Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stupid People?

Are you conservative? Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000 or 2004? Do you consider yourself a Republican?

It's come to my attention more and more that there are a wide variety of human beings on this earth that believe if you hold any of these convictions and beliefs you are simply unintelligent, uninformed, or manipulated by characters from your childhood.

There have been a number of times when myself or mrs. radar have been accused of ignorance, racism, or homophobia in connection to our political beliefs. It's also widely accepted that we are simply ignorant of how the world works, and we've been told that it's not our fault we're conservatives. It's ok - we'll figure it out someday!

I have to admit that this idea presents itself in a variety of times and places. However, I must say that the highest form of ignorance is believing that a contrasting view or opinion is wrong on the basis of your ignorance of it. It's enormously foolish to assume a person holding an opposite view on a subject simply doesn't understand said subject, as opposed to actually holding an informed ulterior view.

Indeed, sometimes this belief in another's ignorance can descend into outright disgust and hatred. Moving from "that person just doesn't know" to "that person is a raging idiot" is not too hard of a step to make. In fact, professional "journalists" can make a living writing spirited diatribes about how stupid a person is because they disagree with their views.

Take Mark Morford of the SF Gate - He wrote just that type of column today. Mark suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome, or an irrational aversion to the 43rd President of the United States. His first sentence from the column pretty much sums it up:

I mean, we sort of thought we knew, before, what kind of guy George W. Bush is, essentially our very own inept, inarticulate ex-alcoholic ex-frat-guy failed-businessman pseudo-leader who famously appeals to the most God-fearin' and least educated and least attuned among us because he is, well, one of them.

In one paragraph Mr. Morford manages to claim that Bush is unintelligent, based some proof of that on his verbal gaffes, claim his alcoholism is somehow included in his current persona, claims his fraternity-member status is negative, calls into question Bush's leadership abilities, and claims that Republicans and conservatives are both "God-fearin" and stupid - and he includes Bush in this category (I believe he claims that "God-fearin" and stupid are synonyms.)

I will not quote any more of the article, as it would be a waste of time and intellectual resources to put yourself through such pitiful drivel. Suffice it to say that Mr. Morford was paid (hopefully not too much) to whine about a President he disagrees with.

I bring this to your attention so that you might not put yourself in a similarly foolish position. One columnist and an entire university filled with liberal academics have plainly exposed to me an obvious truth. Insults, condemnations, and estimates of intelligence or a lack thereof get you nowhere in civilised conversation when posing an argument. Political differences have nose-dived in this country into hateful rants designed to paint one side or the other as idiots.

If you happen to be a conservative don't allow such statements to go unchallenged. George Bush is not an idiot, and neither am I. Claiming my opinion is based on ignorance or family history is false - and merely describes the lack of the other in the argument's ability to engage in intellectual discourse.

And if you disagree with me - you must be an idiot!

Update: In a stroke of irony, Lou Dobbs at CNN decided that since the US is at war, all Americans are stupid:

We Americans like to think we're a pretty smart people, even when evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

Right. And how do smart people solve the crisis?

While the United States provides about $2.5 billion in military and economic aid to Israel each year, U.S. aid to Lebanon amounts to no more than $40 million. This despite the fact that the per capita GDP of Israel is among the highest in the world at $24,600, nearly four times as high as Lebanon's GDP per capita of $6,200.

Lebanon's lack of wealth is matched by the Palestinians -- three out of every four Palestinians live below the poverty line. Yet the vast majority of our giving in the region flows to Israel. This kind of geopolitical inconsistency and shortsightedness has contributed to the Arab-Israeli conflict that the Western world seems content to allow to perpetuate endlessly.

It's simple economics. Better fund the terrorists, and cut funding to the only democratic nation in the region. That'll stop the war - wait a minute...

...that's a horrible idea. But don't forget that it proves we're all stupid.

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