It is not a failing to be a thinker. It’s a failing when you feel smart in the absence of your own thinking.

You might be experiencing the Dunning-Kruger effect, or why the ignorant think they’re experts.

The Founding Fathers were not Bible-thumping fakers who made a living quoting scripture, telling God what to do and the people how to behave; gesticulating with an authoritative fist pointing heavenward.

Susan Jacoby said it well in Age of American Unreason:

The founders of the American nation were, of course, anything but common men. More than half of the fifty-five members of the Constitutional Convention had been educated at colleges in America or Europe, mainly England.

Others, most notably Benjamin Franklin, were self-educated scholars of international renown. James Madison, wishing to enlighten his fellow delegates about previous experiments in federal unions, presented extensive material from his own studies of confederations in cities and states in both ancient and more recent times. The research drew on many books recently sent by Thomas Jefferson, at Madison’s request, from France.

As Madison explained, he was impelled to take detailed notes at every meeting of the convention precisely because there were only the sketchiest records of “the process, the principles, the reasons, and the anticipations” that had motivated politicians in ancient times. The absence of such historical documents, Madison said, “determined me to preserve as far as I could an exact account of what might pass in the Convention whilst executing its trust, the magnitude of which I was duly impressed, as I was with the gratification promised to future curiosity by an authentic exhibition of the objects, the opinions, and the reasonings from which the new System of Government was to receive its peculiar structure and organization.”

Only an intellectual would have described the need for accurate note-taking at what was, after all, a political assembly with a specific political purpose, in quite this way. The most influential and admired men of the era—Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Rush, to name only a few—were also polymaths at a time when it was still considered possible and necessary to comprehend every area of human knowledge and experience.

Jacoby, Susan. The Age of American Unreason . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

They are all around us.

The country is crawling with Patriots in Name Only who stalk gullible voters; self-appointed gunfighters thinking themselves capable of intellectual battle.

You who you hide behind but do you realize your approaching abandonment?

Do you understand that when you reach the greatest need for your own mind governed by the critical thinking, it will be lacking.

Because you mentally copy-and-paste someone else’s thinking into your own minds, never seeking to cultivate your own gifts.

Author: Arthur Ruger

Married and in a wonderful relationship. Retired Social Worker, Veteran, writer, author, blogger, musician,. Lives in Coeur D' Alene, Idaho

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