Friday, August 30, 2013

Patriotism is the first refuge of idiots

There is a fairly wide swath of people who refuse to believe government (local, state, and federal) when it comes to issues where the government either has no credible incentive to lie, or it would take a magnificent conspiracy across many levels in order to fudge the truth. Issues like localized public safety, public schools, or even basic economic data have become "controversial" to many people purported to be exercising a healthy distrust of power. Yes, governments need to be kept in check regarding these issues, but most often agencies that handle this sort of stuff are made up of public servants who do great work. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to questioning US military power, where the government has lied repeatedly and been proven to do so (with the results being millions of deaths), many of these same people are the first ones to blindly cheer on every single American imperial military adventure (they usually call it "the troops") and cast self-righteous judgements on those who don't. I realize there's some interesting social undertones happening with this sort of thinking, which at first glance seems at least a bit contradictory. I'm sure there is, but I'm just going to call them idiots and be done with it.

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