Is Ignorance Really Bliss?


James A Baldwinby Marion Marks

The level of uneducated and hate-filled social media commentary directed at candidates, supporters or anyone who dares question, understand or clarify issues regarding volatile candidates, parties or those working in the political process is the order of the day[S.O.P.]. Any educated effort to understand the status quo of a candidate, a candidate’s position papers, platform points of opposing party prior to their national convention appears to have disintegrated into pitched battles and third-grade name-calling. Sadly, the hostile name tags seem to stick.

imageAn illustrated Donald Trump, and his current branded campaign promoting conservative family values carrying a large voters base, sold as the desire for “greatness,” is, however, running off the rails. For any factual observer, Trump’s campaign never addresses specific issues related to social or political progress, because in the world of “those illegal immigrants who are taking all our stuff,” equality and basic human decency, and the American tradition of social services are clearly in the gun-sights of a full-frontal attack. A clear Trump that tenant his supporters uniformly go bonkers when they hear resembles “take away their food stamps and send them back to Mexico!

America Beyond Black & WhiteIn Trump campaign speak, his most powerful and evocative words excite the audience and the net result is that the audience erupts with emotional outbursts. Under the spell of the moment, in the glimmer of Broadway lights, American history, long-standing traditions and political reason are erased by Trump’s glowing rhetoric. And Trump logic is substantiated only by his endless stream of fragmented and disingenuous factoids peppered with the single term: “Greatness.” All Trump’s “Greatness” becomes magnified and further excited by the spell of the reality-show moment he weaves as he stares into the camera with a quite pregnant pause. 

Trump weaponizes his crowd like an angry Bible-beating preacher who expects the mob to go into the streets and crucify the pagans. After all, “those infidels” or “those Muslims” or “those Mexicans” really are all the boogie man we must expel from our midst before they infect our children or the virgins we are protecting.

There must be justice
There must be justice

If education is the fundamental sacred monument that conservatives are so intent on preserving for western democracy, then the concept of politicians intentionally damaging an an already impoverished educational system would be foreign. Democratic society’s survival is based upon the growth and cultivation of successive generations, endowed with powers of perception to see through the lies and flaws of competing cultures. Schools, the educational framework behind the nuclear family, must produce citizens capable of critical thinking, agonizing over moral options and working together to responsibly improve society. However, in reality, the Trump campaign is based upon anti-intellectual robotic responses to creative thinking. It is simply faulty logic when judged against basic democratic premises. And, Trump’s current strategic campaign history is contrary to any form of education because it reduces learning to an instrumental logic easily perverted to violent ends. We are now witnessing the cause and effect of Trump the anarchist.

hate-speech-protestAs observed at Trump rallies the pattern of sarcastic outbursts from Team Trump and audience criticism or destruction for creative thinkers and violence against anyone who challenges Trump. Trump’s successes at rallies have a pattern that favors violence, disorder, and war on the infidels as targets uneducated follows can understand. Outsiders must justify their rights at every step. “Education” for Trump supporters seems to discredit free-thinkers as basically being unable to conform to the Trump mold – they’re too liberal!

Trump rallies are beginning to look more and more like “The Apprentice” and any who argue with the supreme leader are promptly “Fired!” The level of public respect for the presumptive nominees of both major parties is at an all-time low, at least in my lifetime. But showmanship and bully tactics of Trump have set new bottom-feeder standards, even if you can figure out how Trump will equivocate the National Republican Party Platform. Where is George Bush when we need someone who can follow a party line?

“Unfortunately, we live at a moment in which ignorance appears to be one of the defining features of American political and cultural life. Ignorance has become a form of weaponized refusal to acknowledge the violence of the past, and revels in a culture of media spectacles in which public concerns are translated into private obsessions, consumerism and fatuous entertainment.” – Henry Giroux