More Errors and Half-Truths? Probably.

Reading about Dr. Rand Paul’s victory in the Kentucky Republican primary and his description of himself as a “card carrying member” of the Tea Party, I could not help but to think of John Dewey and his would-be outrage at voter support for Dr. Paul …

Habits of opinion are the toughest of all habits; when they have become second nature, and are supposedly thrown out of the door, they creep in again as stealthily and surely as does first nature. And as they are modified, the alteration first shows itself negatively, in the disintegration of old beliefs, to be replaced by floating, volatile and accidently snatched up opinions. Of course there has been an enormous increase in the amount of knowledge possessed by mankind, but it does not equal, probably, the increase in the amount of errors and half-truths which have got into circulation.

I’m not apologizing for the current party system, nor am I outright condemning the Tea Party movement (though I do have my qualms with it – see Matt’s recent posts on Libertarianism). But Americans need to realize that replacing one dogma with another is not the right way to deal with our country’s smorgasbord of problems.

And, at least for the moment, the Tea Party is just that. This is not a movement that seeks to learn. It is a reaction against the political anemia gripping our nation by giving one-size-fits-all answers to very different issues. It replaces unquestioning obedience to the “party” with unquestioning obedience to the “movement.” Reverse the roles, and I doubt very much if we’d see any difference in approaches to governance.

The point is, while it is encouraging that people are getting flustered enough to do something different, the fact still remains that the Tea Party movement is hardly different from either the Democratic or Republican Parties. None of these seek to foster an environment of creative development, and instead only add to the deluge of “errors and half-truths” which threatens to bury us all.

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