I am reading Margaret Hefferman’s interesting book ‘Willful Blindness’. She shows how the concept that was invented in 19th century English law to cover situations where for example you carry a suitcase with unknown contents for a lot of money and don’t look inside. She shows how this can be applied to Enron and how it was used by Madoff to sucker people into his net. But I think the concept applies marvelously well to current politics. The Democrats are guilty of it of course; but the GOP these days is nothing but willful blindness all the way down, on climate change, the economy, the deficit, immigration, gay marriage, gun control. You name it, they are in willful denial of reality, not interested in any data, provide no counter data that stands up to scrutiny, just their own self reinforcing prejudices and they are incapable of argument or dialogue. Just ad hominem: ‘You say that cos you are liberal/liberal media’ without any substance to their response. The Democrats are a bit like that on manufacturing and business, and also the long term costs of Medicare and Social Security, but it is nothing like as extreme in its data denial and its wilfulness…I can usually get Democrats to see what they are not seeing; not so with Republicans. Now why is that? Is it that reality is now so objectionable to conservatives that they can’t even see it is there?
See Margaret’s Web Site at http://www.mheffernan.com/