Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Dumb as Doorknobs
Published: March 5, 2008
Are Voters Smarter than 5th Graders?
Unlike Michelle Obama, I have been proud of this country and what it represents since I was knee high to a Tonka truck. Unlike Michelle Obama, I do not conveniently forget that everything I am today I owe to my parents’ love and this nation’s opportunity and freedom. In fact, I seem to be going in the completely opposite direction as Michelle in most respects (not a bad thing). One of those things is pride. While she has only recently found something to be proud about, I am rapidly finding something to be ashamed of.
Dumber Than Doorknobs
Unless I am delusional, it seems to me that the typical American voter has never been dumber, has never been more naïve and has never been more susceptible to every media con game in the books. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the dumbing down of this country has now reached the point where dumb and dumber could describe America’s collective intelligence progression over the past decade.
We have kids who cannot spell half the words they remember or remember half the words they should know. We have students whose grasp of basic math is about as tenuous as their association with common sense, critical thinking and logic. We have the babes of progressive education, fed a steady supply of victimization, pop education rubbish and flimsy notions of right and wrong. We have an entire generation whose rational and moral capacity is almost as deficient as their ability to follow simple directions, unscrew a medicine cap or vote without leaving a hanging chad.
Of course, there are exceptions, outstanding students who have managed to develop a fully-functioning brain and conscience. There have always been lights in the darkest nights, and there always will be. You cannot stamp out every ounce of human intelligence and moral capacity, no matter how hard you try. The vast majority, however, have become increasingly alienated from constructive brain use, content to turn the phrase “coast to coast” into a primer on handling successive courses in school. These are the kids who refuse to use any word longer than their curses, who dare you to listen to their rhetoric and conversations on a bus without leading you to suicide or, at least, thoughts of jumping off the bus, which may or may not be suicide but will certainly be a lot better than listening to what stands for America’s future.
Let us not slam the youth exclusively, however, for their precursors, the adults of today, are no wiser and more wrinkled. Just listen to what laughingly poses as serious discussion on The View, where airheads with serious looks spew their drivel wrapped as thought and insight, once in a while hugging or kissing, apparently delusional in the idea that their ramblings are in the same time zone as wisdom. I do not know which is worse: the fact that these fools are highly paid to display their superficial, mental deficiencies or that the sheep and lemmings in the audience cheer their burps and swoon at their pathetic swipes at relevance.
Finally, let us not forget that this mass stupidity has not befallen this nation through sheer coincidence. It is the result of an increasingly useless public school system and an increasingly dangerous media propaganda effort. When the media tells most people to jump, the vast majority do not only ask, “How high?” but also, “How often?”
Voting By the Mentally Poor
The right to vote is certainly one of the greatest expressions of a free nation yet, like all privileges, it carries a great responsibility with the benefit. That responsibility is to think, to reason, to critically analyze, to compare and contrast, to rationally dig and to make use of all of one’s mental and moral capacities in making the best possible decision and choice. Pray tell, how can the average American voter, academically and rationally babied for so long, have a prayer to make an effective choice of cheese, much less the leader of this nation?
The other day I was speaking to a friend’s toddler when she told me that she wanted a fork I was holding. Obviously, I did not want to give this child the fork as she could harm herself, so all I did was make some comment about Barney and the little girl completely forgot about the fork. All of this to remind you that innocent, naïve minds can be manipulated at whim. We have a media that wants to honeymoon with its favorite candidates half the time and hail them as the second coming the other half. That same media bashes, mocks or ignores those candidates it detests with such subtle or blatant frequency that one wonders if the word “objective” is the new hate word.
Why do we have debates? One candidate can make serious errors or praise controversial figures and still have his fanny kissed by a fawning media. Another can flip-flop; point hypocritical fingers or rant mindlessly and not be challenged. Why do we have political parties? They used to mean disparate views of the world, divergent approaches to society and differing takes on how to make this country great. Having finally eliminated the blur from my own vision through laser surgery, I find that the blur just moved to the differences between Democrats and Republicans as conservatives look under the bed for candidates to believe in.
Why do we have a media? We once imagined that true journalism meant reporting the truth accurately and objectively. Now we find that they play the average American “thinker” like I played that toddler, except I was moving the child away from harm and this media moves America toward it. Have you ever watched or listened to an ad for a TV program or store, listening to all of the inane, stupid rhetoric and mindless exclamations that this the show or place “you have been waiting for all of your life” or is the “greatest one yet”? Have you ever wondered who is stupid enough to buy this rubbish, not able to see through the hype, the lies, and the agenda?
Sadly, the answer is increasingly becoming “most people.”
I have always worshipped the power of words. Perhaps it is because I have always had a facility with them. Maybe it is because they are the tangible, audible expressions of intangible thought.
People often talk of the shrinking middle class, of the growing disparity between the haves and the have nots. They are, of course, speaking in economic and social terms, but I submit a new set of haves and have nots, on an intellectual, rational, moral plane.
We are breeding successive generations of sheep, of mental toddlers, of fawning, superficial groupies ready to cheer, faint, and throw their underwear at any charismatic, smiling media darling that comes along.
We are turning government by the people into government despite the people, and most of us are too clueless to even see it. We are justifying, rationalizing, defending and even praising stupidity when we used to do our best to eradicate it.
Increasingly, we are becoming a nation of intellectual haves and have nots. The haves know how to use words and construct arguments whether logical or manipulative. The intellectual have nots, however, only know how to swoon, drool, cheer, faint and follow instructions off a cliff on a cue. The old adage that “whoever rocks the cradle, rules the world” has never been more relevant than it is today. Increasingly and tragically, the Left is rocking the cradle, the Right is wearing diapers and the vast voting public is the infant listening to the media’s lullaby.
# # FamilySecurityMatters.org contributing editor Gabriel Garnica, Esq., is a college professor and licensed attorney whose regular commentary also appears on New MediaJournal.us, The Daley Times-Post, and Michnews. He holds a law degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. John’s University in New York.read full author bio hereIf you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.