Generation of Sheep, Nation of Sheep?

By June 12, 2020 Commentary

I do not mean this to in any manner offend anyone.  One of the things that strikes me during both the coronavirus epidemic and the reaction to George Floyd’s death is the complete inability of so many citizens, especially the younger generations, to adopt a critical thinking attitude.  It makes me believe that people have just been conditioned to accept whatever they are told by government, hear on traditional media, read, see or hear on social media, or were taught in various educational institutions.  It is simply pathetic.  Every piece of data I refer to, every piece of research I summarize, basic concepts in epidemiology, infectious disease, immunology, statistics, etc., are all easily and readily available through the internet.  The math I do is largely done on by the calculator on my phone.  We all hold in our hands some of the most powerful computers ever devised.

So why are people so subservient to the very often false, incomplete, inaccurate, and/or misleading information they encounter?  It is this tendency that sparks the mass delusion and mass hysteria with which we are now dealing.  For our society’s sake, everyone should doubt everything, including what I say, and do their own research, at least question whether certain things are really true.  The failure to do so makes us prone to support bad leaders and bad public policy.  It also allows us to be susceptible, especially in the case of social media, to foreign governments and elements eager to weaken our country; to sow division and distrust.

People have allowed themselves to be terrorized in regard to coronavirus, believing that there is far more danger than actually exists.  People allowed tens of millions of Americans, largely low-income and minority workers, to lose their jobs, and millions of others to suffer health and other harms.  People have accepted the notion that there is “systemic racism” in law enforcement and in other areas of our society, without even bothering to look at the basic facts and research which are widely available.  75% of African-Americans live in metropolitan areas.  Almost all of those have or have had African-American mayors and/or police chiefs; almost everyone has been governed by one party for decades, a party which supposedly has African-American interests at heart.  So whose “system” is responsible if there is racism?   And there is no research which supports the idea that discrimination exists in the use of deadly force toward African-Americans.  So based on no evidence, we destroy primarily minority businesses, putting more people out of work, and making basic goods and services unavailable to low-income and minority persons.

A society that lives by the lie will die by the lie.  If we all don’t get a lot more skeptical and a lot more demanding that policy be based on actual facts, we will destroy the capability to provide a good and improving quality of life to all our citizens.

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