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Why I Dislike Michelle Bachmann

June 29, 2011

One, as I posted earlier, she wants to interfere in public schooling to enforce an ideological position she does not understand.

Two, she is proving to be a stubborn fool.

Here’s the thing, we are all ignorant about a great deal of things. How does a cell phone work? who was the 7th emperor of the Achaemenid empire? How does a plane fly? In conjunction with our great ignorance is the fact that to be a human being means that you will make mistakes. You will probably make a lot of them. Human beings are incredibly fallible and will make a ton of mistakes. Even me!

But there is that ‘special’ breed of human being that is ignorant–like all of us–but refuses to acknowledge this ignorance and tries to consistently overcompensate and lie to cover their trails for some illusion of competency. This is what Ed Brayton identifies as “virulent ignorance.”

I have long taken the position that there are two kinds of ignorance. The first kind is the mundane kind, the kind we all have, ignorance as a mere lack of knowledge on a particular subject. We are all ignorant of far more subjects than we are knowledgeable of. Ask me to help diagnose a problem with your car and my eyes will glaze over; you may as well ask me about the mating habits of an ancient aboriginal tribe that only 4 people in the world have ever heard of. That is the sort of ignorance we all have on most issues.

But there is another, far more insidious, form of ignorance. This form of ignorance is not merely the lack of knowledge but the systematic accretion in one’s mind of a collection of myths, half-truths and outright falsehoods that gives one the illusion of knowledge. I call this virulent ignorance. For the badly educated, this collection of overly simplistic sound bytes substitutes for actual learning and, once memorized, eliminates the need for actual thinking on the part of those who suffer from it.

We all have regular ignorance. Michelle Bachmann has virulent ignorance which refuses to accept its existence and leads to ignorant opinions which, unfortunately, are always the most inflexible.

By the way, not that Bachmann cares about actual history in the least, John Quincy was a founding father, but his son John Quincy Adams was not, and spent much of his early life over seas as a foreign diplomat. It wasn’t until decades later after his presidency that he really kicked up the fight against slavery. This does not mean that the Constitution or Declaration are not great documents but that the John Quincy Adams had nothing to do with either of them. (I have edited this paragraph for my mistake which was pointed out below, and for clarity. John Quincy Adams did not have anything to do with either document, but his father did sign the Declaration of Independence but not the Constitution.)

Any bets that liar David Barton has been ‘teaching’ Bachmann history again? When are these idiots going to learn that the man is a liar and will only get them in trouble with the public?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris E permalink
    June 29, 2011 10:53 am

    There’s another good way of describing the second of the two – that of being fractally wrong – an argument that is wrong no matter what scale you examine it at.

  2. June 29, 2011 11:38 am

    You could have saved just said in the post: She’s a conservative.
    Scott, what do you know about the public education system in the U.S. exactly? I’m actually curious.

    She is wrong for wanting to replace her ideology in exchange for the status quo, but standardized testing has got to go. I have believed that since third grade, since you know, I actually live here, was educated here, and work for the public school system.

  3. June 29, 2011 12:34 pm

    Rod you forgot to add, “I’m a libertarian!”

    Just in case you missed it:

    Conservative does not mean ignorantly denying reality and refusing to admit that you are wrong.

    Oh, I don’t know, I lived in the States for 15 years, went to high school in Spokane, and both of my daughters (15 and 9) go to American public schools. But other than that I don’t know anything…

    • June 29, 2011 12:54 pm

      Hey I was just wondering. Wasn’t trying to jump to conclusions.

      And I read all of your posts and watched the videos on Michelle Bachmann.

      Oh, and I am a libertarian! 😉

    • June 29, 2011 1:11 pm

      So Scott,

      What is your opinion of standardized testing? Are they a good thing? Bad?

      I have already said, to the extent Bachmann opposes the standards (which are state wide standardized tests), I agree with her. I don’t see how public schools are much better for them.

  4. June 29, 2011 1:00 pm

    Just to point out, John Adams was the father of John Quincy Adam and he was a founding father. He helped Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence.

    • June 29, 2011 1:02 pm

      Argh…just noticed how awkward that first sentence was. John Adams was a founding father not John Quincy Adams. The “he”‘s refers to John Adams.

    • June 29, 2011 4:18 pm

      Other than that, Scott, you’re right. John Adams, like many of the founding fathers, argued that the issue of slavery was too divisive to be dealt with at that time, so he did little on the national level.

      Oh, and Adams did NOT help draft the Declaration of Independence. He was on the committee, but by his own admission he dumped the job in Jefferson’s lap.

      • June 29, 2011 5:53 pm

        My understanding is Jefferson did the draft and the committee, including Adams, made some revisions.

      • June 29, 2011 6:03 pm

        But I will admit, helped was probably the wrong word to use when talking about Adams’ involvement with the drafting of the Declaration.

  5. June 30, 2011 5:38 am

    Dunning-Kruger effect
    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to appreciate their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is


  1. Against Evil Standardized Testing: Michel Foucault & Michelle Bachmann | Political Jesus

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