The Dumbing of America

American author Susan Jacoby wrote an excellent article that appeared in yesterday’s issue of The Washington Post. Bottom line: “Americans are in serious intellectual trouble”. She quotes three main reasons for this trouble: the decline in reading (taken over by the “video culture”); the erosion of general knowledge; and the fact that many Americans are actually proud of their ignorance (a form of “anti-rationalism”).

Not that we needed Ms. Jacoby to know this about America, but she did a good job summarising the pain points. Perhaps Obama, Clinton and McCain will start their promised era of “change” by devoting some attention to the dumbing of their constituents?

Which reminds me. My wife is worried about Obama’s lead in the Democratic primaries. I told her I’m not so worried, as I believe that in a McCain-Obama face-off, the difference between the candidates will be so blatantly obvious that Americans will surely be smart enough to make the right choice. Now, after having read Jacoby, perhaps I should be more worried…

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