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Dutch -- Yes, as I have watched all these "honest debates" with predictable questions by the moderators and the repetition of memorized, slickly delivered talking points of the candidates, and an audience cheering ignorance and lies, this 1997 statement by Carl Sagan about the dumbing down of America and the celebration of ignorance came to mind:
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance” -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
The candidates talking points last night about economics, creating jobs and their various tax and spending plans were more designed to bamboozle the audience...or in other words, "bullshit". Wow I could almost smell it through the TV screen. I think I must have cringed so much, my muscles are sore this morning.