Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Making Changes For The Better

Adam Keda had a letter in today’s paper on the op/ed page and after thinking it through; I find I pretty much agree with him though I hadn’t thought of it in his terms. He basically said that a lot of people in Dodge City go to great lengths to pontificate about things which they know very little about and it is damaging to both the local economy and the quality of life in our community. Armed with half truths, wives tales, superstition and hearsay, they feel nevertheless compelled to expound with a bewildering stream of nonsense on a wide range of things which are extremely important to our community. Moreover, even when presented with incontrovertible facts, they continue to proclaim their ignorance loudly, belligerently, and inexplicably, with apparent pride as if such behavior will outweigh the truth. It is an “Ideology of Ignorance”. It is as if these people consider knowing little or nothing about a subject to be some sort of badge of honor – some sort of noteworthy accomplishment.

This atmosphere is particularly vexing to those who are, with no personal agendas or financial interests, trying so very hard to do strong, positive and quality things for the community. Unfortunately, through my experience of dealing for the past few years with local government, I find that both our city and county commissions fall repeatedly under the sway of this “Ideology of Ignorance”. I do believe our commissioners to be well meaning. However, they seem to be unable to make rational and useful decisions in the face of the loud and negative complainers that make up the “Ideology of Ignorance”. Adam saw this too, and I join him in crying out against it. In fact, anyone who wants to see our community return to the positive, forward thinking and progressive days of the past needs to join Adam too.

There are two things we can do to change this deplorable, negative, “Ideology of Ignorance”. The first is to join together and overpower the ignorance with studied, considered, and accurate, factual data and information devoid of the emotional blackmail and backward isolationist thinking that has become ubiquitous lately in our community. The second is to demand in our upcoming primary election, and in the follow on regular election, that candidates for city and county commission who have any hope of getting our vote must be positive, forward thinking people who will base their decisions on solid research, fact, and evidence – AND be willing to stand up to and face down the perpetrators of the “Ideology of Ignorance”.