Sunday, September 14, 2008

Glorifying Stupidity

All of the major NYT editorialists today come at a theme indirectly that I think has permeated the last week of this campaign--and perhaps the past eight years as well. We are a nation that glorifies stupidity. Our schools founder because we don't want our kids to know more than we do. Our newspapers and news magazines are forced to write to a middle-school reading level lest they lose readership. We adore politicians who act and sound like us; that is to say, stupid. We hate the French because they look down their noses at stupidity; plus, they speak French, and we don't.

When I say "we," I don't mean "me." Say it loud, I'm an elitist and proud. Ivy League school, check. Grammar skills, check. Ability to opine on the Bush Doctrine, check.

I believe that a nation that so glorifies stupidity deserves to have its "We're Number One" status removed. And so we shall. A McCain-Palin win in November will prove once and for all that the worst & the dimmest trumps the best & the brightest in this Brave New USA.


Anonymous said...

Interesting poll out today that says Congress has an even lower approval rating than the prez. While I certainly think congress has dropped the ball almost every time it was tossed in its direction, and deserves a solid pie in the face, I find it difficult to believe that folks can think it's done a worse job than the executive branch. Is this just more stupidity, or is there an angle I'm (stupidly) missing?

David Makar said...

Congress - as a whole - has a very low approval rating, but individual congresspeople get re-elected over 90% of the time. We love our congress people (or at least a majority do), but we don't like the body as a whole.

My personal guess is because as a whole they don't and can't and won't work together to get anything done.

The left is upset that the party in power can't stop the war. The right is upset that their representatives couldn't achieve anything great while they were in power.

What will it take to get them to get anything done? What's the 100 year trend for congressional approval?

Anonymous said...

David, you make a good point. I'll take it one step further. Whether or not we voted for our local congressperson (and as you point out we probably did), we can happily blame the other 99 of them for screwing the world up. On the other hand, 50% or so of us actually voted for the guy at the top, so to blame him is to blame ourselves. Much harder.

KAZ said...

100 senators
435 congresspersons

mlutwak said...

Not to skip the many direct & deliberate ways in which our consumption culture encourages stupidity...

But, the television set is turned on for 6 hours and 47 minutes in the average American household. We're now at least two full generations into this behavior pattern. Given that that EKGs show the level of brain actvity during TV watching somewhere between sleep and coma, that's an awful lot of time spent not reading, not playing, not burning one's finger on the stove, not learning to be social, and in general, not learning.

It doesn't really matter if you're watching football, Animal Planet, or America's Best Chef. Even opiates leave you room for creative thought.