Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Uninformed Crave Opinions; or: Why Democracy Is In Trouble

Here's why Romney might win.

Or, rather: it's because something similar would have happened if these people had been asked about Obamacare, or the competing tax proposals, or drone strikes.

People want opinions about politics, even if they don't have any idea what they are talking about.

I tell my students in critical thinking that the three words I most respect someone for saying, and most want them to learn to say, are "I don't know."

We have this bit of civic lore to the effect that we have a duty to vote. But this is not true. We have a duty to be informed. If you are informed, then you'll want to vote. But you have no duty to vote (simpliciter) and, in fact, you have a duty not to vote if you don't know what you're talking about.


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