I think it's in the Second Amendment.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then does knowledge.
My American friend who has lived a dozen or so years in Denmark wrote today on her blog moments of perfect clarity of the rise of conservative political thinking in Denmark. I was so surprised and alarmed by this that I have thought about it throughout the day. Denmark? Really?
In my thinking I remembered the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Basically a study that concluded that people who perform at a lower standard overestimate their own abilities and cannot discern the difference when shown evidence of higher performing results on the same task.
This is brief synopsis from the study:
"The skills needed to produce logically sound arguments, for instance, are the same skills that are necessary to recognize when a logically sound argument has been made. Thus, if people lack the skills to produce correct answers, they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers, or anyone else's, are right or wrong. They cannot recognize their responses as mistaken, or other people's responses as superior to their own."
This is why the old women at a Tea Party rally holding a sign exclaiming "Keep Government Out of My Medicare" does not and will not understand the disconnect in that statement. This is why there are no arguments that can be made which will convince adherents of our strange political right there is tremendous hypocrisy in anti-government rhetoric coming from people whom have made a career of government. The inability to believe a birth certificate which states a US birth, or a decades old membership in a church may preclude being a Muslim, or not recognizing a very pro-business administration operating before their very eyes while crying out about anti-business policy. A preconceived belief will override reality every time. I have, in my unintellectual way, simply said "you can't argue with stupid". This is not to imply intellectual inferiority, as my PhD neighbor is proof, but rather a lack of, in my opinion, curiosity and holding onto beliefs which are not rooted in fact.
Which leads me back to Denmark. The US is not the patent holder on this effect, so it stands to reason that it is in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, et al. The difference will be, will the Danish people recognize what is happening and react before there is a toehold in the political system? The liberal establishment in the United States viewed the radical right and religious right as outside the mainstream, and they were, but a slow, steady crawl into the consciousness of people who were open to the mindset moved it into the forefront of American politics and therefore American society. The result is where we are now.
I have faith. I must, as I want to believe in the Scandinavian democratic vision of a benevolent and civil society.
Lest you think I have spent all morning ruminating over the politics of Denmark, here is my soup-of-the-day. I have been renamed the Soup Goddess. You may address me as Her Soupiness.
Lentil & Sausage Soup