Only 40 percent of readers read past the headlines, which means most people form their worldview based on how a story is framed.
Something tells me that if an “official enemy” like Maduro were accused of such, there’d be no hesitancy extant.
Bin Salman is another story.
This doesn’t surprise me at all but rather confirms my own observations. I’ve long wondered how long a democracy (of even rudimentary nature) can exist when the population becomes so willingly dumbed down that only the few bother to actually read beyond the headlines and “sound bites” that mostly serve as spin.
At fault are a combination of intellectual laziness, lack of curiosity, an endless pursuit of novelty for its own sake and a willingness to become enslaved to the twin “gods” of technology (“we can, therefore we shall”) and commerce …in essence, all aspects of what I’d call a trash culture.
I no longer expect even those I love to actually follow the links to the articles I find so compelling…those which might crack open the doors to some understanding of the big picture.
But I’m relieved that at least some folk, such as are found in numbers here at Common Dreams and other indie media are bucking the trends.
I married an American and then came to this country years ago. I am from an ex-socialistic country, where reading, studying, understanding the political situation and its nuances was understood as necessary to bring any changes. I was appalled when I saw how shallow people’s knowledge here is, even any desire to learn anything almost nonexistent. Yes, I saw and still see the intellectual laziness here, the “I’m stupid and pride of it” attitude. Sad and scary, and so not American, or so I thought…
I have to admit, whenever i have traveled to other countries (which I did fairly often before i began considering the greenhouse gas emissions), i often found that I was embarrassed to admit that i was an American. Once, in Ireland, an 11-year-old boy (neighbor of a friend) asked me: "How could you (Americans) vote for George Bush?!! He and his siblings were more aware of that man’s deficits than most Americans, I thought.
I stumbled before replying that I didn’t…and found it as incredible as he did that Bush had been elected…twice.
What I have observed more recently is in a way even more alarming. It’s not just the proudly ignorant that I worry about (though there are too many thereof). There is also a seeming willingness, by many “liberals” and presumably better-educated folk, to suspend critical thinking in order to “unite” to “resist” Trump and the GOP. As long as it is anti-Trump, they will not bother to read anything which challenges the dominant narratives…seemingly unaware or uncaring about the origins or darker reasons for them; nor look more deeply into the systemic problems that extend well beyond Trump and which in fact led to his Presidency. And they are all too satisfied with regurgitating internet-spread memes and narratives that mesh with their desire to return to “normal”.
But as a fine singer-songwriter put it,
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse. -Bruce Cockburn