Fact or fiction?April 15, 2011
The greatest danger to the future of our democracy is that too many people are unable to differentiate between what is fact and what is fiction and too few care.
Although I certainly agree that academic achievement needs to be improved in our country, no job in our educational system is more important than ensuring that our citizens can evaluate critically the information they receive.
Perhaps you have followed the Kyl/Colbert saga which prompted this post. Senator Jon Kyl declared in a speech in the US Senate that 90% of Planned Parenthood’s budget goes to abortions. He was more than slightly off the mark: the percentage is only 3%, and his office said that his comment was “not intended to be a factual statement.” The comedian Stephen Colbert responded with a twitter campaign that mocked Kyl’s behavior and drew attention to the lack of fact-based discussion which has become all too common.
Regardless of how we may feel about the abortion issue, it is scary to see that our elected officials (and too many others) simply don’t care about basing their arguments on facts. We will never all agree on all topics, but let’s base our disagreements on FACT rather than on FICTION. If we do not, we risk domination by demagoguery.