I am not a patient person, even under the best of circumstances. I am frequently astounded, even overwhelmed, by the patience persons of my acquaintance will show as others around them are spouting the most unbelievably ignorant and fatuous nonsense imaginable. “No, no, Fred. You can actually go outside and see for yourself that, on a clear, sunny day, the sky is actually blue, not red. However, we can continue to discuss this, if you’d like.” To my way of thinking, once someone has demonstrated that their ignorance is not only beyond measure, but thoroughly willful, I am done investing my time and effort in that person. I make no pretensions that this is illustrative of any, much less a superior, virtue on my part.
Issues become more complicated when it is a group that is variously “gone over the falls,” as it were, especially when that group is one that you are inclined to identify with. So, for example, when Republicans and political conservatives demonstrate that they’ve abandoned even the pretense of reason, or even sanity, I’ll often just order a pizza, pour myself another glass of wine, sit back and watch the Klown Kar drive off the cliff. Some issues are obviously of great importance: conservative disregard of basic economic facts and/or climate change denialism, stand out as especially egregious examples. Other issues are merely outrageous. For example, as a veteran I am especially offended by Ben Carson’s blatant lie about having, as a young man, been offered a “scholarship” to the Military Academy at West Point. (Little of any consequence turns on this last, especially in light of the other sorts of twaddle Carson regularly spouts.) But there is something especially galling when bullshit comes from the political left, which then not only refuses to correct the error, but digs its heals in on the original nonsense. Continue reading