Yes, Ignorance is Shameful

Generally, the target of my wrath on this blog is Donald Trump, not those who supported him or voted for him. Like you, I know a number of people who voted for Trump who don’t fit what has emerged as the profile of the typical Trump voter: white males with little education and poor job prospects. Some of the Trump voters I know are highly educated professionals (go figure!). I’m aware that there are lots of different reasons people had in voting for Trump, including a deep antipathy toward, and distrust of, Hillary Clinton, which I fully understand. She was far from the best candidate the Democrats could have put forward. And she ran a far-from-perfect campaign.

Even so, I believe that Donald Trump won the election largely with the support of voters who are ignorant of public policy, ignorant of what the government does, ignorant of why their economic circumstances are bad, ignorant of how the Republican party has screwed them over for decades, and ignorant about what Donald Trump as president is likely to do for them.

imagesIn my more charitable moments (few as they are, admittedly), I sometimes think that Trump voters can’t be held responsible for having been duped by Trump, by Fox News, and other purveyors of lies.

But a couple days ago, the Boston Globe published a powerful piece by Charles Taylor, who teaches writing at New York University. Taylor writes of the “willful ignorance” of Trump supporters and goes on to say that the “imperviousness to fact pales next to the racism and xenophobia and misogyny — in other words, the moral ignorance — that Trump’s supporters wallowed in.” Powerful stuff. And I agree completely. Read Taylor’s essay here.

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