We have a damn problem in this country. Apparently, it spans all ethnic, economic and social groups. It’s a very irksome problem and many times it leaves me wishing to pull my hair out.
America suffers from a plague of “uncritical thinking.”
Americans lack the piercing and focused ability to think clearly and critically. It makes my life hell.
Critical thinking is that (rare) ability to assiduously examine and deconstruct external data in a rational and emotionless manner. Critical thinking requires that you brush aside preconceived notions and dive into a chain of cognition with a cleared mind that is devoid of motives and opinions, hates and likes. Critical thinking requires that you transform your mind, for the exercise at hand, into an impartial laboratory of scrutiny. You don’t allow your opinions and prejudices to tarnish or influence your interpretation of the data before you.
Americans are notorious puppets to their ideologies and it is this attachment to ethereal belief systems which draws them into a quagmire of erratic thought and illogical thinking.
Is critical thinking a facet of intelligence? Perhaps, but not necessarily so. Some very intelligent people use their mental prowess merely to argue their own rehashed notions while failing to note that their thought process has been skewed by emotion and personal beliefs. In fact, intelligent people might be more prone to uncritical thinking because they have such an inordinate amount of trust in their intelligence.
Still, one expects uncritical thinking from certain segments of society, from certain economic and racial groups.
The archetypal uncritical thinker is that Black woman we all love and chide dearly as she has become a rather ubiquitous meme of the day. Michelle Dowery, the “Obama phone lady” who was filmed during the 2012 Presidential election ranting about the free phones Barack was going to give all the poor and disadvantaged Americans (who, of course, had more pressing problems than owning stupid cell phones).
For the sake of all that is rational and self-preserving, I have declined to link the infamous video here (you can find it yourself). The photo should hint at this atrocity well enough that you can understand the visual embodiment of uncritical thinking. We can all nod in measured condescension.
Dowery is ground zero of uncritical thinking, what with all her quasi-superstitious rejoice in Barack, the ghetto demigod.
But this kind of thinking is equally rampant across all America. Dowery represents an extreme example of uncritical thinking; in the span and full palette of uncritical thinking that coats the pulse of American society, Americans are distributed quite widely in representative amounts of uncritical thinking.
For instance, on my Facebook wall, I saw a Washington Post link appear on something called the “Conservative Tribune’s” timeline which reported on the Republican lawsuit against Barack Obama as a possible prelude to impeachment…”testing the waters,” so to speak.
Personally, I think the Republicans would be wiser if they just allowed Barack to serve out his tainted term and all the attendant dissembling of his (and the Democrat’s) legacy. He will do more self-damage in office than out. If impeached, he will serve some martyr-like banishment which will put him out of our misery and minds. There is no strategic virtue to lancing the boil that is the Obama Presidency. The Republicans should let the boil swell and erupt in a shit storm of bad policy and crumbling legitimacy which will pave the way to an easy Republican Oval ascension in 2016.
But impeachment of Obama is a pet fetish of many Conservatives now that they got the taste of a little Clintonian impeachment, but the victim is not Barack Obama.
The victim is critical thinking.
In the comment stream following this wall post, I saw a woman named “Kay” allege some ridiculous bullshit that hardened uncritical thinking Conservatives eat up like a tasty Obamian morsel.
Kay quotes an apocryphal interview Obama gave Meet The Press in 2008. A critical thinker will read the quote, and though they may not like Obama and even agree he should be impeached, will still suspect it is dubious, at best. Common sense and clarity of mind will quickly tell the critical thinker that the quote is so outlandish, especially coming from the mouth of a President, that its veracity must be questioned harshly. A visit to Snopes will attest to the farcical nature of that anti-Obama anecdote which Kay pulled out of her ass. I followed up with the admonition that a movement must practice critical thinking if it’s to be taken seriously.
Critical thinking is raped and polluted by people across the ideological spectrum. They’d rather hear nonsense that bolsters their pet opinions and motives to such a degree that they no longer think critically. It’s religion and superstition, this lack of thinking and willing belief in garbage as long as it’s their garbage.
It’s an American plague.