After I got back from storming through the neighborhood, and with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I came up with The Answer. Not an answer -- THE Answer.
Kay Crisman Petrini
If Kay, and other teachers like her, were allowed to do their jobs unhindered by bureaucracy and lousy paychecks, the rule of dumbasses would be over within a generation.
Critical thinking. That's what the best teachers inculcate in their students. And it's not necessary to have every teacher be a Kay Petrini. If a child has the opportunity to have two or three or four Kay Petrinis sprinkled throughout the elementary and high school years, that's usually enough to ignite the life-long fire of critical thinking. And then on graduation day there will be one more person who will be able to tell the difference between Shinola and that other stuff.
I'm not talking about creating the American Ubermensch. Not at all. See, here's how it shakes out.
Now let's return to that wonderful time before the Republicans and the Supreme Court stole the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush.
Al Gore was doing his wonky best to convince the middle third that he knew what he was doing and George W. was having a helluva time trying to walk and chew gum at the same time. It was painfully obvious there was something wrong with him. The guy Could Not Talk without lapsing into Bush-isms.
Christopher Hitchens summed Bush up best, "He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things."
Bush was the candidate the Republicans offered. I was not a big fan of Al Gore and thought Joe Lieberman was a gawdawful choice as running mate but there was really no contest. Bush was (and is) an idiot and Dick Cheney was an evil congressman, an evil Secretary of Defense, and an evil CEO of Halliburton. It didn't take much critical thinking, just a little, to decide who to vote for in the 2000 election.
A lot of people have e-mailed me saying Gore would have done exactly what Bush/Cheney did because of 9/11.
My initial response is I don't believe the events of 9/11 would have happened if Al Gore was the president.