The effective catchphrase coined by political strategist James Carville in Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign against president George H.W. Bush was, “It’s the economy, stupid.” 28 years later I’ll rephrase it to explain Current Events in the United States of America.
“It’s the stupid, stupid.”
Based upon the votes cast in the November 3rd presidential election the number of stupid people in the US is pretty much quantifiable. As of today, November 30th, the results are in: 73,919,330 stupid people voted for Donald “Fucko the Clown” Trump.
Now there are certainly more than 73,919,330 stupid people in the US but for our purposes, it’s more than enough evidence to take the American people to Stupid Court.
80,105,041 people voted for Joe Biden. It’s easier to talk in percentages so here’s what that looks like: Biden received 51.1% of the votes, Fucko the Clown received 47.1%, and that, friends and neighbors, is too damn close for anyone’s comfort.
In the 2016 election 63 million stupid people voted for Fucko the Clown. In 2020, Fucko picked up almost 11 million more votes.
Think about that for just a moment …
63 million Americans voted for a game show host for president, and after seeing what Fucko and his administration had done to the country over the last 4 years, almost 11 million more stupid people voted for him.
This is why the US is screwed. Very close to half the country is incredibly stupid. As far as I can see there is only one way to attempt to fix The Stupid. And I’d bet the incoming Biden administration will do everything except that one thing that might fix The Stupid.
But first … before we get into that … let’s talk about Stupid.
I’m not going to go into why there are so many stupid people or how so many people became stupid. That’s fodder for another time. But now I’m going to tell you a Real Life Crime story.
47 years ago I was mugged by a guy wielding a meat cleaver. It was 10:30 at night. I was walking the couple of blocks from my house to a corner liquor store to pick up a pack of cigarettes. Suddenly this guy burst from behind a hedge, raised an fucking meat cleaver above his head and shouted, “I’m the Hatchet Man. Give me all your money or I’ll chop your fucking head off.”
Now then …
I think I’m a fairly empathetic and sympathetic guy. I’m sure absolutely terrible things had happened to that mugger throughout his life that shaped and formed him into the meat-cleaver-waiving lunatic before me. But at that second I didn’t need to know about the mugger’s back story. All I was thinking about was if this thing goes sideways, it’s really gonna hurt.
The problem in front of me wasn’t systemic racism, poverty, or drug addiction. The problem was a crazy guy threatening to cut my goddamned head off.
So it is with Stupid People. We don’t need to know how or why they became stupid. We just need to understand and be aware of the fact that they are. We know that in the last election, very close to half the country voted for Fucko the Clown. And they’re all out there … waiting … waiting … and being stupid.
My definition of Stupid is pretty simple.
If the person doesn’t see what’s right in front of him or her … they’re stupid. When someone denies established scientific fact … they’re stupid. I could go on but I’ll sum it all up by saying if someone denies reality … they’re as dumb as a bag of hammers.
One of the many things we are taught to believe is that the US is a meritocracy. Just reading the definition of the word is apt to make a sane human being laugh, or gag, or both.
A Meritocracy is a political system in which economic goods and/or political power are vested in individual people on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class.
One might think that education might elevate us from The Stupid but I haven’t seen any evidence of that. I’ve known and worked with people who had PhDs. ALL of them were ultimately thick as bricks.
My dad taught Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington for almost 40 years and received his PhD in 1977. I would never have questioned anything he said about Mechanical Engineering but … the moment he strayed outside his field … he was an idiot.
I worked with him on his engineering textbook off and on for over ten years. He would come up with the text and rudimentary drawings and I’d translate his drawings into 3D illustrations using AutoCAD and assembled the results into the publishing program.
Why did it take 10 years? He kept changing and tweaking the text and drawings, which meant I’d have to re-do the book from scratch. But here’s the crazy part:
He didn’t want to use page numbers in the book.
It took me 5 years to convince him to let me number the pages.
The guy had a PhD and didn’t know how books worked.
I have no idea what was banging around inside his head. Did he imagine a teacher would stand up in front of the class, open the book and say, “Turn to the page I’m looking at by using magic.”
At this point you might say that Professor Alexander was somewhat eccentric. Y’know … The absent-minded professor. But wait … Jimmy Durante said, “I’ve got a million of ’em.” but I’ll only tell you a few more:
According to my dad the reason black people weren’t as smart as white people is because black people had smaller heads. That’s just one of the many many stupid things he righteously believed. My dad was the absent-minded racist professor who fervently believed in eugenics. As Larry Wilmore of The Nightly Show said, “This isn’t funny anymore … it’s just stupid.”
He was a staunch supporter of FDR but years later voted for Ronald Reagan … twice. How in the hell does that happen? The short answer is my dad was stupid.
Another PhD I knew earned his doctorate in Psychology. He too knew what he was talking about within his field but beyond that … seriously stupid. Dangerously stupid. I was working with him when the United States invaded Iraq. To explain away the ultimate war crime he said, “When some countries get uppity the United States has to get downity.” That is where stupidity becomes evil’s enabler.
John F. Kennedy’s administration recruited academics and intellectuals to create foreign policy. As detailed in David Halberstam’s 1972 book, The Best and the Brightest, Kennedy’s “whiz kids” served up the toxic stew of the Vietnam War.
The CIA and other spy agencies use America’s elite universities to recruit students. Scanning through the list of CIA “accomplishments” we only see one catastrophic blunder after another committed by these highly educated stupid people.
The CIA has a grisly history of overthrowing democratically elected governments and installing puppet dictators who were more “friendly” toward American “interests”. The oil in Iran and Chiquita Banana’s stranglehold of Guatemala was more important than the will of the people, and after the CIA engineered regime change the US trained those countries’ death squads to maintain order … and terror.
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions since World War II by William Blum is a history of CIA operations and United States military interventions designed by America’s “Best and Brightest.”
But that’s Stupid Foreign Policy. What about Stupid Domestic Policy? Here are a few off the top of my head..
The government of the United States separates children from parents seeking asylum in the US and puts them in concentration camps.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes massive air, water, and land pollution by pumping millions of gallons of water and thousands of tons of poisonous chemicals deep underground to get at trillions of dollars worth of natural gas.
But the top Story on the Stupidity Charts in the US for the past nine months is that over 13 million people have been infected, and a quarter of a million people have died from, the Covid-19 virus, because people are so goddamned stupid they won’t wear a fucking mask and keep their distance.
These things cannot end well. They are seemingly designed to fail. You can tell a dumbass, or a collective of dumbasses, are at the top making the stupid decisions that will blow back in catastrophic fashion.
The Sturm und Drang of Stupid
It’s hard living in a stupid world. It’s a dark and scary place that is impossible to navigate when one is ruled by superstition, fear, and faith. It’s so much easier to believe instead of think. And easier still when a person or organization relieves us of the burden of thinking so all we have to do then is believe.
This covenant is an alliance between the person or organization doing the thinking and the True Believers who keep the faith. In the fine print that no one ever reads, is the promise that the person or organization will be defended on all fronts, regardless of the cost, by the True Believers against the Forces of Reason. This codicil buried in the fine print has proven to be unnecessary because the True Believers voluntarily defend the person or organization without being asked to do so. Because the True Believers know instinctively that if they are ever deprived of the presence or beneficence of their revered person or organization … they’ll have to start thinking for themselves. And that … is hard. So praise the lord and pass the ammunition.
Which brings us to the philosopher Slavoj Žižek and his trilemma:
The Trilemma: Of the three features—-personal honesty, sincere support of the regime, and intelligence—-it was possible to combine only two, never all three.
If one was honest and supportive … one was not very bright.
If one was bright and supportive … one was not honest.
If one was honest and bright … one could not be supportive.
This absolutely applies to the 4 years of the Fucko administration. Sincere Fucko supporters are not smart. Smart Fucko supporters are not honest, and smart and honest voters could never support Fucko.
It really is that simple.
Over millennia empires rise and fall and I’d bet Big Money the primary reason an empire fails is that the stupidity of the populace reaches a tipping point.
I said earlier that the incoming Biden administration will do everything except the one thing that might fix The Stupid. Here’s the one thing:
Find the dumbest goddamned Trump supporter. It’s not hard. You know who I mean. The person who has a shitty job, struggles to keep a roof over their head, can’t afford decent food, definitely can’t afford any real health care, consistently votes against their own best interests, and there’s a pretty good chance that the pandemic has even wiped out their shitty job. What do you do to fix that guy? He’s been groomed to hate the libtards.
Bribery. Or more politely … A Universal Basic Income PLUS.
I’m not talking about Andrew Yang’s $1,000 a month for everybody. We’re going to have to throw in free healthcare, subsidized housing and transportation, as well as free education to make it work.
If everyone’s basic needs were comfortably met … then even the most die-hard MAGA idiot would have to shut up and begin to enjoy what FDR called the Second Bill of Rights … an economic bill of rights.
Now, we all know the Donor Class would do everything in its power to block a decent UBI. Rich People fervently believe that ALL money is their money … especially the money that is in your pocket. Their constant and unshakable credo has always been NEVER GIVE POOR PEOPLE MONEY … EVER!
The Donor Class and their minions have always said that if you give people money … the people will become … (gasp) … Lazy. And anyway the bottom line of their argument is The Country Can’t Afford It.
The US has spent at least 6.4 trillion tax-payer dollars on wars in the Middle East since 2001. If the US can blow that kind of money that has a Zero Return on Investment, then the country can afford a UBI for all of its citizens.
And if people take their UBI paycheck and become … (gasp) … lazy … Who Cares? I mean WHO THE HELL CARES!!!???
What might happen is that people freed from economic stress might live more enjoyable lives. They might take advantage of free education and learn how to do something other than being cogs in rich men’s machines. What if because of a UBI people started to become smarter?
As Kurt Vonnegut said, “We are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.”
It doesn’t get truer than that.
Regards from Beautiful British Columbia,
******** Addendum ********
Listening to last night’s show … that’s all I really heard. Anguish.That’s how sane people respond to unwarranted sickness and death.
I’ve been keeping track of the daily Covid-19 infection and death count since May. Y’know why? Because my two daughters and grandson live in the US. My friends live in the US. People I care about live in the US. And those people are fucking surrounded by stupid people.
I’ve written about Crazy Stupid People for years. And now I’m dropping the “Crazy.” The primary thing is Stupid. Wilful or “naturally” occurring stupidity is killing the US.
One of the “moments” I wrote back in 2006(?) you didn’t read. It was about responsibility and stupidity. It was how over 90% of the soldiers in Iraq thought they were there to payback Saddam/Iraq for the 9/11 attacks.
They thought that shit because Bush/Cheney et. al. (along with a very compliant Mass Media) kinda said that was the case. They hinted. They said everything they needed to say to give the impression that Saddam was one of the masterminds with Bin-Laden behind the attacks. It took years before Bush finally finally finally said Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But by then the damage was done.
When I wrote the “moment” I was watching anti-war Liberals/Progressives bend over backwards to make sure they told every soldier returning from Iraq … Thank You For Your Service. That blew my mind. They were thanking the idiots that fell for Bush/Cheney lies for participating in the ultimate War Crime. So I wrote a “moment” where I thought that maybe the soldiers who helped make the war crime possible, even though they were lied into it, were still partially responsible for the war crime.
I’m not a very smart guy. When Vietnam was looming I didn’t know anything about Vietnam or why “we” were fighting over there. So I went to the library and looked it up. And found the commies were a zero threat to the safety of the United States. And Ho Chi Min wasn’t necessarily The Bad Guy. So when pretty much my entire chronological peer group was rounded up and sent off to war I thought you had to be some kind of moron to go along with that plan.
Leaping ahead decades … there we go being lied to and off to war and madness again.
And now the stupidity of the US, the nurtured stupidity of the US is biting everybody in the face.
2,857 died of Covid-19 yesterday. 2,885 the day before. 2.610 the day before that. For the first 3 days of December on average over 200,000 people are getting sick with Covid-19 every goddamned day.
The country just can’t have that many people get sick every day. The country just can’t have that many people die every day. It’s not sustainable. Societal threads are fraying. Some are broken. More will break. This collapse is what the Biden folks will inherit on Inauguration Day. And the soulless scumsucking swine Republicans will screech about whatever the fuck they’re gonna screech about and Blame Biden.
It’s all about Stupid. That’s why I wrote the last “moment”. Stupidity (and greed) was killing the planet. Now in the US stupidity is killing the country.
About those fraying, broken, and near breaking societal threads …
Sooner than later it’s going to be a problem transporting shit from Point A to Point B. Stock up for the winter. It looks like it will be bad.
The Stupid “Moment”