Monday, August 10, 2009

Frontal lobe ping pong: We aren’t the electorate Obama campaigned to govern

American voters bullshit American politicians as much as American politicians bullshit American voters.

Nothing about the Fascist Death Panel Snuffcare ShutUpShutUpShutUp Obamacare Debate should surprise anyone who was alive before Jimmy Carter donned a hairshirt and Ronald Reagan (unofficially) went senile. In its simplicity, Snuffcare is reminiscent of the Absolutely Mandatory Compulsory Unisex Public Restroom scuttling of the Equal Rights Amendment, when demure ladies my mother’s age were terrified by the idea of being forced to view whizzing dongers by the dozen just to use the porcelain.

This is America. This is how we deal with complex issues. We go stupid. Really, really stupid. Really fast, too.

More than just the stupidity, it’s the right-on-cue hedging, waffling, and flip-flopping of the citizenry. We say we want top-notch, best-in-the-world education for our 21st-century kiddies. Then we go stupid and commission science textbooks depicting Jesus riding a dinosaur.

We say we want hybrid, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell cars. Then we go stupid and whine that it’s all so impossible because there aren’t any recharging stations -- as if America came pre-equipped with gas stations and free air pumps in 1620.

All through the 2008 election we said we absolutely positively for real this time wanted comprehensive healthcare insurance reform. Now we’re going completely mental and having paranoid visions of roving Government Death Panels singling out our elderly parents and our Down syndrome children.

Mark Arenz is spot on: We aren‘t the electorate Obama campaigned to govern.
The people [Obama] met during his two year journey to the White House were imbued with the bravery and heady optimism that inspired previous generations of Americans to strain their backs with the work of making this country better over time, bit by precious bit….

But when confronted with the prospect of actually doing this work, we shrink from the task. We're more likely to believe the pre-debunked verbal offal of someone from K street with the phrase "professional liar" on his business card than the guy we just elected in a landslide….
That old line is so true: A person is smart; people are stupid.


Randal Graves said...

Growing up, MY science textbooks never pictured Son of Big Cheese riding a T-Rex. I was cheated, dammit.

Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer said...

This is a great post, although what it chronicles, which is the most glaring weakness and vulnerability of mass democracy, is certainly nothing new.

I can remember (just barely, but I do recall it) Joe McCarthy's 1950 debutante speech in which he said there were 205 communists working in the State Department -- a sure sign the commies were taking over America. That speech, like Palin's recent entry in the Chicken Little sweepstakes, reflected prevailing public sentiment as much as it sought to shape it.

As long as everybody is allowed to participate in the process, we're going to have these periodic episodes of fear-driven mass hysterical stupidity.