I did not use to be a critical thinker. Over the last few years, I have started to become one with the help of my college courses. But, when you go to political debate groups or talk to people in person. You quickly realize just how many people do not use it. If you show them info that has been debunked by a reliable source (Politifact or Britannica), you are called biased for believing leftist lies. (Even though both sites have debunked lies about right wingers too), partisan hackery and ideologs who do not use critical thinking, will call you the one who needs to use critical thinking, when it is THEM who need the help.
I think one of the problems is, people always equate debating with winning or losing. That is not the case. You can debate and just want to learn something without there being a winner. Learning is the real winner. Information is something we should all strive to learn, but we feel too defensive when someone knows something we don’t. Maybe we need to stop thinking we know it all. We don’t. The real dumb person is the one who says, “I read the best or I know more than you.” Because you don’t know it all. None of us do.
Sad fact is, some people will refuse to see the truth no matter what you show them. They will make excuses and when you counter their info, they will build a wall up and shut out what you are showing. I think if we start our kids early, we can turn more of them into critical thinkers and at least lower this partisan hackery that is consuming our politics. Trump has given them a saying now so they can shout it when they see info they don’t like. Fake news, which does exist, but now, a lot of his supporters use that saying on a daily basis more than they use the restroom. Maybe, what needs to change is how we view debating. That may help get more people to engage and not get so defensive when anyone is wrong. We all can be wrong, I have, but I admit it.