On the BBC radio news this morning, I heard a Brit reporter interview an older "American" couple coming out of a gun shop in Connecticut (next to a liquor store, why am I not surprised) near where the tragedy occurred last week.
The woman had just bought a gun, and the reporter wanted to know if she didn't think that adding another gun to the over three million in U.S. wouldn't just add to the problem. She and her husband expressed their belief that the country was in a terrible state and getting worse because the president wanted to take away the guns of citizens to further his agenda of "socialism and communism"...
It almost made me want to cry, or give up. The rightwing propaganda machine hasn't just created a base of misinformed parrots, they foster and encourage outright ignorance so they can control that base with the kind of fear exhibited by this couple. They aren't worried about an inadequate mental health system, or easy access to semi-automatic military style weapons of mass murder, they're worried our president wants to makes the United States communist!
Thankfully he was reelected by a margin that is turning out (as the vote count continues even now) to be much bigger than any recent Republican has garnered, specifically Bush Junior who claimed "a mandate" with a much smaller win. That indicates to me that there is at least a majority of voters who are educated enough in critical thinking to be able to see reality.
But how can we even consider this country one of the "advanced" nations when so many use as a source of their "news" a network (and not just the broadcast one but the social one they're a part of) that studies have shown those who only use that network for their news are the most ill-informed? We can't, it seems to me. Which is why we need teachers who help students learn to understand and use critical thinking based on facts not propaganda.