Is Historical Ignorance a Source of Our Political Polarization?


I largely agree with Jonah Goldberg’s National Review piece on “The Dangers of Arrogant Ignorance.”

Here is a taste:

It is a common human foible to think you know more than you do and to assume that when someone, particularly someone you don’t like, says something you don’t understand that the fault must be in the speaker, not the listener. “It’s a universal law — intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education,” observed Alexander Solzhenitsyn. “An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”

Ideological and political polarization is a big concern these days, and commentators on the Right and Left have chewed the topic to masticated pulp. But it occurs to me that one unappreciated factor is widespread historical ignorance, and the arrogant impatience of reaching conclusions before thinking. The instantaneity of TV and Twitter only amplifies the problem.

Read the entire piece here.

Historicizing “Drain the Swamp”


As many of you know, POTUS-elect Donald Trump wants to “drain the swamp” that is Washington D.C.   When he talks about “draining the swamp” I am assuming that he wants to get rid of special interests and “insider” politicians who have been in Washington for too long and are thus standing in the way of making America great again.

But what is the meaning of the phrase “drain the swamp?”  How was it been used before it became a political slogan?  Yoni Appelbaum, the Washington Bureau Chief at The Atlantic, has written ten brilliant tweets to explain all of this.  (Check out Yoni on Episode 3 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home podcast).

Here they are: