The Sound of Ignorance. In our ten minutes together today, our “Take Ten” with Will Luden, we are focusing on the jarring sound of ignorance in political, economic and other discussions in our country. From the very top with the most powerful political leaders and cultural influencers to the anonymous cowards on Twitter. This raging ignorance has taken the form of warring cliches substituting for knowledge and reasoning. This, not the alleged election fraud from both sides, is indeed a threat to our democracy.
Let’s start with an example that is much in the news: CRT–Critical Race Theory. One side claims that if you don’t teach CRT that you are distorting history. The other side says that if you do teach CRT, that you are distorting history. But very few on either side have sufficient knowledge of history to even begin having an intelligent discussion. Even fewer take the time to put the facts, should they have any, into a useful, coherent argument. Think back to any time that you heard either CRT or the 1619 Project being discussed in the media–pro or con–with anything more than cliches and claims, laced with partial truths, being thrown back and forth.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, noted writer and philosopher.
“Those who do not know history, are condemned to stand by as their country is destroyed by those who make it up for their benefit.” Will Luden, podcaster.
That’s what’s going on in our country today.
This 10 minute episode will help us in our lives, and help us to think through the issues surrounding us.
N.B. This is a complete blog, also acting as a signpost, pointing you to this episode on both the new Revolution 2.0™ YouTube channel, and where you enjoy your podcasts, e.g., Apple, Google and Spotify.
The Sound of Ignorance. With apologies to Simon and Garfunkle and their mega hit “Sounds of Silence.” Paul Simon wrote the song quietly referring to the social isolation people were feeling–even 60 years ago. Today’s version, The Sounds of Ignorance, loudly refers to us and our country becoming more and more ignorant of history, of the core facts pertaining to any key issue; unwilling to listen or learn, and unable to reason.
Along with the 1619 Project, CRT loudly and often makes the claim that race and oppression, with whites being the oppressors and POCs being the oppressed, was a desired goal of the Founders, and played a vital part in the creation of wealth and power in America, and is still with us, preserved in our culture, legal, political and business systems, and that America must be torn down and radically reconstructed if we are to be rid of scourge of racism and oppression.
One of our responsibilities as citizens is to understand enough of American and world history to make sense of the many political statements and claims that are tossed at us every day. To start, let’s go back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
Wait, Will, didn’t the Revolution end with Lord Cornwallis’ defeat in 1781? Why wait six years before having a constitution? We did have an original constitution, The Articles of Confederation, enacted in 1781. These Articles provided only the loosest form of confederation, with little or no central power. It was often correctly called a “league of friendship.” No central military, no central taxing authority. Simply the 13 states calling themselves friends.
Pause for a quick question. What percentage of voters could tell you which year the Declaration of Independence was signed? Going furtner, what percentage of voters could tell you which country we fought to gain our independence?
It soon became apparent that this loose confederation would not work; a tighter bond was needed. Rocked by the resulting economic difficulties and radical political movements under the powerless Articles, a Constitutional Convention was held in 1787, with the new Constitution being signed in September of that year. This is the same constitution that governs us today, along with its 27 amendments. Yes, the very same constitution that allowed for the continuation of slavery and the disenfranchisment of women and unpropertied men. The purpose of the new Constitution is found in the preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
There would have been no union if the abolitionists of the day and those supporting women’s suffrage had insisted on abolishing slavery and enfranchising women. Any number of the slaveholding states, and likely all of them, would have simply blocked it on the slavery issue alone. And with no union, there would have been no centralized political, financial or military entity. What force, what political, financial and military force would have squared off against the slaveholding states? The Southern states would not have needed to secede from the Union; there would have been no Union from which to secede in the first place. They could have just kept right on owning slaves. What entity would have existed to oppose them when the time was right 80 years later?
The ignorant irony of those who believe that America was–and is–evil because our Constituion origially allowed slavery, is that it was the creation of the Union in the Constitution which they detest that was key to ending the horror of white humans owning black humans. The only way to end slavery was to have an opposing force so powerful that it could utterly destroy the financial and military might of the states which were willing to fight to the death to preserve the terrible fiction that blacks were sub-human, and therefore subject to being bought and sold. Of the 620 thousand deaths in the Civil War, 360 thousand deaths were Union soldiers. Only a very tight union would have been willing to suffer staggering loss of blood and treasure like that for any purpose. And that very union could not have been formed without initially allowing slavery.
In January of 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery.
In June of 1919, the 19th Amendment allowed for women to vote.
And today, due to continuing moral and legal progress, we are all equal under the law. All of us.
This analysis could have been done by anybody. No one can like the process the way that it had to unfold, but it did have to develop in that way. Question: Why are many parts of the media and some politicians working so hard to convince us, convince Americans, of the inherently evil nature of our country? Answer: They are angry and embarrassed at how free, prosperous and powerful America has become. As part of their reducing inequity campaign, which always seems to focus on tearing down those at the top instead of building up those at the bottom, they want America to repent, to reduce inequity by tearing itself down. And falsely portraying America as racist and inherently evil gives that agenda a good start. BTW, equity must met equal opportunity, no equal results
We have become too uneducated to have an accurate fact base, and too lazy to develop reasoned arguments. We grab onto cliches, a partial truth or any claim that fits our beliefs, and simply go with it. If a sound bite we embrace is not convincing to others, we simply say it louder, eventually shouting, or, if online, using all caps. Should that approach fail, we simply insult the other person or group, going about our day with the smug satisfaction that at least we tried to convert those fools. And both sides employ the same tactics. That back-and-forth looks like two rows of TVs facing each other, each row with opposite programming. Unable to change anything in the opposite row of TVs. All the TVs turn up the volume, eventually to the maximum. But none of the TVs can listen, so nothing is going on but the roaring sounds of ignorance.
It is time to completely reverse this trend. Know history. Learn why things happened, and what those things mean to us today. Learn and get involved. Make a well informed difference. Or let those who make up history as they go along win the day.
We all have the personal responsibility to know our history, and be able to express that knowledge in a way that forms and influences the key issues surrounding us toda–before those who are making it up as they go along win the day. Speaking of personal responsibility, this principle does not stand alone; the two main and interdependent principles at Revolution 2.0 are:
1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
This is Will Luden. We’ll talk again soon.