I am a C-SPAN junkie. Aside from the education, watching committee hearings unfold, hearing what the committee members and witnesses have to say, from the lips of each, I am a C-SPAN junkie because I am incensed that any human being on earth might even dare to presume I need him or her, the "talking head," to decipher what I have personally seen and heard.
I think every human should be so incensed. Look, while some certainly were, very few of us were born stupid. No, most who are stupid, who are ignorant of those social and philosophical and political matters they have a very real moral obligation to not be ignorant of, made a very real personal decision to be ignorant of them. That is stupid. That is what makes them stupid. It's why we should not defer either thinking or calling them stupid, for indeed that is what they are. You don't call a cat a dog, and you don't call an automobile an airplane. You call it what it is.
And they ought to be thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed for their voluntary decision to be ignorant, for their voluntary decision to prefer to be led by the nose by those who are in truth no more knowledgeable or more wise or more well-intended than are they themselves.
I was in one of the waiting rooms at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, in California. Available for viewing on the television screen was the commencement address by President Obama, at Notre Dame University. One of the alternatives was "the game,"- the final semi-final basketball contest between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic. Remember, if you will, the room containing the television was, according to Mapquest, 2,947 miles from Boston and 2,408 miles from Orlando. Not a soul in the room--I asked--was even from east of the Mississippi. No one had as much as an imaginary dog in that vicarious fight. Not even a dime had been wagered on the outcome by anyone in the room. Thus it is safe to suggest that what happened on the basketball court would mean nothing to the lives of anyone in the room. Thus it is safe to say: it was totally MEANINGLESS!
But the channel was set, by majority vote, on "the game,"- and not on what the president intended to say in South Bend, Indiana.
On most occasions I might empathize with those who felt that it was after all just a speech by a politician; the President of the United States, but a politician, just the same. What made this different, however, was the pre-air play it was getting on newstalk radio stations and on cable news . . . across the nation. The fact that Obama strongly supported and supports the dignity of a woman, her right and ability to make highly personal decisions for herself, was being assailed by those who felt differently. And great hay was being made by the Right concerning the chasm. Great hay was being made concerning the huge protests on Notre Dame's campus, ahead of the speech. Great hay was being made of how the president was heckled by those in the crowd, indeed, by the crowd.
I'm going to step from this lectern. I'm going to say not one word about those protests. Below is the link that will take you to a video of the speech. It's 31 minutes and a few seconds. You decide about what you see and hear. And THAT is the point entirely: You watch, You listen, You decide! Just do not permit anyone else on this earth to do your thinking for you! That would be, after all, really stupid.