A while back, I "corrected" an acquaintance that his application of the Constitution was factually incorrect and in doing so, pointed out no less than two examples in history that proved my point. The response? "Thanks for educating me professor" with zero regard to the fact they were in reality wrong, just that somehow, by knowing the truth put me on some kind of "arrogant" level above him, which was to be readily dismissed as "insulting to their intelligence." It is just these types of instances that give me great concern. As an educator, I expect students to learn facts and apply them properly, or else they will fail their exams. Why should we accept a public that refuses to acknowledge when they are wrong and instead attack those that point out their mistakes and corrects them? When did we become a society that embraces ignorance and attacks knowledge?
Just yesterday, the topic of President Obama's trip to Israel came up because someone from Israel had just arrived for a visit. When asked, the visitor made it clear that Obama had satisfied even his harshest critics there and that as an American President, the Israelis are now convinced they have a great friend and ally in the White House. Despite these comments, one of those amongst us piped in that they did not believe any of it, because Obama is a secret Muslim and a Kenyan (or anything other than what has been promoted by Fox News, Newsmaxx or Breitbart). During the very same conversation, someone with a similar political "disposition" claimed the entire nation was going to hell because of "Obamacare." How in the world this had anything to do with Obama's visit to Israel, I will never know, but those filled with ingrained hatred of Obama seemingly enjoyed the comment, even though they admit knowing very little about Obamacare. You see, clinging to an ideology admits an avoidance of facts, seems to be more important than the truth known as reality.
Last night, I had someone send out a mass email that the coach of "his team" should be fired because they lost in the NCAA's...and posted a meme with the wrong team "kicking ____ ass!" One problem though, he had misidentified the team that won and I sent him an email correcting his mistake. His response? "Who Cares?" and "Hooray for you being so smart!" But I ask, how many fans would be puzzled and a bit upset if Florida was mistakenly identified as Florida State? What's the difference, they are both from Florida, right? Instead of accepting that he was wrong and correct the obvious mistake, what did I then receive? Another email telling me I am an %#$# for pointing out his mistake. And this seems to be the norm now in America.
Students today that do poorly in school are not to be faulted, instead it must be that the teachers are "too hard" and therefore deserve real blame. No matter how academically weak students are, teachers are to blame because the student can never be wrong and critizising them will "damage their self respect." Similarity, pointing out to certain Americans they are in error when it comes to our history and how our Constitution is designed is met with a similar "Hooray for you.." or "Aren't you special?!" But really, isn't being smart and informed something we should be demanding from our society instead of embracing ignorance and active stupidity? I certainly want the best and the most "Elite" surgeon if I am having surgery, wouldn't you? Then why do we accept mediocrity from our society while expressing disgust to those that demand excellence? Why do we accept mediocrity from our political leaders instead of excellence? I mean, how can we return this country to greatness when we have become so accustomed to accepting the views of the gleefully uninformed who actually seem to embrace their ignorance?
Is it any wonder educators in our society are looked down upon? Can we ever become the educated society that democracy demands? As President Thomas Jefferson once wrote; "Educate and inform the whole mass of people...They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." Instead of denigrating the informed and educated, democracy demands we respect them and promote them. When will again begin to respect our teachers and those pursuing knowledge? Until we do as a society, our democracy remains in serious danger. So for those that celebrate ignorance, I say "Hooray for YOU!" To those that celebrate education and enlightenment, I say, join me because we have a lot of work to do!