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The Passionately Ignorant And The Passively Informed

The Passionately Ignorant And The Passively Informed

John Atcheson

Why the US is a minority-ruled country.

"Given the ubiquity of this split, the real question isn’t simply how can 40 percent of Americans be so ignorant of reality, but rather, how is it that they are determining who is in charge?"

Mark me as one of the passively-informed, who agrees with the author on the sad state we find ourselves in, but who wonders whether he has even a single suggestion as to how to remedy it. Electoral lesser-evilism is an obvious abject failure, so what’s next?


I like this article by John Atcheson, and I like your honest reply GuildF312S !

There is real progress here, in going over these issues again and again, but always in the light of new information and developments, including much soul-searching.

For myself, I return again and again to the speeches of JFK, perhaps most so in his addresses to the United Nations.

Even back then, he saw and experienced Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex up close and personal, before it actually did away with both he and his brother.

The MIC is inextricably bound up with finance - and the financial corruption is now beyond the pale, but as usual, well disguised. I’m reading Yanis Varoufakis on the 2015 Greek Syriza elections - same type of sleazeball actors, different place, different details - but the same message - power & privilege at all costs.

This is of course a form of self-destructive madness - but then that’s never stopped the human being before.

Then there is Fridjtof Nansen and his rectorial address to St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, way back, ca 1920’s, after he was an old man, a polar explorer, a Nobel Peace prize recipient.

He believed ‘salvation would come from the lonely places, not the bustling cities.’

Interesting perspective, as I went to the lonely places myself for seven years - to gain perspective.

How does this help ? Concretely ?

I honestly don’t know - but that in itself may be a big step forward - the admission of not knowing - and proceeding anyway, with faith in oneself - even if not in the future.

For we are going there, into this dystopian future, whether we like it or not.

I’m thinking out loud here -

Heart & Soul - that’s all we have.

If it is enough, we survive, if not, life will go on - on this planet - into its own mysterious and incomprehensible future.

This commons is a good thing - just a feeling I have, despite the trolls and the ignorant.


I think many of the Passively Informed are also Passionately Ignorant as well.

All too often here on Common Dreams, many commenters who I believe are well educated, self described “Liberals” who voted for the lesser evil in 2016, keep open the belief that the Democrats are going to save this country.

Now, as the author points out, Democratic Ex-Presidents major achievements are actually right in step with Republican values.

So, these self described “Liberals” are in actuality not voting for candidates that have the Progressive ideals that they possess. They vote to support NeoLiberal policies that support Empire Building and MIC endeavors that are slaughtering innocent men, women, and children all over the Earth, and robbing our children of the right to live in Peace.

I wish I had the answer of how to convince these self described “Liberals” they are voting against the interests of themselves and the masses.

But I don’t.


Good post there PonyBoy!

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Thanks Bones,

I just call it like I see it.

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The Democrats will take leftists for granted until more of us vote third party or none-of-the-above.

In the meantime, they’d rather lose with establishment candidates than win with candidates who scare wealthy donors.


Well it hard to take national polling figures and try to translate that into elections. State elections often involve local issues that have little to do with national politics. Some elections largely consist of nothing but negative attacks. The presidential election is really 50 separate elections. One statistic to keep in mind however, in five of the last six presidential elections the Democratic candidate has gotten the most votes. Also, there have been elections in the House where Republicans have won the most seats in Congress but the Democrats received the most total votes. Also, this is discussion is not complete without including voter ID laws passed by Republicans and extreme redistricting carried out by Republicans. Furthermore, most Democrats live in metropolitan areas and many states do have such metropolitan areas. Vermont is probably the only state without a metropolitan area where Democrats have a good chance of winning. It is rather hopeless trying to analyze the situation if your agenda is attacking Democrats who accept campaign contributions from Democrats. What you wind up with is false conclusions as John Atcheson does.

The duopoly won’t care about leftists until we ‘don’t vote’ in numbers large enough to matter or openly revolt.

By the way, did you read this? Interestingly, in its analysis of where the Dems currentlystand, it doesn’t mention Bernie even once:

When it comes to cites the Democratic Party is dominant. It seems like the mayor of just about every large city is a Democrat. So what are the Republicans doing about this? Trying to win elections in cities? Well maybe but what we are seeing is that state governments controlled by Republicans are voting to take away the authority of cities. We are seeing laws passed by cities nullified at the state level. The problem for the Democrats is to expand their popularity in cities to the state level. Because in most states the areas outside of metropolitan areas tend to be conservative electing a Democratic governor can be difficult.

“Multiple polls in recent months have shown generic Democratic candidates beating generic Republicans by as many as 15 points — a spread that, in past elections, correlated with winning more than enough seats for the Democrats to gain a House majority next year.”

Here is an encouraging quote from that article. Maybe the Democrats do have a chance to taking back the House.

‘Don’t vote’ can mean lots of things.

In Nevada, the only state to offer a none-of-the-above option, NOTA got 29,000 votes for president.

Then there’s ‘undervoting,’ which rose significantly in 2016 where the presidential selection was concerned:


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Perhaps no better illustration of your party’s self-deception:

Find the one piece of encouragement in a long and semi-penetrating article that highlights how your party has no message and a recent electoral track record that’s nothing short of abysmal.

Next thing you’ll tell us, Lrx, is how much excitement the D-Party’s ‘Better Deal’ is generating.

Something I’ll note from the article: The D-Party’s willingness to court anti-choice candidates.

The Dems hate us ‘purists’ so much, they’ll willingly stand for nothing.


What’s needed is satyagraha (from Sanskrit and Hindi, meaning “holding on to truth”), or total Gandhian non-cooperation. The basic truth is that the US government as it stands has no legitimacy beyond its monopoly on the use of force.

We have to employ targetted boycotts and strikes, sit-ins and teach-ins, walk-outs and sick-outs. We also must realize that elections are exercises in futility unless and until enough of us vote exclusively Green, independent or write-in to free ourselves from the “two-party” long con.

In my darkest hours I comfort myself with a poem by the late Kenneth Patchen, which begins “WHO is nothing/” and concludes, “We live one life. Message ends.”

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Wonderful. So we elect elitist Democrats and temporarily slow the Republican agenda down to a Clinton/Obama pace. We still get right wing, corporate oligarchy, but we can let our kids and grandkids deal with the worst of it and feel all smug about how WE WON!


Nothing gets me more riled up than the hubris that inspires the “purist” nonsense.

“I want what you want, but I know that it’s unrealistic to expect that, so I encourage you to vote for what you don’t want instead. If you don’t, I’ll blame you when my bad candidate can’t win, because we all know that horrible is better than worse, and you have a duty to support horrible.”


I regret being unclear in my first post. What I meant to say was that the author of the article was long on DE-scription but woefully short on PRE-scription, an all-too-common problem on such sites as this.

Some of us know what’s needed; our task is make others aware, in sufficient numbers and in time to do any good.

Yes, no discussion is complete without pointing out that gerrymandering is the biggest problem we have, even though only the House of Representatives is affected by it. The president, the senate, and governors are all elected at large and cannot be gerrymandered. But no Democrat will ever enter a discussion on why they lose so often without blaming gerrymandering instead of a dearth of candidates that progressives can support in good conscience.

The fact that the DNC is right now actively involved in purging anyone even slightly to the left of the Clintons should show anyone who cares that Democrats want an oligarchy just as much as Republicans. They just want to be the oligarchs running the show.

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Powerfully said !!

I’d never actually thought of it that way - but I think you are entirely correct - ‘might is right’ reigns.

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The Democratic Party of Vermont consistently endorses Sen. Sanders. We need to stop these filthy lies from DLC-types and from spreading their shit. MSNBC and CNN and the other MSM outlets are allowing this half-truth to constantly enter their dialogue/discussion.
Somebody please put a sock in the mouth of Chuck Todd, et al. The whole thing is already getting old. Also, toss Karen Finney and Donna Brazille down a well, while you’re at it.