Ronald Reagan once said, “Facts are stubborn things.” And he is right. Sometimes, the truth becomes almost impossible to ignore. I think we are seeing that now in the national debates over climate change and health care.
Yet, even more stubborn than facts are people. I tell the interns at my office when I meet with them that it is a person’s worldview, more than the facts that they are presented with, that usually shape their opinions on issues. Because the worldview is used to filter facts, keeping ones they like and discarding the ones that upset their view of the world. So we can’t always expect facts to carry the day. At least in the short run.
With this introduction, here are a few quotes that show the impact of worldviews on the U.S. at the moment:
“War in general would stop if we didn’t have weapons. Violence in our streets would stop if we didn’t have weapons.” – Code Pink protester, demonstrating against a Marine recruiting office in Berkley, California.
“The yearning for peace is universal … The people of the world can live their lives, raise their families, and resolve their differences peacefully. [We must] reassert our resolve to end conflicts around the world. We must stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and seek the goal of a world without them.” President Barrack Obama
“We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of the United States.” – Libyan President Moammar Khadafy
“When Obama said this “For those who question the character and cause of my nation”. . . I sort of expected him to follow up with something like, look at the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg address, this nation’s contribution to winning WWI, WWII, the Cold War, etc. Instead, he said this: “I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months.” He really imagines himself — to borrow the title of Allen Guelzo’s fine Lincoln biography — the redeemer president. … Obama’s mistake is in believing ‘the interests of nations and peoples are shared.’ They aren’t. Georgia has an interest in becoming a strong nation capable of defending itself; Russia has an interest in quashing it. China has an interest in dominating all of East Asia; Japan and other neighbors have an interest in containing it.” – Rich Lowry