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Sunday, October 10, 2010

A new study shows that Americans are Idiots
Posted by Jill | 8:53 AM
Remember how Democrats always refuse to fight back against smears because "The American people are too smart to fall for that"?

No, they aren't. In fact, Americans are no longer capable of arriving at opinions through actual thought:
Americans have a more negative view of government today than they did a decade ago, or even a few years ago. Most say it focuses on the wrong things and lack confidence that it can solve big domestic problems; this general anti-Washington sentiment is helping to fuel a potential Republican takeover of Congress next month.

But ask people what they expect the government to do for themselves and their families, and a more complicated picture emerges.

A new study by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University shows that most Americans who say they want more limited government also call Social Security and Medicare "very important." They want Washington to be involved in schools and to help reduce poverty. Nearly half want the government to maintain a role in regulating health care.

So let's see...they like Social Security and Medicare, but they want spending cut to the bone. They want Washington to be involved in schools, but they want Washington out of their schools. They want Washington to help reduce poverty, but they don't want social programs for "Those People."

Take this woman, for example:
"I think the less the government governs us, the better we do," Norma Osuna, 48, said in a follow-up interview to the survey. A stay-at-home mother, she sees the country as going in a "socialistic" direction.


Did anyone think to ask her what her evidence was for her view that the country is going in a "socialistic" direction? Has she thought about it, or is she just parroting Glenn Beck? Do any of the journalists who talk to these people actually ask them to explain their views or how they got there?

Or how about this nitwit:
For Scottie Church, 39, of Winder, Ga., the answer is simple: "It's time to get back to basics. It's time for [the federal government] to get out of the way and let the private sector do its job."

And what, pray tell, is the private sector's job? Does Scottie Church even know? Has anyone thought to ask? If Scottie Church is talking about "capitalism", well, capitalism's job is to maximize profit. Not create jobs, maximize profit. And if maximizing profit means poisoning an entire community with toxic sludge or crude oil or benzene; if it means sending all the jobs to Asia in a never-ending chase for the most exploitable workers; if it means screwing over every man, woman and child in America, well, that's immaterial to the goals of capitalism. Capitalism is about profit, and ONLY profit. So I'd like someone to ask Scottie Church if that's what he/she means.

We are a profoundly ignorant. People don't know anything about their own religions. We know little of our own history, let alone our history in context with the rest of the world. We worship sports heroes who torture dogs, but we point at scientists and laugh. A profoundly messed-up woman like Christine O'Donnell can run on a platform of "See? I can't manage my finances either. I'm you." We had eight years of a dry drunk as president because people thought he was the guy they'd want to have a beer with -- as if that were ever going to happen. Now there are people who would vote to give the nuclear codes to an aging high school mean girl because they'd like to fuck her -- as if that's ever going to happen. Smart people are regarded with scorn as "elites." Ignorance is regarded as a virtue.

This is how an empire dies. And we are going to be around to see it.

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19 Comments:
Anonymous Sherry Peyton said...
There are times when I don't know as I can take any more stupid. Everyone just sifts through the "truths" until they come to the one they want. It's awful.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
give nuclear codes to an "aging high school girl because they would like to fuck her." That is pretty damn good.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
and further... I myself do not want to see her as president but I sure would not mind.....hmmm.

Blogger PridePress said...
It all really started to slide horribly down hill with NCLB. That policy effectively doomed social studies/history programming in schools. Civics classes, forget about it. We are no longer challenged to think critically, but to simply do sight recognition of a question and regurgitate an answer. As a society we are certainly doomed. It's not teachers or students that are the problem, its the lack of curriculum that will come back to bite us on the ass.

Why just a few years ago a study was done where some rediculous percentage of high school students (more than 70%) thought that the government SHOULD censor the media and newspapers.

WTF?! How did we get to that place?

I know things are bad as I am a labor intensive employer in a college town, and these kids are not well educated in the basics of grammar and spelling. Instead they are 100% reliant on smart phones, social networks, and the like for their collective world views, "Facts," and opinions.

Critical thought, and the questions that come from it are dead. Long live the dumb.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Always remember that by definition half of the population has an IQ of under the mean of 100.

Blogger casey said...
Hello Jill,

I would like to add something to what Anonymous said. "Always remember that by definition half of the population has an IQ of under the mean of 100." Yes but in our specific case the majority of the other half of the population seems to have the same IQ of under the mean of 100! This includes me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Smart people are regarded with scorn as "elites." Ignorance is regarded as a virtue. "

Ignorance is strength, and the penultimate sentence from Jill reminds me of Idiocracy, when Joe was told he talked like a fag, and his shit was all retarded.

I wrote the post below a week after your post, but I did not see your piece until tonight. My piece is less angry, but I understand your anger with people who mouth slogans they hear on FoxNews and elsewhere.

http://mitchellfreedman.blogspot.com/2010/10/creative-class-defends-obama-in-witty.html

I'd be killed by a mob in the land known as "Idiocracy", and it would be worse than what happened to Joe in the fight he had against Beef Supreme...:-)

Blogger Fiddlin' Bill said...
There is also the obvious factor that America is being subjected to a long term advertising experiment in the Big Lie, with some of the best salesmen running daily radio and television shows--the Right operates a continuing political advertisement for their distortions of reality, and there is almost no counter from any more rational quarter. It's really no wonder that people end up believing the contradictions you cite and many others as well. Then you mix in the repressed racism, the vague notion that the US is somehow "exceptional." Voila--a porridge ripe for the mold of fascism.

Blogger montysano said...
"Did anyone think to ask her what her evidence was for her view that the country is going in a "socialistic" direction?"

Been there, done that. A 60-comment FB thread, where my simple question was: "Give me one solid example of our slide towards soshulizm." I never got an answer, but did learn that ACORN is/was history's greatest monster.

"Has she thought about it"

No.

"or is she just parroting Glenn Beck?"

Yes.

Anonymous MoeLarryAndJesus said...
Please fix, "We are a profoundly ignorant."

Anonymous Li'l Innocent said...
Pridepress points to NCLB as the fatal instrument, and there's truth in that I think, but there's plenty of historical precedent for NCLB's teach-the-test imperative. My late mom, a classroom teacher who later specialized in learning disabilities, was fuming over testing and teaching-the-test 30 years ago. Same for the demise of social studies teaching. The sudden deep recession of the mid-70s, intertwined as it was with the Arab oil embargo, panicked a lot of people with a sharp new sense of national vulnerability. Across the country, states and localities that were, like now, scrambling to stay afloat immediately moved to slash school budgets. Anybody remember "Back to Basics"? Cut the frills was the cry, "frills" being anything other the late 20th C equivalent of rote 3 Rs. And also like now, there was a strong culture-war component - damn the elitists and hippies and all their sinful works, let's go back to the way it usedta be, and everything'll be OK. Not surprisingly the same era saw the rise of big-time,for big media televangelism.

It all has its roots in the soil of rapid change and fear. I don't know how much it helps to know that - maybe if we get lucky and Obama transmogrifies into Roosevelt tomorrow, or next week.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jill, I thought this was a well-written post, though it almost makes me want to cry in frustration at all of the resources and luck and bounty current Americans take for granted and are pissing away as fast as we can.

Alan

Blogger Your sister Clare said...
Scary and sad for us over here in Australia who are slavishly following in your footsteps.

Great post, interesting comments, thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Fantastic post Jill. Well said. Sad, but well said.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jill, your post is unfettered horseshit. The hypothesis that "americans are idiots" is no more valid than "all muslims are terrorists". If this is your attempt at displaying your "leftist intellectualism", I'm proud to be an idiot.

OpenID langs13 said...
If a Republican mentions socialism you know they don't have any damn idea about how our country works.

Most likely they live in one of the red welfare states that wouldn't survive without the socialist dollars of the blue states.

Anonymous LawStud said...
Thank you, Langs13. This is the same thing I've been saying for years to my southern family members who natter on and on about "soshulizm," and yet are never shy about feeding at the trough that us "Yankees" have been tirelessly filling. I distinctly remember an argument I got into last Christmas with an uncle that was yammering on about California's budget crisis being brought on by "liberal spending." I asked him whether he thought that perhaps California's massive subsidy of the southern highways he took to dinner may have had more to do with it. The discussion ended there, though I think it had more to do with his inability to comprehend how the treasury's money is accumulated and distributed than the force of the argument itself.

Blogger Mark E. Smith said...
I'm only 70 years old, so I don't recall a time when Americans could think.

But I do read some history. According to the book, Deliver the Vote, the reason that poor people voted for rich people who wouldn't represent them and who couldn't be held accountable back in George Washington's time, was that rich people gave out free whiskey at the polls.

Since that practice was stopped a long time ago, the only explanation has been stupidity.