Among the other paradoxical aspects of our current society, we’ve developed a language barrier, and I’m not referring to English as a second language. Rather, free speech and the analysis of ideas in this political climate have served not so much to inform as to indoctrinate. Ideologues on the right, having failed to present anything resembling actual ideas, remain obdurate in support of leaders who brook no opposition and refuse to entertain innovative approaches to what ails us as a country.

The term think tank as applied to ‘conservative’ factions is one of the most egregious misnomers of all. Gathered into groups of media-ready performers they resemble propaganda mills more than rational debate forums. With no-one to dispute their assertions at functions they indulge their favorite verbal histrionics, ‘experts’ elaborating on subjects that represent the goals of the various organizations. Thus, with very few exceptions, if you watch a Heritage Foundation event, you can be pretty sure what the content will be. The same is true at the Independence Institute where “free markets” and small government, a la Ronald Reagan, are the order of the day – – no mystery about the intellectual process at these ‘think tanks.’

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