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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/26/08

The Dumbing-Down of a Nation

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September 26, 2008


On the day of the first presidential debate I think we need to pause over the increasing lack of discernment among the American people; the dumbing-down of our nation. With each passing day we see more and more stupidity being sold to the American people, without so much as a blink from the stupefied nation.


Where to start America? Where do we start to examine the lunacy our country has become? Let us start with the notion that helping out poor people is considered socialism and helping out rich people is vitally necessary for the economic health of our nation. I start here because at least the early indications are that someone finally stood up for a minute and said no. For the past eight years we have seen a dramatic reversal of regulation within our financial and housing markets. The mantra from the GOP was that the government needed to get out of the private sector. The reality of course is that without oversight and regulation, greed runs rampant. It is the same reason why for-profits should not be in the business of running vital services for the people of this country. At the end of the day, they only care about money. So fast forward eight years and their greed has come home to roost. The response from the GOP? A 700 billion dollar bailout plan to save the very companies that acted so unscrupulously to begin with. Corporate welfare. The original plan drafted by Paulson called for no oversight whatsoever. Just give me 700 billion and ask no questions. When this was noticed and objected to Paulson relented but insisted that there should not be any “punitive” measures in what was passed. The translation of that mangling of the English language was that Paulson still wanted CEO’s to be able to rape what was left of the companies they looted; the so-called “golden parachutes.” While we are on the subject, why is everyone bowing down to the altar of Paulson when this mess happened on his watch to begin with? While we are on the subject, how come no one is asking why this plan was actually designed months ago, before the collapse yet no one tried to prevent it? While we are on the subject, why hasn’t anyone seriously questioned where they came up with the 700 billion dollar figure to begin with? Oh that’s right, we are supposed to be stupid sheep; just give us the 700 billion and ask no questions.


Furthering this stupidity is John McCain. He expects us to believe that for the good of the nation he had to “suspend” his campaign and dash back to Washington to resolve the crisis. Well, dash back after appearing on a NY news program, having a nice dinner in the city, and a good night’s sleep in Manhattan. When he was finally in route to DC the next day, he discovered that lawmakers had essentially agreed on a bailout agreement, making his stance seem quite foolish and would force him to have to go to that little debate he was supposed to have tonight. Can’t have that now can we? So McCain and a small band of GOP’ers decided to kill the agreement so that this self-perpetuated drama about the debate could continue and so that when an agreement is reached, Johnny McLiar can claim a lion’s share of the credit. And we are supposed to believe this stupidity? We are supposed to believe that McCain had to suspend his campaign? He couldn’t run untrue attack ads at the same time he was pretending to know something about the economy? Really?

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While we are on the subject of McCain, how much longer are we to endure the attack on everything rational and sensible that is Sarah Palin? Everyone was positively gushing about her at the RNC when they saw that she could correctly read a teleprompter but now that the lipstick is wearing thin what are we left with? A woman who thinks that foreign policy experience is being governor of a state that borders Russia? Really? I beg everyone to please watch this clip from her Katie Couric interview. It is a quick snippet where she tries to actually defend her ridiculous Russia comments:


Is this the person you want with the nuclear codes of this country??? I know eighth grade students who could have answered this question better without any prep. Not to mention this is Katie Couric for heaven’s sake; it’s not like she is hard-nosed journalist. I guess that Sean Hannity fluff piece really didn’t prepare poor Palin for the pit bull that is Katie. It is time for everyone to stand up and realize that the nomination of Sarah Palin is an insult to the Office of Vice President and somewhere Dan Quayle is laughing his head off.

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While we are on the subject of Palin, how did we get to the point in America where a Palin could even be sold to us as a potential candidate? Glad you asked. It started in 2000 with the Rovian ploy of convincing America that they should want a regular guy as president; ya know, a guy you want to have a beer with. When her defenders pimp Palin, they are fond of saying that she is just like you and I. Isn’t that the problem??? Next time you are out at your local bar or pub, I want you to take a good look around. Are these the people you want trying to figure out how to make sure you have health care? Are these the folks you want negotiating with Iran; or bombing them? Are these the people you want educating your children?


I don’t want to have a beer with my president. I want him solving the problems that face this country and the world and I would prefer he be sober when he is trying to figure it all out. I do not want my president to be just like me. I want him to be better than me; preferably a lot better. Preferably a lot smarter. We have had eight years of a national embarrassment. A president who couldn’t put together a coherent sentence with two hands, a thesaurus and a flashlight. I am relatively certain that if you asked Bush he would say that a thesaurus was a giant reptile that lived millions of years ago.


Jokes aside, shouldn’t we expect more of the leader of the free world? Shouldn’t we expect that he be intelligent and not just beer-worthy? Shouldn’t we expect that they be more competent than you and I? If not, why aren’t we running for president? I love my friends dearly but would shudder to think of what would happen if they were the President of the United States.


Unfortunately, the other area of extreme deregulation has been the media and that is exactly the vehicle that has been used to drive this dumbing-down process. No one asks decent follow up questions. No one is prepared to dismiss talking points as lies and when they finally do like Campbell Brown of CNN the McCain campaign thinks it is appropriate to publicly denounce her and cancel scheduled appearances. What makes Johnny McBush think he can get away with it? Because he knows the media is nearly all bought and sold by corporate America. In a country where a Fox News is legally allowed to exist and call itself news I should not be surprised. In a country where a clear partisan hack like Joe Scarborough gets hours each day to sell the party line disguised as objectivity, I should not be surprised.


The true culprit is buried in the recesses of the fake news networks and partisan hacks disguised as newspersons. Somewhere the truth got packaged. Somewhere fact became opinion and opinion became fact. A simple example is the coverage of the RNC, where the chief talking point parroted by every GOP stooge was that Sarah Palin had more experience than Barack Obama. Only in a Rovian America can Barack Obama be considered inexperienced or somehow unaccomplished. That was the talking point we were sold. Only in the heart of Karl Rove’s America can a man who has accomplished so much be denigrated so easily. Barack Obama is a graduate from Harvard Law School. Instead of seeking a huge payday on Wall Street or in law practice, he spent three years as a brilliant community organizer, while becoming the first-ever black President of the Harvard Law Review. He also created a voter registration drive that registered 150,000 new voters. After community organizing, which was mocked by the entire GOP, Barack spent 12 years as a Constitutional Law Professor and eight years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, where he became Chairman of the State Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. He then successfully campaigned for the United States Senate and has spent four years in the Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills (while Palin said he authored none) and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees. Yeah, he hasn’t done a thing folks.


And we are supposed to buy that he has less experience than Palin? Sarah Palin attended five different small colleges before graduating, with a journalism degree. From there she became the local weather girl, spent four years on the city council and six years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people. Remember that as State Senator, Obama represented 750,000 people, not 7,000. After that Palin has spent 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, or 100,000 LESS than what Obama represented on the state level. In that short 20 months, she has found herself under an ethics investigation for abuse of power.

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There can be no debate folks. There is no way anyone can make an argument that Sarah Palin has anywhere near the experience of Barack Obama. Yet there was the corporate media, lapping it up and regurgitating it for the public’s consumption. Barely a whimper in protest, barely a follow up question. THAT is how we get to the incredible level of stupidity in this country today. Up is down, right is wrong. Just repeat the stupidity over and over again and eventually some of it will stick. That is how they sold us the Iraq War. It is how they are selling us this ridiculous bailout plan. It is how McBush is trying to avoid the debate tonight. Subterfuge as credible fact. The secret to political success in latter day America is plausible deniability wrapped up in cool can of Budweiser.


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Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 46-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple (more...)

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