By Ed Tubbs
September 17, 2008
Susan Jacoby, in The Age of Unreason, and Rick Shenkman in Just How Stupid Are We, use a variety of polls and surveys as evidence the average American is tragically ignorant of even most basic facts about America, our history, our government, and our world. Jacoby’s book, again with strong evidence, suggests we like it that way.
Consider, a majority of Americans cannot tell you how many branches of government compose the US government, what they do, and which branch declares war. Relatively few can tell you the century in which the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I took place. A majority cannot find Iraq on a map of the world, when the names of the countries are immediately atop the land areas that comprise them!
Nearly 17 times as many Americans were able, in 2007, to identify the final contestants in Dancing with the Stars than could name every constitutional right contained in the First Amendment. Twenty-one percent as many as could identify those final DWTS contestants, as could name their two US senators. Fewer than one in 20 could explain habeas corpus, or where that vital protection was located. (Almost none knew it was even in the Constitution!)
And none were genuinely ashamed as a consequence of their ignorance; “Oh, I just don’t pay that much attention to politics.” Nor does it move us the least to know that those who are most dear in our relationships are also so stupendously ignorant and stupid about matters that are so extraordinarily important. They can reel off factoids about things that have, and will not ever have the slightest impact on their lives, but lack the first clue concerning issues that insinuate themselves into even the very most intimate facets of their daily existance.
Think for just a moment about the implications of having a democratic republic that is literally, not figuratively, filled to the brim with ignoramuses, ignoramuses who actually decide who will govern, or who just don’t care who does. The final assignment, to think for just a moment of the consequences, is at the end of this post.
But it gets worse.
March 28, this year, I posted a blog, The Democrats Worst Nightmare, in which I clearly stated why John McCain should pick Sarah Palin as his running mate. I was prescient beyond that worst nightmare. Not because of Sarah Palin, however, but because of the distaff reaction to the Alaskan governor.
Know how the sun blinds you upon leaving a summer, afternoon matinee? Same thing re news footage of every time Sarah steps on stage. It rakes my eyes to see how every single woman, and the few men, who scream in wild adoration, have defined themselves as among the dumbest, most uninformed, ignorant creatures ever to have inhabited Earth.
I will not apologize. Nor will I demur. Absolutely, the dumbest, most uninformed, ignorant creatures ever to have inhabited Earth. And once again, the final assignment in this post resides near the end of it.
Sarah Palin is an unabashed liar. She continues to claim she told the US congress to take a hike concerning the “bridge to nowhere,” when videos and the print record show her for it all the way, until congress pulled the plug. And even then, she not only kept the money, she hired a lobbyist to lobby for more.
The Alaskan governor pledged her full support for the investigators looking into the question, whether she abused the power of her office in the firing of a state official, yet today, as McCain’s vice-presidential partner, is actively blocking that investigation.
Early in the year, Ms. Palin harshly criticized Senator Clinton for complaining the press was ganging up on her, was being “sexist.” But now, as a candidate herself, Ms. Palin has amplified the sexist echoes that came from Hillary.
And there’s more; a lot more!