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Opinion: Knowledge vs. understanding in this election year

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Like many on the right, I remain dumbstruck over how many voters continue to support this administration.

And I'm not referencing the "impartial" polls that show skewed results to drive opinion.

I recently read Mitch Albom's new book "The Time Keeper" as a diversion from politics.

And though this new novel is about time and how we measure life, there was a political nugget hidden in the novel's message.

The narrator of the novel speaks of the difference between knowledge and understanding.

It seems to me that most voters -- though certainly not all -- have some level of knowledge about the current state of politics in this nation.

Fewer still have any level of understanding on just what this knowledge means.

For example, most voters know we have an out of control federal deficit. But far too few understand the massive impact of this growing debt.

When your household budget is measured by hundreds, the concept of $16 trillion is beyond our grasp.

Most voters know something about the new federal health plan. But very few understand the negative impact that looms large from this impending disaster.

An administration spokesman was a guest on a Sunday morning talkfest this week.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, said elections were not about understanding programs.

He said elections were about style and presentation.

The details, he said, come after the election.

Many people have knowledge but few have understanding.

Keep reminding yourself of that assessment.

So here's the bottom line.

We all know of the arrogance, the misrepresentations, the misguided spending, the decreased personal income and the dwindling middle class.

We know of the debt and our nation's diminished influence in the world.

But do enough people understand to make a difference?

Don't worry. It's just your future that's at stake.


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Mike Jensen knows that Americans face many challenges, but he doesn't understand that they are far too complex to be blamed on any one political party or leader.

-- Posted by kahlerb on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 6:31 AM

The real disgrace is for a newspaper like the Southeast Missourian to allow person to pose as a writer who is a complete fraud.

-- Posted by foxtrot007 on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 7:34 AM

I don't understand the comment that Mike Jensen is posing as a writer. Wasn't this column listed under Op/Ed. My take on that is it is Mike Jensen's opinion and an editorial and is written in that sense, not as a factual article, although "in my opinion" it is a factual article that we all need to pay attention to as our country's future is at stake as well as the freedoms upon which this country was built--in my opinion.

-- Posted by whoknows? on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 8:08 AM

Many people have knowledge AND understanding. However, living pay check to pay check they feel powerless to make a difference. We will not see change unless we all stand together united and demand change in our corrupt goverment. Our only hope of power is in numbers at this point. This article really offended me. "Don't worry. It's just your future that's at stake." Thank you for sacrastically pointing out the obvious.

-- Posted by MINT4U on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 8:12 AM

Mike is spot on in his assessment. Knowledge? Here's some:

There are rampant riots and unemployment in Spain. Their government benefits are getting drastically cut - social security, health care - everything. Spain's debt to GDP is at 90%.

Americas debt to GDP ratio is 101.5% - we produce less than our debt payments and we are worse off than Spain who is cutting everything to the bone. Under Bush our debt to GDP was 69%.

That's a fact and is "knowledge". Mike's point is, do you understand?

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:00 AM

Documents from the Obama administration have been leaked and Bob Woodward (Wash Post reporter on Watergate/Nixon) has copies. The Obama administration - and Obama in his own words - will be cutting medicare $250 BILLION dollars if he is re-elected. Yet on the campaign trail they say "We won't cut medicare". You now have the knowledge - Obama plans to cut $250 BILLION from medicare - do you understand? The story out today:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppa...

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:44 AM


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