John Ray at Montana Standard:

This atrophy of civic virtue produces an increasing inability to engage in constructive public deliberation. People no longer base their policy preferences on facts. People don’t think for themselves but rely on social media or authoritarian leaders to give them the unvalidated answers which they then repeat as though the pronouncements were infallible. Since their positions do not have a solid foundation, if you disagree with them, they resort to personal attacks and emotional opinions as we have seen in Butte regarding the Health Department. “It is only because of their stupidity that they are able to be so sure of themselves.” (Kafka) If an idea is not congruent with our biases or stereotypes, we reject the idea out of hand. Public discourse in the United States has become a vast wasteland devoid of civility and reasoning.