Ignorance Is Not A Virtue

President Obama just made the most “true” statement I think I’ve ever heard. The President was delivering his commencement speech at Rutgers University when he informed the audience that, “Ignorance is not a virtue”. It was delivered in the perfect context, in the perfect setting. As for the setting, the President was in the heart of Trump country. As to the context, the President went on to explain that not knowing what you were talking about was not an excuse for raising your voice and presenting your point again and again and again.

The President told the twelve thousand newly minted graduates, “In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue,”  “It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about. And yet we’ve become confused about this.”

I can certainly see where a lot of folks would consider having the phrase tattooed on their body in their favorite font. I might do it myself. It would be more relevant in our day to day lives than a quote from Khalil Gibran. Just have “Ignorance Is Not A Virtue” tattooed on the inside of your left arm, if the space is still available. That way you can look down at your arm when you feel like you’re about to comment on something that you have no knowledge of, like global warming, or what the Federal Reserve does.

Of course, if you have been imbued by your Creator with infinite knowledge, like The Donald, it probably won’t make much difference. The phrase assumes a certain self awareness that megalomaniacs like The Donald don’t possess. “Seldom right but never in doubt”, is how we refer to folks whose super egos were never developed. To that end, I’d like to offer up The Donald’s brain for scientific study to see if part of his issues are organic, or if they all stem from his upbringing. I realize the challenge will be getting to the brain through the impenetrable helmet of orange “hair” that surrounds the cranium, but science needs to be served. We need to develop a vaccine if the cause of The Donald’s wrongheadedness is organic. Billions of lives hang in the balance.

Ok, I’m having a little fun with the President’s speech. The fact that he was able to deliver a valuable life truism to graduating students, that was also a clever dig at the Republican party, is just another example of what a special mind the President possesses. Only the most ardent racist can look at where we were when President Obama took office, and where we are today, and not admit that he has been one of our greatest Presidents.

When President Obama took office the world’s economy was on the brink of complete collapse due to pilfering by the friends of Bush and Cheney. The stock market was in the 7,000’s when President Obama took office, it’s hovering around 18,000 now. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that even stupid ignorant Republicans have made a lot of money during the Obama administration. That is, unless they were constantly “shorting” the economy. Which should be against the law in my opinion. Why should we be allowed to bet on the failure of businesses? It just doesn’t feel right to me, but I’m not a market guru.

Which kind of brings us back to the topic. Granny Waller used to say, “Ignorance is its own reward.” She used to say it about people who purposefully stayed ignorant of situations that it benefited them to be ignorant about. Situations like cheating spouses, or a work practice that was harming their employees. I prefer President Obama’s phrase. It encourages me to learn and to not accept ignorance as an excuse. Most importantly, it encourages me to not spread my ignorance to others. Obama 2020.

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