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Mostly, We are Idiots. So How Did We Elect a Genius?

By       Message Allan Goldstein     Permalink
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Until I got into this blogging business I thought internet porn was about sex.  Man, was I an idiot.  The real internet porn is obscene, masturbatory political attitude tarted up as opinion.

Blogs are depressing, don't you think?  I mean, unless you really need to find a place where your prejudices are shouted back at you in the world's biggest echo chamber at the speed of light, it's kind of a downer.

Call me Dilbert and pass me the dunce hat.  I thought the web had the potential to host a highly diverse, highly individual, people-to-people dialogue.  We could come here and share our thoughts, our thoughts, not the prepackaged suite of mascot issues and fetishes that comes with membership in one or another ideological fan group.

The web is like a superconducting magnet--everything is pulled powerfully towards the poles, left and right.  The loneliest four words in the blogs are "on the other hand."  Kindergarten fights have more nuance.

Conspiracy theories abound, on both sides.  If you are looking for the absolute gold standard test for stupidity and irrationality, you'll find it on the web, and it goes by different names.

The right calls it the Trilateral Commission and the black helicopters.  The left calls it the 9/11 plot, the JFK plot, and the CIA caused AIDS plot.

The difference between the bigoted right and the bigoted left?  The right-wing bigots blame the Jews for all our problems.  The left wing bigots blame Israel.

The left wing netroots are all ablaze right now over the delicious prospect of bringing the previous administration to the dock and extracting a legal pound of flesh from Bush and Co., and we all know which pound of flesh.  The arguments for and against prosecuting Bush administration people for supposed crimes and abuses are more or less valid, but beside the point.  The point is revenge and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar or a hypocrite.

Do I go too far?  Perhaps.  This is a blog.  But if your priority is to advance a truly progressive agenda in these oh-so-desperate times, if your philosophy tells you our very survival as a nation depends on that, would you be having wet dreams of sending Dick Cheney to Guantanamo to be Alberto Gonzales's prison b*tch, or would you be looking forward?  Aren't the political obstacles to social justice, universal health care, economic recovery and educational reform high enough already?  Is it rational to turn opponents into sworn enemies?  And what happens when the Republicans win again, as they will, some day in the distant future?  You better be prepared to lawyer up, because they'll be coming after you, just like you did to them.

I'm telling you, it's a foolish dead end.  The Move On Dot Org crowd needs to move on.

The right is no better and probably worse, but they are in eclipse right now.  They still think that government is the root of all our problems.  The idea of using any intelligence accumulated by homo sapiens in the past fifty-thousand or so years to change the workings of implacable nature "otherwise known as the free market'' strikes them with fear and loathing.  The retard right doesn't believe in evolution, but, when it comes to the economy and government, they are strict Darwinists.  They believe in the survival of the fittest, in the markets, with little or no government intervention.  Evolution, in other words.

There is no more philosophical or moral consistency to the conservative's love for law and order in society, and hatred for regulation in the economy, than there is in the left's love of the people, while disdaining all the people who don't think like them, recreate like them and hate like them.  And it's all on display on the web, every day, endlessly.

Do you believe in miracles?  Well, we're living one, right now. Because somehow, out of this witch's brew of fifth-hand opinions, steaming plates of anger and hatred, unexamined attitudes and confused philosophies, out of this cauldron of error, lies and misinformation, we managed to elect Barack Obama as our leader.  Out of 320 million Americans we seem to have picked just the right individual, a man who possesses almost all of our virtues and precious few of our extravagantly numerous faults, to be our president.

Are we lucky or what?

I think what.  I think that the collective wisdom of the American people transcended the individual follies of the American people.  Somehow we dumped all our prejudices, all our anger, for the corporations, big oil, big pharma, big anything and big Bush/Cheney on the one side and for San Francisco liberals, the gay agenda, secular humanists and godless baby killers on the other side into a big pot, set the flame on boil, filling the air with the acrid fumes of our burning bile and Barack Obama came forth.  Cool, sweet reason, sparkling, unprejudiced brilliance, smiling reassurance and a forward, yes, progressive vision that looks at what should be, not at past injuries with diseased dreams of revenge.  That's what we got.  That's what we gave ourselves.

One day of reading blogs is enough to send me to the depths of despair.  So much passion, hatred, stupidity and delusion, all the Rolaids in the world and a titanium stomach can't stop the heartburn.  A people that agitated, that divided, so prone to believe the worst of one another, so deluded by straw men, conspiracy theories, political hallucinations and bogus arguments can't possibly choose a leader with none of those pathologies, can they?

Yes, they can.

 

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on Amazon.com, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
 

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