One of the unexpected benefits of taking care of one’s ailing parents is time to peruse daytime television programming. I was shaken out of my zombie-like state when Oprah began a segment with a long lead-in about the decline in American critical thinking skills — a thesis which happens to be the theme of my book Think! published this year by Threshold Editions under Mary Matalin.
Naturally I was disappointed when I found this wasn’t a plug for yours truly but a framing piece for Frank (The Red) Rich and his new book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth. There, as expected, ensued 20 or so minutes of vehement Bush-bashing and liberal mumbo-jumbo about the “lies” used to lead us into war in Iraq, worsening conditions that foment terrorism, etc., none of which has anything to do with critical thinking.
The real point of this exercise, and Rich’s book, was to counter attack the evidence (made abundantly clear in my book) that it is the Left, not the Right, that is the primary source of faulty, uncritical thinking in American society. To see this all one has to do is perform a simple thought experiment: What is the net result of say the belief of some on the Right that Intelligent Design, not evolution, accounts for life on earth, despite substantial evidence in the fossil record that evolution best explains life — one school district in Kansas that teaches both interpretations.
Now what is the net result the Left’s belief in self-esteem as an antecedent to improved school grades or affirmative action as a means to erase social-economic-educational discrepancies, both of which lack any grounding in facts or evidence? Hundreds of millions of dollars spent in government-supported programs and mandated laws. It may be a coincidence but since the publication of Think! the Left appears adamant, if not a bit anxious, to convince themselves that their supposed moral superiority has an actual intellectual basis, rather than simply being an advanced form of hypocrisy.
I have to laugh when I hear Al Franken call his radio show “The Voice of Reason.”
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