This didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to

needa cuppaI don’t have a lot of time right now, but I do have some coffee…so let me get a few things out there. Consider the confluence of the following things:

  • A recent study shows that conservatives who are given data to refute obvious mis-statements by Bush and Co. – um, yes, let’s just call it lies and be done with it – are more likely to believe the lies afterwards. In other words, data, actual facts, to the contrary of what they believe makes them more likely to believe lies. The study points out that this is more common with conservatives (no big surprise), although it happens with liberals as well (again, no big surprise).
  • McCain’s recent “FactCheck” backfire.
  • My most recent posting about Obama donations as a reaction to fear of McCain/Palin – which of course, from the comments, we know never happens.
  • Bill Maher’s usual “people are too stupid” rant, most recently trotted out on Rachel Maddow’s new show.

So what are we dealing with here?

Again, we’re keeping this short – but clearly, Something Is Wrong. We are no longer at the point where voters can be expected to do logical things in crowds, and yet many things which do work tremendously well, such as the Internet, operate on exactly that principle. There are still smart and very smart people out there, and there is still a chance for them to rise to the top – except with politics, that’s no longer even necessarily the expectation. In fact, it’s entirely flipped: we expect idiocy at the top…and that’s both Republicans and Democrats. And as a result, we breed for the characteristic.

The whole thing with Maher is, I’m convinced, barking entirely up the wrong tree – and yes, I realize that I said something similar before, but what the heck, I’m starting to change my mind. It’s too – pardon me, but – stupid to say that the American people are simply too stupid. People aren’t all geniuses, and they certainly aren’t immune to their own faults, but then, that’s always been true, and preening shmucks like Maher certainly don’t represent a tremendous improvement. This is a pathology we are dealing with. People aren’t choosing the right guy or government because they can’t. They’ve been so battered that they no longer have the emotional capacity to choose the right thing. They lack the imagination to envision another world because it’s been beaten out of them by the powers that be…be they corporate slime, single-minded Republican Neanderthals, the in-power Dems who’ve raised banality to an art form, or just the unscrupulous neighbor who looks like he can make a buck off a sucker. Call it capitalism, Western decadence, un-Godliness…whatever it is, but at this point, Americans are sinking into a morass that they may not be able to recover from without some serious (outside?) help.

So, we’re not stupid…we’re just crazy. In a way, that’s good news.

To get out of this, we need to reconnect on a different level: a more local, more human one, without the intervention of non-human agencies (pre-eminently, the corporation). Government really does have to be re-invented; the existing model needs to be subverted and torn down – and all the money-grubbing slime must be cut off and kept at a distance until we can put it back together again the right way. A new value needs to be placed on intelligence, imagination, creativity, and heart – “progress” and “advancement” need to be defined in terms of those qualities. And we need to do this before the complete economic collapse (at the hands of the super-wealthy) or the complete breakdown of our eco-structure.

Not surprisingly, I think the Green Party fits the bill for the way to progress in this…but I’ll admit even we are not doing enough, fast enough.

Again, not enough time right now to go into all of it – but hopefully, I at least switched on someone else’s mind out there. If we get to the Promised Land, that’s fine; I’m not so proud as to say I have to lead the march.

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One Response

  1. I think people expect idiocy at the top because, as we know, good guys never make it in politics. (Just look at the Green race, being a supporter of Johnson, you know who the best candidate was. And, while you haven’t been openly disgusted with the person who they chose, you have mentioned before that she wasn’t the best choice for the job.)

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