to cater to the stereotypical “Ugly American”, and therefore don't count towards traveling abroad.)

This trend towards what I'm going to call Knownothingness has accelerated and has created a political divide that hasn't been this deep since the Civil War. This knownothingness has infected so many and skewed their perceptions of reality that it becomes almost impossible to have a conversation without it devolving into a lecture by a Knownothing telling us how bad/evil/stupid/inhuman anyone who has the temerity to disagree with their oh-so-learned 'opinion'. No one escapes their disdain, even people with similar political or ideological leanings. (Maybe the Knownothings believe their fellow travelers just aren't committed enough or smart enough or compliant enough to the 'correct' viewpoint as defined by them.)

One of the more egregious groups displaying an almost pathological adherence to Knownothingness are the perpetually offended. I'm not talking about the perpetually offended Muslim extremists as they are afflicted by a different flavor of Knownothingness. I'm talking about the homegrown version, those who can turn even the most innocent words or phrases or acts into Yet Another Cause That Needs To Be Dealt With Immediately. We've seen plenty of examples of this, with the most recent one being the totally effin' clueless students (members of the 0.01%) at Dartmouth College demanding all kinds of concessions (70-some, if I recall correctly), many of which are so laughable that one has to wonder how they can actually believe what they're demanding is somehow the most important thing on Earth.

Another version of the perpetually offended are what I have called back-handed racists. These are the folks who always find racism in anything anyone not from the Left do or say. They claim there are racist 'code words' and that any setback experienced by anyone not white must be because of racism. They claim all of the ills suffered by anyone who is not white must be the result of racism. But these very same race-hustlers are the racists in the room. They do not believe minorities are capable of doing anything of note without their guiding hand. This is particularly so of blacks and latinos. (Many of these same back-handed racists consider asians to be “almost” white because so many of them succeed while blacks and latinos do not.) By keeping their favorite minorities “in their place” they have a built-in constituency and don't want anyone to do anything that would actually help them get out from under their thumb. And should any of them stray off the plantation they are portrayed as race traitors, or even worse, of “acting white”.

Yet another group of the perpetually offended are the back-handed sexists. Like the back-handed racists, anything negative that allegedly happens to any woman is caused by sexism and is part of the patriarchal 'rape culture'. They have undone decades of progress by trying to portray women as being fragile hot-house flowers incapable of standing up for themselves needing special protection from the predations of the males who, as everyone knows, are rapists. They have managed to get discriminatory legislation passed that automatically assumes men are guilty of all kinds of offenses. We have seen it institutionalized by the federal government in the form of the “Dear Colleague” letter to colleges that removed all pretenses of fair trials and due process by making accusations of sexual assault tantamount to convictions, with no actual evidence required.

Then there's my favorite group of Knownothings, the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming alarmists who have no understand of what it is they're alarmed about, no understanding of science, no understanding of the differences between observations and computer models and that computer models are not science. They constantly rely upon Appeal To Authority, even though that authority has been shown to lie, destroy data that doesn't fit their theories, blackball authors and editors, rig peer review, and refuse to release their data, algorithms, and test methods for review by the science community. They quote long discredited claims as if they are gospel, shout down skeptics, and try to shut down debate with claims that “the science is settled so the debate is over.” Call it the Knownothing equivalent to putting their fingers in their ears and screaming “I'm Not Listening! La-la-la-la-la-la!” They demand we make sacrifices they themselves won't make all in an effort to Save The PlanetTM. As more than a few have written in the blogosphere, I'll start believing it's a crisis when they start acting like it's a crisis. Until then they can be ignored.

Yet another group of Knownothings that is deserving of nothing but disdain are those who believe the Constitution is a living document and can be changed at the whims of a court. In effect what they are saying is that the Constitution is irrelevant and that it can be reinterpreted for the convenience of those who know they wouldn't stand a chance of changing it through the amendment process. Two of the Bill of Rights most of these would love to see be interpreted out of existence are the First and Second Amendments. After all they can't have people freely saying things this group of the perpetually offended disagree with, nor can they allow the knuckle-dragging troglodytes to defend themselves because, after all, the All Powerful All Knowing Ever Wise State will protect them, particularly from themselves. Many of these same folks seem to think that guns are the root of all evil and if they just got rid of them everything would be perfect, despite years of history and crime statistics that prove just the opposite.

I could go on and on about the Knownothings, but frankly I find dealing with them, even in something as simple as this post, to be an exhausting experience. The amount of stuff they know that just ain't so increases every day, and their fervent belief and over the top bleating about how government is the answer to all our ills is grating, particularly to those of us who understand that government is neither smart enough or wise enough to run anyone's life. And as their 'benevolent' government grows it becomes less capable, less knowing, more corrupt, and so inertia-laden that it can't even perform its simplest functions adequately. And no matter how much evidence, data, or first hand experience you give them, they are incapable of absorbing it and perhaps changing their viewpoints. As John Maynard Keynes once said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” To answer his question, the Knownothings seem to dig in and cling to their Knownothingness even tighter, and worse, become even more vocal about it.