Monday, May 3, 2010

Ideas and the Coming Election

Excellent post by Sylvia Bokor, who participated in organizing the Albuquerque Tea Party:
EXCERPT: But when one stated that the growing intrusion into American lives shows that "we must demand a restoration of individual rights," political party officials and political candidates declared that "Voters are turned off by that philosophical stuff." One candidate said, "The only way you can get elected is to talk about fiscal accountability and transparency. Talking about ideas is a waste of time. Philosophical ideas are too abstract. People don't understand them. What they understand is their pocketbook."

Such fatuous remarks reveal the magnitude of the speaker's ignorance. Bookstores are doing a booming business selling books that deal with ideas. For example, "Total sales of Ayn Rand's novels reached 1.1 million in 2009. . . . Nearly half of those total sales were Atlas Shrugged," a novel that deals with philosophical ideas. During the first quarter of 2010, sales had not slowed. Her non-fiction work, such as the Virtue of Selfishness, is also reaching new highs in sales. Libraries have long wait lists for books that deal with ideas. Bloggers dealing with ideas have good-size followings. Articles posted on the net by columnists who deal with ideas generate hundreds of comments. Talk radio has grown large, with steady audiences. The questions phoned in are predominately thoughtful.
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