The principal argument is that we should not allow habits of thought that invite or facilitate deception and manipulation. Writer Andrew Bard Schmookler says:
“It matters whether people follow their authorities blindly or they develop the critical capabilities to think for themselves. Perhaps it’s fine to give the Bible unquestioning credence, but unquestioning trust in the declarations of political authorities can be dangerous.”
“The capacity for independent, critical thinking is crucial to the ability of Americans to protect themselves from that form of exploitation to which a democracy is most vulnerable—deception and manipulation.”
The piece descends into a full-frontal assault on G.W. Bush, but wherever you stand on the political spectrum, you should not let that distract you from the elemental wisdom of Schmookler’s core message.