Forest and trees

If you only watch one YouTube video in the next year, watch this one: James Burke produced the television series. Connections for the BBC. Burke's breadth of knowledge is encyclopedic. The series showed the unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated random discoveries and inventions from early times to the present day. Each episode traces a fundamental idea to its dramatic and unexpected conclusion.

The conference referenced in the link above shows how the vast, unfiltered torrent of information downloaded over the Internet has produced a new paradigm: people have developed the habit of believing everything they are told, without demanding proof. Hearing something enough times is enough to convince some people that what they are told is true. The scientific method, in which conclusions are drawn. triedhe is absent.

you can't turn was demonstrated until the end of a discussion at will; It needs to follow a coherent and connected series of ideas, each of which is demonstrable and leads to the next until a conclusion is reached. Many people not only do not demand proof: They don't even understand what it is.

When I first saw Google, I assumed that the wide availability of knowledge would educate the masses and elevate the facts enough for everyone to see. I didn't realize that this torrent of information overwhelms many people to the point that they shut down their cognitive abilities and simply allow the thoughts to implant in their brains. It's like they decide that thinking is too difficult and they just want someone to tell them what to believe. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister, knew this; I guess I forgot.

Republican Party opinion experts specialize in constructing arguments that skip the steps of proving what you are saying and jump directly to conclusions that appear be unavoidable, but they are not. Mere accusations repeated many times are taken as evidence. "That's what everyone I know says."

How many times do you have to hear that two plus two equals five before you accept it? it's not going to happen; The arithmetic is simple enough that no one will fall into the trap. But millions of Republican voters have accepted that “Joe Biden is a terrible president,” despite overwhelming evidence that he has done more good for the middle class than any president in the last 40 years. I guess they base their opinion of him on the good he has done for billionaires.

When I ask Republicans what the worst thing Biden has done is, they mention two or three issues over which he has no control and then turn around and walk away. I can try to give them information that Fox doesn't, but the last thing they want to try is proof: the lies never bothered them anyway. As Jim Jordan said in Liz Cheney's new book, "The only thing that matters is winning."

In “Sapiens,” Yuval Harari – a professor of history at the Hebrew University – says that if we do not understand history, we will not stop repeating its mistakes. The Republican Party today is recreating the worst practices of the German Nazi Party of the 1930s in its demonization of its supposed enemies. Except instead of Jews it's the Democrats, who, we're told, are all radical left communist pedophiles.

You would think that since they don't know any Democrats who fit that description, they would realize the characterization doesn't make sense. But it's not like that. It does not describe any of the trees that can Look, they still think that accurately describes the forest.

Today's Republican fanaticism is a faithful recreation of the rise of the Nazi Party. The fact that they can't see that is the real reason it's happening. And if it doesn't stop, it will destroy our country.

Les Pinter is a contributing columnist and Springville resident. His column appears weekly in The Recorder. Pinter's book, HTTTPV: How a Grocery Shopping Website Can Save America is available in Kindle format and in print at Contact him at

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