“A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.” Thomas Jefferson wrote about the importance of a well-informed electorate many times.

Unfortunately, we have apparently dismissed Jefferson’s ideal. The recent election presented us with the specter of victory of the uninformed over the informed. The Electoral College victor, though losing the popular vote, was the candidate who lied throughout his campaign, and then lied to deny his lies. Fake news and conspiracy hoaxes were the cornerstone of his campaign.

Now, as president-elect, he even claims he is too smart to need intelligence briefings.

But this is not new; the GOP has long suppressed research as a way to further their goals: They denied the CDC authority to investigate gun violence (research could suggest guns are hazardous.) They denied the Pentagon authority to explore climate change as a threat to the nation (presumably it’s better not to know what threats climate change might pose). And now, in consort with the incoming administration, they plan to suppress climate science research occurring in NASA even though this agency provides much of the best climate research in the world.

Jefferson would be appalled: The worship of anti-democratic ignorance has become the hallmark of government.

Alan Journet

Jacksonville

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