≡ Menu

The capacity for ignorance

Every now and then when I’m bored and looking for a laugh, I venture over to Sarah Palin’s Facebook page and read some of the comments posted by her supporters (of which there are just over 825,000 at this point in time). Predictably, after reading even the first few comments, I’ve had my desired chuckle. The further I progress, however, I find myself getting sucked into depths of ignorance, misinformation, hatred, racism, and stupidity (not to mention extremely poor spelling, grammar and punctuation), the likes of which I can scarcely believe. Inevitably, instead of laughing, I usually end up saddened, angered, and filled with despair for the future of intelligent and compassionate humanity.

You know, I recognize (and value) the fact that that we all have differing opinions (and if I really stretch my sensibilities, I can even see how a person might have initially been attracted to Sarah Palin, way back when she was first introduced to the spotlight). I understand that the spectrum of belief spans from far left to far right and dots every point in between, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way even if I had the power to make the change. I believe that diversity is a good thing… it teaches us, if we’re open, and keeps us all honest. I love a healthy debate, and I’d have to say that some of the more interesting and valuable discussions I’ve had have been with intelligent, open-minded people who disagreed with me on some position or other.

But these rabid, blindered people who call themselves Sarah Palin’s supporters are a different breed altogether. I don’t know that I’ve ever run into an individual like this in “real life” – perhaps I live a sheltered existence up here in little ol’ Canada? – but the thought that they’re “out there” (in more ways than one), propagating lies and hatred, is a disturbing notion.

In a strange way, though, getting these glimpses at the psyche of the fringe has made me look at my own country with new eyes. While I often despair at our disinterest, and wish that we had a bit more passion and excitement for politics in Canada, I’ve come to realize that there are significant consolations to living in a nation of the politically mellow.

Oh, Canada. Thank you.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.