David Brooks, largely describing the work of Jonathan Rauch. “The Rotting of the Republican Mind,” – reactions

I’m still grappling with, and excited by these two articles I have referenced or posted, by David Brooks, largely describing the work of Jonathan Rauch. “The Rotting of the Republican Mind,” is about fake news and conspiracy theories become the tools of dangerous populists, despots and dictators. I am now looking at the comments to the Brooks piece, here is a sampling. The most popular comment:

Dan B.Southern CaliforniaNov. 27Times Pick

It is not the Democrats who have systematically deprived people of quality healthcare, education and a living wage. It is the Republicans. How do you convince voters that their economic success is being sabotaged by those who they put and keep in power?59 Replies3699 RecommendedHere is one that I have mixes feelings about:LlenzBostonNov. 27Times Pick”Why would the internet have corrupted Republicans so much more than Democrats, the global right more than the global left?” Because Republican economic policies contribute more to the growing wealth gap – the disenfranchisement of everyone but the very wealthy – the Republican party can only maintain power by fleecing a large portion of the electorate. They know it’s easier to fleece people with less training in critical thinking, such as those without college degrees, or people who were raised to take the words of the Bible literally, without question. They knew their marks and groomed them perfectly for someone like Trump. Cynical emotional appeals to people opposed to abortion and gay marriage all too easily gave way to an outright disinformation strategy, fashioned by Fox and weaponized to full extent when the internet came along. The flood of disinformation available due to the internet is destabilizing governments around the globe. Honestly, if we don’t figure out a way to address this problem, we’re tanked.

32 Replies 2871 Recommended

DL: We can quickly fix a lot of fake news on Fox, by returning an law turned off by Ronald Reagan, the Fairness Doctrine of the FCC, that requires any news organization if they put forth an side of an argument over Federal airwaves, they are required to put forth the other popular or competing arguments as well. They have to give the other side equal time. FCC fairness doctrine – Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › FCC_fairness_doctrine”The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC’s view—honest, equitable, and balanced.”

Here is a comment that is full of promise, though I don’t know how easy to accomplish:A. W.Brooklyn NYNov. 27Times Pick

A third thing that can be done is to shift education’s focus from rewarding students for the answers they give to rewarding them for the questions they ask . If we train our youth to challenge information offered them from their earliest years they will be better equipped to ask the urgent questions needed before voting. Spitting back facts on exams to get a good grade does not hold a candle to learning to ask the teacher, “ How do we know that is true?” A student body that is used to asking this question is more likely to become a thoughtful citizen. And to be clear, training in this way doesn’t require a college education. It can be done at the earliest levels in our classrooms. As a former elementary school teacher I asked my students to challenge my statements. And bit by bit they did. I had to prove where my information came from and they had to decide whether to believe me because I was the authority in the classroom or because my answer to their questions conformed to their growing sense of how we should access truth.

32 Replies 1281 Recommended

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