Monday, September 15, 2008

The Dummies Within

Arrogant idiots.

There are too many arrogant idiots in America. Widespread stupidity has been a problem in every large population, but we're special. We've combined idiocy with arrogance and produced a toxic brew that poisons everyone who drinks it.

I was watching cable news the other night and this analyst was discussing how George W. Bush was able to defeat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. She noted that in every debate Bush made ridiculous gaffes and generally knew very little about how this country works. Yet, people responded favorably to Bush instead of penalizing him for his mistakes. Her explanation for this bizarre occurence really got to me.

She said people thought "Well, I wouldn't have done much better answering those questions myself."

Arrogant idiots.

It's human nature to compare ourselves to others. Most of us determine acceptable behavior by what we would do in a similar situation. That's why you see so much outrage from the evangelical right about gay marriage, but few calls to outlaw divorce. Both actions clash with Christian beliefs, but only one of them is something most evangelicals worry they may need one day.

There are two problems with judging everybody by our own personal ruler. Sometimes we unfairly raise expectations and other times we stupidly lower them. It's unfair to expect a teenager to think like a 40-year old when it comes to sex, and it's pretty stupid to want a president who is only as smart as the average citizen.

Simple, right?

Most of us understand that we should have qualified people doing difficult jobs. We wouldn't hire a janitor to re-wire our house unless that janitor was certified as an electrician. The janitor may be just as smart as we are, but that doesn't make him qualified for the job we need done.

It is impossible that anybody has objectively considered John McCain and Sarah Palin and decided that they are more qualified to run this country than Barack Obama and Joe Biden. There are several reasons why people might vote for McCain and Palin, but their qualifications are not one of them.

No, besides race, abortion and gay marriage, the main reason people are supporting the Republican ticket is because they feel comfortable with McCain and Palin. And people feel comfortable with the duo because they believe the Republicans are their intellectual equals, if not their inferiors.

See, many Americans have been taught to think highly of themselves. They've learned this lesson so well that when somebody challenges that self-image they become defensive and uncomfortable. Not only does Obama challenge the classic stereotypes about black males, but his intelligence and accomplishments make a segment of the population question why they haven't done more with their lives.

Unfortunately, instead of just being impressed and inspired, these people become envious. Thanks to their own arrogance, these people view Obama's hard-earned self confidence as a personal affront. Instead of being comforted by the idea of electing someone they can depend on to be qualified for the job, these people search for someone who doesn't make them notice their own squandered potential.

It's a sad situation. People are celebrating mediocrity instead of greatness. Instead of seeking a leader that challenges them to be better, they want a leader that makes them comfortable.

I know what Fred Sanford would call them.

Big dummies.


the uppity negro said...

don't worry I'm still reading your blog. But usually I don't comment if I agree with what you saying.

but I got a few comments on this one.

Did you see the Roland Martin special on Age Race and Gender? because the Republicans as you've more or less stated have become invested in identity politics and have essentially said "Damn the issues."

I mean right now, as an Obama supporter, we're operating on a wing and a prayer that every black person and every college student shows up on Nov. 4th in the voting ballot.

seriously, I'm scared.

I'ma def send up my timber for the Dems next Sunday.

E.J. said...

You're off to quite a start this week! LOL The whole in-group/out-group phenomenon is definitely at work here. I think Obama's campaign is definitely trying to get people to realize "how we're all in this [fucked up national situation, compliments of the Bush family] together." As we see, this is an uphill struggle, but what else can he do? Black folks, black men in particular, must constantly somehow reassure others that "hey, i'm safe. I'm just like you."

Anonymous said...

Yep, Fred Sanford would indeed call them Big Dummies. Good post!

Big Man said...


I missed the Roland Martin thing. Republicans are master politicians. They suck at running the country, but the are great at running campaigns. Republican power brokers also understand reality better than their Democratic counterparts. Republicans know how people really think and how stupid most folks really are. They also understand that these same dummies arrogantly believe they are smart. So, they play them like fiddles.

Thanks for the praise Black Girl and EJ.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

qualification now days is who u know or who is your mom or dad

Darth Whitey said...

Elizabeth! I'm coming to join you honey!

How bout one of these across your lip!

I agree 100% Big Man!! The Republicans know how to tap in to the lowest common denominator and make it sound like anybody above that isn't keeping it real or something, and is thus unworthy of representing the electorate. Stupid.

truth said...

Great post,
It's depressing, Minnesota is now a toss up state. I don't believe during my lifetime that a Republican candidate for president, has ever won Minnesota.

With that said, I can't really say I'm that surprised. Most of Conservative America repeats Sean Hannity's talking points. Ask them to come up with a single independent thought of their own and most of them would struggle.

Calling them Big Dummies is being so — what kind!

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Bill Maher, the political comedian, said a week or two ago that a lot of white Americans are jealous of those smarter than them. He may well be right.

I also thought of this poem I heard in 1986 by the journalist Charles Osgood. Enlarge your window as you read it. You'll like it.


There once was a pretty good student
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher
Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn’t terrific at reading,
He wasn’t a whiz-bang at math,
But for him, education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn’t find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well,
And he did have some trouble with writing
Since nobody taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine.
5+5 needn’t always add up to be 10;
A pretty good answer was 9.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school,
And the student was not an exception:
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to
Was there in a pretty good town,
And nobody there seemed to notice
He could not tell a verb from a noun.

The pretty good student in fact was
Part of a pretty good mob.
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life could be tough,
And he soon had a sneaking suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
And prayed for a pretty good fate.

There once was a pretty good nation
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late,
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

the uppity negro said...

I really may leave the country if somehow Palin ends up as president.

Big Man said...

Thanks for the poem KIT.

Raving Black Lunatic