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Quotable Quote: A cult of ignorance

December 17, 2016

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

I’ve read this before, several times in fact. It’s from an essay by Isaac Asimov that appeared in Newsweek in 1980.

However, it’s an opinion that seems to be hardening, as America wakes up to what has happened. Post the US Presidential Election of 2016, it has taken on a new and much more sinister resonance. Americans are beginning to question what has happened to their nation.

I subscribe to Quora, an online forum where people ask questions – some of them frivolous, some of them of very little weight, but some of tremendous importance – and, if all works well, the questions are answered by people who really do know what they’re talking about. An answer in today’s Quora digest repeated Asimov’s assertion. But another answer, this time fresh and original, had this to say:

Is Paris overrated? I’ve been living in Paris for over 35 years. I’m originally from the Philadelphia area. I’ve watched America topple from its “greatest country in the world” pedestal thanks to rampant racism, gun violence, obesity, corporate corruption, the blurring of the separation between Church and State, enduring misogyny, the erasure of the middle class, a total lack of adequate health care and on and on.

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