The Danger of Ignorance


In my intro post yesterday I listed ignorance as one of the problems we’re having to overcome. I want to clarify what I meant by that, beginning with a confession.

I voted in ignorance in the 2008 presidential election. I didn’t do enough research into my candidate (Obama) and just watched the debates where, to me, Obama seemed a clear choice. I was swept up by the promise of “change.”

I’m not here to praise or slam Obama/Biden, or McCain/Palin. I do want to emphasize that knowing who/what you’re voting for is important. I looked at character and persona more than policies, which is dangerous. Since the election Obama has gone forward with some policies that have blindsided me. Had I actually looked into his plans with the depth that was necessary, I would have seen these changes coming and given more thought to which side deserved my vote.

What I’m getting at is, if you’re going to vote (which you should), be knowledgeable about the consequences of your vote. This is one of the small steps forward I am talking about when I say it is up to our generation to craft the world we want to live in. The biggest changes to our nation/world will be made by those in power, so it makes sense that those we put in power are people whose policies we agree with the most. So learn up on who you want to be enacting your changes! Granted, no one is perfect and the candidate may have some plans you disagree with, but that’s important to know as well. Know what to expect, both the bad and the good, from your candidate.

I am still looking to educate myself further. Steps I’m taking are reading up on current events on CNN (if you have a better suggestion, let me know) and reading Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, subtitled “Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.” My father randomly picked up this book and highly recommended it, so I’m going to give it a try. Again, any other suggestions are welcome!

9 Responses to “The Danger of Ignorance”
  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    Do you really think McCain/Palin would have been better? That’s crazy.

  2. Ann says:

    Look at fox too. Then you get the liberal bent from CNN and the conservative bent from fox. Then form you own opinion because I don’t care what they say they are ALL biased 😛

  3. I’m not saying McCain/Palin would have been better. I’m skeptical of Palin’s ability to hold office as Vice President, more so than I was during the election. I’m merely advocating the education of the voter so that whichever candidate he or she votes for it’s for the right reasons. My statements about Obama’s policies are an example of a voter being surprised by his candidates actions once in office. Had I been a better voter, I would have had a better idea of what to expect.

  4. Bob says:

    Another insightful post, Ken. I’ll be interested to see what you think of “Game Change.” For your readers, I’d also recommend the syndicated columns of George Will and Thomas Sowell.

  5. Ben Hoffman says:

    Obama’s policies were needed. We needed the stimulus, health care reform, regulation of the financial sector that brought down our economy, as well as other regulations. The problem is the Senate. All bills need to be so watered down and laden with pork to garner enough votes that they wind up being garbage bills, but still better than nothing.

  6. Jax says:


    You just left. I would have told you this if I had read your blog before you left…

    Anyways, I suggest No Apologies by Mitt Romney. He is republican. Just FYI, but I think it is important to read all sides. However, I will tell you why I suggest it:

    The only thing that I REALLY know about is education. So, I try to listen to all sides of everything, but when it comes down to it, I really only know EXACTLY what I am talking about when it comes to education.

    Mitt Romney came to talk at Vanderbilt, and I went to see him because my friends said I had to. One of the first topics he addressed was education, and he said that when he was the governor of Massachussetts, he asked people what he could do to fix education. They told him to get more teachers so the class size was smaller. My immediate reaction was NO! because that is straight up not true, and I was expecting him to say okay, here’s more teachers. But he didn’t. He said he “made graph.” And the graph told him that more teachers does not equal better results. I was honestly shocked. To me, this said that he was someone who doesn’t just listen to people who talk, but who researches and figures out what is best for the situation. He thinks about it, and that is what I like.

    That probably wasn’t all that important, but I felt like sharing. I have the book if you would like to read it ;).

    The end.

  7. Of course it’s important! I firmly believe that the two most important areas we need to focus on are education and alternate fuel sources. I’ll get into that probably tomorrow. But yes, I’d like the book when I finish Game Change 🙂

  8. Kirk says:

    To be honest, I’d argue that reading CNN makes you dumber, and I’m not being an ass here. Your best bets for internet news are the following websites… – best from both angles all around the net. There are also subsets (world, money, etc) that are all worth reading. Updates once in the morning and evening. – Conservative website thats not as retarded as drudge. Both news and blogging, most of it really smart commentary from all veins of conservatives.
    dailykos – Highly traveled liberal leaning political blog. Lots of interesting stuff there from the other side. A bit intense at times, but still worth peeking at.

    Other than that, I’d suggest the Daily Show and Colbert. While most of the shows are fun and games, the commentary is often educating in itself. Stewart is too liberal for his own good, but he usually tries to be fair.

  9. Thanks Kirk, I’ll try these out. I’ve been told by more than a few that despite Colbert and Stewart’s humor they are incredibly sharp political commentators.

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