Innocuous and Dangerous Ignorants

There are two sorts of ignorants: the innocuous sort and the dangerous sort. Maine Governor Paul LePage appears to be in the first category.

The press — and even The Economist — reported his statement that “We need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power.” I suspect that LePage did not know the political and historical significance of the word “authoritarian.” Indeed, the following day, on Wednesday 12, he declared that he meant to say “authoritative.” This would have been a strange word to use, but it is easy to believe that LePage did not want to convey the meaning of “authoritarian.” And the definition of “authoritative” given by the Portland Press Herald is not the most common one.

It possible that The Economist did not see the retractation in time for its printed edition of Thursday, Wednesday 13. We can hope that, in keeping with its high standards, the magazine will mention it in its next edition — and add an erratum online.

Trump, of course, is among the (very) dangerous ignorants, because he wants to force others to live according to his clueless, inconsistent opinions and whims.