To see what is in front of one’s nose…

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” – George Orwell

I see this quote used so often that it strikes me as cliché to lead off this post with it, but sometimes, to use another cliché, the shoe just fits.

One of my goals for this blog is be able to articulate exactly what it is I believe. It’s easy to have set of unexamined and unsupported beliefs. But it’s far harder to have clear, consistent, well-reasoned, evidence-based, morally sound beliefs.

For example, in an earlier post, I produced a laundry list of issues or “-isms” that, to my mind, swirl around the gravitational core of the new Progressive Movement.

But for me, a laundry list isn’t good enough. It has to make sense. It has to be coherent. And most important of all, it has to have evidence to support it. In other words, it has to have deep roots.

Coming to this kind of understanding is incredibly hard to do, especially when one tries, as I mentioned in my first post, to be open and intellectually honest.

In keeping up on current events, it’s hard to avoid the sense that at all times you’re just being played. It’s standard fare in our political discussion to be disingenuous; that is, “not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating.” Too often we get intellectually dishonest opinion or just straight-forward propaganda. Many times the goal of much of this talk is simply to confuse, so as to leave the reader or listener paralyzed. An ill-informed, fuzzy-headed, paralyzed electorate is ripe for manipulation.

And that’s where we come back to George Orwell. To say it again, it’s damn hard work to separate the good arguments from the bad ones, the honest claims from the dishonest ones, the truth from the lies. But each one of us – as individuals, as employers and employees, as parents, as consumers, as citizens – owes that to ourselves and our nation.

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