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Reader's View: GOP seems to believe ‘ignorance is strength’

Nothing says “independent” like uncritically accepting every preposterous statement handed down by the cult leader on high.

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In the early 20th century, the scientist Ivan Pavlov discovered he could train dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. Today, Republican propagandists have perfected the science of stoking grievance at the sound of a catchword. “Woke!” “Socialism!” “Critical Race Theory!” Never mind that the president they’re calling a socialist is a corporate-backed, centrist Democrat or that CRT is a valid subject taught only in graduate schools; it makes for good fear mongering, and fear is a great motivator whether or not it’s based in reality.

The people being manipulated often describe themselves as “staunch individualists,” and nothing says “staunch individualist” like mindless membership in a personality cult. Nothing says “independent” like uncritically accepting every preposterous statement handed down by the cult leader on high.

In a democracy, as in nature, diversity is strength. Nonetheless, there are many people who are unable or unwilling to understand diverse opinions and prefer simplistic answers. For them, there is only one true religion. There is only one true economic system. There is only one true leader of the cult or political party. There is only one legitimate political party. And there is only one true form of patriotism.

Books suggesting otherwise should be banned, some of them say, and citizens who differ become targets of political violence. More than 770,000 dead Americans will not sway the opinions of anti-vaxxers, and the only violent disruption of the transfer of presidential power in 250 years will not give pause to the party faithful. Voter suppression is disguised as “election integrity,” and on and on.

George Orwell’s book, “1984,” contains the slogan, “Ignorance is strength,” and this has apparently become a tenet of the new Republican Party.

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David A. Sorensen

Duluth


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