Monday, October 26, 2015

The Land of the Free...To Be Stupid

One of the things Americans have struggled to achieve over the last two and a half centuries of our existence is to make sure the right to vote is extended to all its adult citizens. This country founded on the principle that all men are created equal only extended to right to vote to white men. Over time, the right to vote has been extended to people of color and women. Basically, unless you're under 18 or a convicted felon, if you're a citizen of the United States, you get to vote. Casting a wide net to the citizens of the USA means we can pull in almost everybody. 

Regrettably, that also includes stupid people.  

I try to think positively when it comes to humanity. I think people are more likely to be good than bad, be kind instead of cruel, to think as opposed to giving in to ignorance. It's that latter part that seems to be taking a real beating of late. 

Get a load of this poll data on the appeal of GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson

















Now what does any of that shit have to do with providing for the common defense or promoting the general welfare of this nation? Nothing! But there's a segment of the population that seems to think these are necessary attributes for a would be President. That segment is not as small as they used to be and the voice of that group gets louder and more strident everyday. 

It is a garden of hate and ignorance that has been cultivated by right wing ideologues and billionaires no longer beholden to the campaign money limits of years gone by. 

In 2004, going into the Presidential election, the polling showed George W Bush and John Kerry in a tight race. But Bush advisor Karl Rove wasn't worried; he knew his boss would carry the day and it wasn't a matter of whether Bush or Kerry had the greater number of supporters. The key to a Bush victory was that more of the people who hated the idea of a Kerry presidency were more likely to actually go out there and vote than those who hated a 2nd Bush term.  

I've referenced this before but a women was interviewed on the news who did not like the way Bush was handling the war in Iraq or the economy at home. But she voted for him anyway because she knew he wouldn't allow gay marriage. The pressure of this voter's ideology was greater than her concerns about the abilities of the man she voted for to actually do the job he was elected to do. 

A candidate's morality is a fundamental part of who he or she is and cannot be discounted. But in the final analysis, we're not voting for Moral Arbiter In Chief. The President is not in the White House to serve your religious agenda; the President is there to serve the needs of the entire country. 

But that's the bill of goods that a lot of people have been sold and let's not mince words here: these people are stupid. I'm not saying they are stupid for believing what they believe but they are stupid for thinking our political leaders should be leading based on the foundation of their particular religious (conservative Christian) background. And they're stupid for not seeing that they are being played for suckers. The billionaire backers could care less about what outrages this segment of voters; they just need their guy in office to get things done to the benefit of the billionaires. And to make that happen, they need their guy to win the most votes. They could care less about the source of those votes. The votes of stupid people are just as good as anyone else's and there are, God help us, a lot of stupid people. 

I recently read a piece about how George H W Bush, the 1st President Bush, was not at all happy with the current political climate that sees Donald Trump at the top of the polls. But the basis for this discord was nourished by the political operatives who put his son, George W Bush, in office in 2000 and 2004. Hate, fear and ignorance stokes the fires of enough voters, particularly the dumb ones, to keep this twisted mockery of the Republican party in power. And now events are playing out to the next logical extreme as these agitated voters embrace the even more outlandish statements of people like Trump and Ben Carson. And there are enough of these voters, the stupid people, to make a difference.

Which means this falls on the rest of us. Those who are smart, wise, intelligent...I still believe we outnumber the stupid people. No, we don't have to be rocket scientists or philosophers or political insiders. No, we just need to be smart enough to know a con job when we see one. 

Everyone, be good to one another.

Dave-El
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