The dumbing down of America

Carl Sagan warned of the conditions we now face

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Sagan’s worst fears for our country seem to be coming true: “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

I think this gives us a clearer understanding of why the Republican Party doesn’t want to fund education and is trying very hard to eliminate history and science from our schools, and why Trump blatantly stated at one of his rallies that he “loved” the uneducated. It’s very easy to see why the educated areas of the country are more liberal and the lower educated areas more conservative. I don’t want anyone to take those as blanket statements, I’m talking in general, not specifically. When nearly half of the voters in our country see someone like Trump as the savior of what is right with our country, how far might we be from Sagan’s thoughts from all those years ago?

Larry Benson

Enumclaw


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