IN THE COMMENTS: David Begley said:
"People believe what they want to believe."I'll bet "People believe what they want to believe" is said in a lot of movies. Kind of like "Let's get out of here," which we used to insist was said in every movie. Trying to figure out who first said "People believe what they want to believe" is like trying to find who first said "It takes one to know one" or "To each his own."
That insight was stated by Christian Bale in the movie, "American Hustle." Screenplay by David O.Russell.
That's really true in this election.
But I gave it a bit of a try and ended up on a page of quotes for the proposition "willful ignorance." It lets people "like" the quotes and the most-like one comes from Plato: "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
There's an Ayn Rand one for you Ayn Rand folks: "The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see." I like the Benjamin Franklin: "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
Begley connected it to the election (as did I, to myself, writing the post), so let me feature the Isaac Asimov quote:
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."And here's Ray Bradbury:
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.ADDED: That afraid-of-the-light quote isn't really from Plato. I thought it sounded un-Plato-y. Here's a list of things Plato didn't say.