I listened to NPR this morning and began wondering what strange beings we humans are. Every where I turn there is evidence of a grave mental illness that has infected a large number of us...the inability to think in any direction except toward a preconceived conclusion that may be completely false.
There was a guy who said that he disagreed with most of what Bush is doing but he just couldn't get "That Picture of Kerry and Jane Fonda together" out of his mind. Do you remember "that picture"?
It is a fake!
It shows Kerry and Jane Fonda sitting very close together at a war protest. It was generated by the P.R. firm used by Karl Rove. Kerry was at one event that Fonda also attended but never met her. Actually I think Jane is not all that far from being a good and principled person who still takes a lot of scorn for being on the right side during the Viet Nam war years. OK, she screwed up big going to North Viet Nam letting herself be used as a propaganda tool, and she's a quite bit out there, but She was right about the war! Our government was wrong! Who disagrees with that? Ok, the far right wing and no one else. Why does this guy still associate her with something bad? He has the disease. Why does he still think Jane and John Kerry were in cahoots to undermine American soldiers when what both of them were trying to do is get them home alive? He has the disease.
Why can't this man accept that the offending picture is a lie and that he is being manipulated and that anyone who would do such a thing is evil?
He has the disease!
We must help these folks. Be kind to them for they are our friends, and brothers, and fathers, and husbands and wives. We love them and want them healed.
If there is one failure I can point to in the American educational system it is this disease. It is the inability to engage in Critical Thinking. It is the Scientific method. The ability to determine fact from fiction and choose fact over wishful thinking. Political parties, Religions, and the Chamber of Commerce all count on American's inability to identify lies and the worst of all, half truths. It is how political parties function and steal our money and our communal possessions and stay out of prison. Cool Hand Luke kept winding up as a victim of a "Failure to communicate". We are victims of a "Failure to think."
The guy on NPR should simply say, "Wait a minute! The picture is a fake. Bush is lying to us!"...and start supporting the good guys in this country...but he has the disease!
John Kerry was trying to save the lives of his fellow warriors anyway. Somewhere around 50,000 of them died while he was trying to get them out of Nam. The ones that came home were nearly all wounded in one way or another. Ask a Viet Nam vet how he feels about the war. Most of them won't even talk about it. They are all victims of the disease.
We all are. We all have this tragic disease! It cannot be cured... but it can be controlled. That is one reason why I write this stuff as often as I can. I have the disease too and I have to make myself think to control it.
I guess that makes you guys victims of my cure!
Try this simple test to see if a Bush supporter has the disease in virulent form. Ask them why they are for George Bush? Listen to the answer. When I have done this I get two forms of replies. "He's decisive." is the least common. The main thing I hear is some kind of slam on Kerry.
"I support Bush because I can't get that picture out of my mind." (diseased!)
"Have you seen the pictures of Kerry's mansions?" (diseased!)
"Kerry didn't deserve one of his purple hearts!" ( really freakin' diseased!) This one is way sick! Just because they don't give medals for desertion and Bush doesn't have any is no reason to trash a genuine hero)
"Bush shares my values!" (terminal stages of disease!)..and what values would that be, exactly? Hates queers? Likes to torture folks? Lies easily? Believes his own lies? help me here, I 'm really curious about this one.
The enemy of a political lie is critical thinking. They don't teach it in church. They don't teach it in "home school" programs. They don't teach it in Marketing class. They don't teach it on TV. They don't teach it at Bryan College and Jerry Falwell condemns "...those who would poison our young people's minds with unclean thought known as Critical thinking."
You might learn it in science class. Where ever you can learn it, you owe it to your children to get with the program. Start thinking right now today! You can do it, I know you can. There are support groups to help you. There are public buildings in nearly every community that have reservoirs of science books in them. They are called Libraries. But I know you are lazy so I am going to give you a list of self help sites you can go to on the internet. I am working on a "Twelve Step Program" but it is not quite ready so you'll have to do this yourself for now.
Step one is "If you can't turn off the TV at least turn off Fox News!"
Step two is surf these web pages.
The first one is Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit. The second is the Ralph Waldo Emerson home page. It gives me peace when my head hurts from all that thinking so that's why I put it in here. Then you get into the hard stuff. have fun and don't believe all you see.
Think about it!