Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. — George Santayana, 1863-1952
We’re not fanatics here at Scholars & Rogues. As our founder, Sam Smith, writes today on our 10th anniversary, our unruly mob of scholars and rogues believes in a “fierce commitment to confronting challenging questions facing ourselves, our society and our communities.”
Many, if not most, of those challenges arrive at our digital doorstep because those who are fanatics have lost both their aim and their minds. We, as do you, routinely witness assaults on common sense, on dignity, on respect, and on intelligent public discourse.
We’ve tried to be more than mere witnesses here. When we’ve seen stupidity, we’ve shouted, sometimes whispered, “Hey! That’s not right. Don’t do that.”
But that’s not enough. To again paraphrase my favorite fictional president, Andrew Shepard, those who have lost their way or their minds on an issue do two things and two things only: Telling you to be afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it.