Friday, September 5, 2008

The Assault on Reason

I recently started reading Al Gore's The Assault on Reason. It's a really fascinating book, which takes on the notion of an emerging trend in U.S. politics toward ignoring facts and analysis when making policy decisions. He argues for a free, open "marketplace of ideas" that has not been fully present since TV and radio replaced print as the dominant medium. Also, he heavily criticizes the Bush administration throughout.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have disagreed with the GWB administration on quite a few things. Just for starters, the war in Iraq, massive tax cuts to the wealthy, fueling an unprecedented national debt, the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the Guantanamo Bay incident, just to name a few. No, I don't like him, but that doesn't mean I hate him as the rest of the public seems to. But if half of what Gore writes has some inkling of truth to it, then I've got reason to worry.

Gore asserts that the Bush administration has been knowingly and willingly subverting the truth, spreading false doctrines and propaganda to the public, and ignoring blatant truths and then making decisions based on their ignorance. He argues that Bush enforces an extreme right-wing agenda, and will go to any means to advance that agenda. Case and point being Iraq: Gore asserts that Bush was looking for ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq well before the September 11th attacks, and used falsified evidence to "prove" that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons (which was soon proved by the United Nations).

He also says that Bush is not, as the public portrayal goes, stupid. This, I can agree with. Still, reading stuff like this makes me worried about the state of our country. Read The Assault on Reason. You won't be disappointed.

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