by Patricia L. Dickson 10/13/15
Never has there been a time in history requiring that an individual be equipped with critical thinking skills more than now. The biggest problem that America is facing today is the inability of the vast majority of the citizenry to think critically. Matt Drudge went so far as to say that Americans are sick. Lack of the ability to think critically is a mental symptom that affects all people regardless of their level of education, economic status, age, race, ethnicity, sex, or political party (although it appears that liberals are more likely to lack such skills). If we are to ever bring America back to the point where she is great again, the majority of the citizens are going to have to acquire and hone critical thinking skills.
Why is it imperative for the citizenry to be able to think critically? Because the mainstream media has abandoned its responsibility of reporting facts in exchange for distracting, distorting, propagandizing and protecting. The public education system also ran by liberals, has dumbed down the quality of education in exchange for explicit (non-age appropriate) sex education and revised negative American history. For these reasons, individuals must master the ability to think critically in order to navigate through the lies and distortions coming from the mainstream media so that we can elect people based on his or her record of accomplishments, stance on important issues, and the substance of his or her rhetoric.
Not a day goes by without my reading about some illogical narrative being presented as journalism when it is really propaganda used to appeal to the emotions of its audience. In wake of the mass shooting at the college campus in Roseburg, Oregon, gun control advocates have gone off the rails. Anyone that these people in the media sees as a threat to their illogical narrative that guns kill people, must be destroyed. After the shooting, CNN trotted out the deadbeat father of the shooter, Ian Mercer, to advocate stricter gun laws. Mr. Mercer has not been a part of his son’s life, yet he had the audacity to say that he did not know how his son was able to get the guns. Governor Bobby Jindal highlighted the fact that some of the blame should be put on the shooter’s father for not raising his son:
Now, let’s get really politically incorrect here and talk specifically about this horror in Oregon. This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns. Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here. He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology.
Charles Pierce, a liberal writer for the men’s magazine Esquire, became so enraged at Governor Jindal for his statements that he wrote an article that is actually headlined “Please Punch This Man in the D***“. He never explained why the governor’s statements called for such violence. He only made the following statements:
This’ll be good for at least a three-point bump in the next poll of Iowa Republicans. However, would I be uncivil if I were to suggest that somebody punch this man right in his dick?
Liberals become enraged when faced with the truth. When faced with an article that is void of a real topic and fails to point the reader to its true purpose, the reader has to asked several questions of the writer. We must always ask questions in order to get to the facts. This is how critical thinking actually works. If one is asking questions, he or she is thinking. Dr. Linda Elder and the late Dr. Richard Paul, founders of The Critical Thinking Community, said the following about one’s quality of thinking:
The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our thinking. The quality of our thinking, in turn, is determined by the quality of our questions, for questions are the engine, the driving force behind thinking. Without questions, we have nothing to think about. Without essential questions, we often fail to focus our thinking on the significant and substantive.
When we ask essential questions, we deal with what is necessary, relevant, and indispensable to a matter at hand. We recognize what is at the heart of the matter. Our thinking is grounded and disciplined. We are ready to learn. We are intellectually able to find our way about.
To be successful in life, one needs to ask essential questions: essential questions when reading, writing, and speaking; when shopping, working, and parenting; when forming friendships, choosing life-partners, and interacting with the mass media and the Internet.
Yet few people are masters of the art of asking essential questions. Most have never thought about why some questions are crucial and others peripheral. Essential questions are rarely studied in school. They are rarely modeled at home. Most people question according to their psychological associations. Their questions are haphazard and scattered.
The time has come for taxpaying American citizens to get serious about how we think. We cannot continue to allow the media and slick talking politicians to guide our thinking. Because thinking is hard work, most people would rather someone else do the thinking for them. That is how we got where we are today. For those who want to improve his or her thinking, I suggest your purchase a copy of The Art of Asking Essential Questions, a $6.00 miniature guide.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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