July 2, 2009

A gal named Becky...

Becky writes one of my favorite blogs. JUST A GIRL IN SHORT SHORTS TALKING ABOUT WHATEVER. If you don't read her, you should.

My more liberal friends may find much with which to disagree on Becky's blog, but for myself... I only find some with which to disagree. She is conservative/libertarian while I am liberal/libertarian.

Go figure.

Anyway, she has written a most wonderful piece on the state of dumbness in America. This is a piece that would make Carl Sagan weep. I'll reproduce it verbatim here, but you really must visit her blog to see the artwork with which she has decorated the piece. The artwork makes a good post even better.

The Dumbing Down of America

During the presidential campaign Barack Obama would often use a catch phrase to rebut McCain and Republican talking points--- “the American People aren't stupid.”

I am sure Barack Obama is quite aware that is not true at all—Americans are dumber than dirt and susceptible to all kinds of manipulation--- whether it is the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or that it is somehow possible to drastically increase federal spending and reduce the crushing national deficit at the same time.

The Goldwater Institute commissioned a study to find out if recent Arizona high school graduates had the requisite knowledge expected of naturalized American citizens. The result was that, except for the fortuitous circumstance of having been born on American soil, only 6.4% of public high school graduates would be entitled to the benefits of American citizenship.

Most of these scholars were unable to identify the first president of the United States, or the name of the Ocean located on the East coast of America.

When I was young and naive I used to think there had to be an explanation for Jay Leno's “Man on the Street” shtick. I always thought the participants were nervous, intentionally attempting to get their thirty seconds of fame on the Tonight Show, or that one of Jay's producers passed them a couple bucks.

But the explanation is much simpler—America is the land of the dumb and dumber.

Americans are much better versed in the composition of the Homer Simpson family than they are with the Constitution.

A study found that about 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances). But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the cartoon family.

They found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Europeans have long joked that "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.”

But it was not until the advent of modern scientific polling that it has become clear what spectacular dumbasses we really are—and how rapidly we are becoming even dumber.

In a book, called Just How Stupid are We?, destined to never become a bestseller, historian Rick Shenkman stares into the deep abyss of American Ignorance and directly confronts the continued legitimacy of the cherished notion of the wisdom of the people.

And the sad thing is while there is greater participatory democracy, and unprecedented access to information, as a society we are getting dumber and dumber.

As the American voter dumbs down they are increasingly misusing, abusing, and
abdicating their political power.

The end result is the erosion of freedom and liberty, and everything that made America special. Since we are so stupid and uniformed we are increasingly willing to hand over all decision making and power to the federal government and it's apparatchiks.

Indeed, nearly half of Americans think that the president has the authority to suspend the Constitution.

In the end dumb dumbs get what they deserve—tyranny.

As Thomas Jefferson observed:

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Becky has it straight. I deal with kids daily who cannot spell and haven't a clue about grammar. Ask them about recent news and they get a glazed over look.

They know Al Franken, but couldn't identify Norm Coleman... and they wonder why you would put the two in the same question. They probably recognize the name of the country, but couldn't find Afghanistan on the map.

The untimely death of Michael Jackson is the only current news they know or care about.

What is most unfortunate is that many of the ignorant have ascended to seats of political power, and those of us who actually read and pay attention to the news see and recognize the disturbing inconsistencies these dumb asses spout. The dumb and dumber in the electorate don't, and are fooled by the shrillness of the fear machine into reelecting the idiots time and again.

... and the sheep have not a clue just how dangerous that is.

Go read Becky's blog. Take my word for it. You will love this gal.


Old NFO said...

Excellent post, and sadly you are correct... Friend of mine is my age, black, from Birmingham, AL. We were talking at lunch Wed about this very subject. He was EXTREMELY frustrated by what he encounters daily in his community. He has for years been a mentor in the neighborhood, and quit earlier this year after a 15 year old pulled a gun on him in the church.
The rap, the slang, the clothing, the attitudes especially toward older people of ALL races. He said point blank we will soon have a generation of idiots who cannot function without being told exactly what to do; and then they will ignore it and do what they want.

Mule Breath said...

The day will come when one of them asks to be fed, and there will be nobody there to answer...

Because they are are all sheep, and sheep know only how to consume...

Lockwood said...

I've been reading Becky's blog for over a year now, and I agree: this was a good piece that I agree with. The thing about her blog that I value most, though, it she does such an excellent job of making the case for things I disagree with. Agree or not, I almost always respect her opinion after listening to her reasons for that opinion. Doubt she's interested in running for office, but...

Mule Breath said...

Indeed Becky does make one think and reconsider cherished opinions. Would that all conservatives were so bright and articulate.

Would that all conservatives were that hot, too...