The Folly Of Total ‘Skepticism’

Graham’s  friend writes on social media…

…”Question everything, always.” Newt Gingrich calls the Congressional Budget Office, with its statutory duty to analyse and report on proposed legislation,  ‘left-wing, corrupt‘ and demands its closure. Trump surrogate (and incoming Chief of Staff) Reince Priebus makes similar comments on the Ethics Office:

“That person [Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics] is becoming extremely political… I’m not sure what this person at Government Ethics, what sort of standing he has any more to be giving these opinions,” Priebus said.

For good measure, Priebus added, Mafia-style, that the Ethics officer should  “be very careful…” (“You gotta nice Ethics Office here, be a shame if anything happened to it… if you catch my drift…”). And our President-elect casts such shade upon respected news media that even the least respected step in to defend their colleagues’ integrity.

We’re in very dangerous territory here. To refuse to accept anything anyone says, or any media source publishes, is not to espouse scepticism but its opposite — blanket denial. And the Big Denial, reported often, is a standard totalitarian tactic (see Stalin–“Millions plotting to kill me, There is no famine, There is no invasion…”). But it only works if there are no credible sources channelling contrary truths. Take away the sources (say, by bankrupting them), take away the credibility of the remainder (supported even by left conspiracists, determined to believe everyone is in a cartel to exploit and mislead them), encourage their owners to cut their ability to investigate on “economic grounds,” (yes, Seattle’s KOMO, we’re looking at you here) and dictatorships thrive. They thrive, confident that all they need to do is deny, deny, deny, and their surrogates will go on uncritical media and lie for them… and so we descend into the pit that is the opposite of democracy. It rubs the lotion of its own distilled prejudices on its skin, or it gets hosed again.

John (channelling Private Schulz) …

I know … nothing …

I hear … nothing …

… the man himself.