Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:42 AM
phantom power (24,288 posts)
the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology
To be sure, Mr. Cantor tried to sound interested in serious policy discussion. But he didn’t succeed — and that was no accident. For these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”…
Do actions like this have important effects? Well, consider the agonized discussions of gun policy that followed the Newtown massacre. It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue. Willful ignorance matters.
The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.
In her parting shot on leaving the State Department, Hillary Clinton said of her Republican critics, “They just will not live in an evidence-based world.” She was referring specifically to the Benghazi controversy, but her point applies much more generally. And for all the talk of reforming and reinventing the G.O.P., the ignorance caucus retains a firm grip on the party’s heart and mind.
3 replies, 515 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology (Original post)
|phantom power||Feb 2013||OP|
Response to phantom power (Original post)
Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:48 AM
el_bryanto (8,927 posts)
2. It's ideology i think
The more ideological you become, the less interested you get in facts. I think it starts when you lose interest in the other guys point of view, and progresses from there, until you really have no need for facts or reality.