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Opening Arguments

Stupid is as stupid does

Juxtaposition of the day. I see this online . . .

Six percent of Americans believe in unicorns. Thirty-six percent believe in UFOs. A whopping 24 percent believe dinosaurs and man hung out together. Eighteen percent still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Nearly 30 percent believe cloud computing involves... actual clouds. A shockingly sad 18 percent, to this very day, believe the president is a Muslim. Aren't they cute? And Floridian?

Do you believe in angels? Forty-five percent of Americans do. In fact, roughly 48 percent - Republicans and Democrats alike - believe in some form of creationism. A hilariously large percent of terrified right-wingers are convinced Obama is soon going to take away all their guns, so when the Newtown shooting happened and 20 young children were massacred due to America's fetish for, obsession with and addiction to firearms, violence and fear, they bought more bullets. Because obviously.

In sum and all averaged out, it's safe to say about 37 percent of Americans are just are not very bright. Or rather, quite shockingly dumb. Perhaps beyond reach. Perhaps beyond hope or redemption. Perhaps beyond caring about anything they have to say in the public sphere ever again. Sorry, Kansas.

. . . on the same day I see this:

However, let’s dispose once and for all of the meme all over conservative websites that goes something like this “the citizenry doesn’t know x” (the number of judges on the Supreme Court; the name of their local representative, the color of underwear the president prefers) — ?????? –  “Game over, man, game over.”

Then there’s the slightly saner version – why only slightly saner? See first point – which a) assumes that most people only know about the country what is on Jay Walking.  b) that this is a unique form of ignorance in history. c) That the republic can’t survive without precise knowledge of the founding documents and the arcana of government.  The ?????? comes in where, apparently, without being able to quote verse and line of the constitution, people won’t know when things get so bad they want to throw the bums out.

[. . .]

Frankly, what makes America special is how many people showed up at Tea Parties: how many normal, everyday, work-a-day people got that concerned about runaway spending.

Those people are still there.  Those people still care.  They’re awake.  They care.  They’re waiting.

Pray.  Pray very constantly that the crash isn’t bad enough to wake the rest of the people.  PRAY that there is never a state of affairs where your survival depends on almost everyone knowing the constitution and being able to tell you if they’re for or against each amendment.

Because that will mean a state of unimaginable chaos and fear and possibly a tri-or-four part civil war.

That one is from the blog of Sarah Hoyt, a dandy science fiction writer. I think I've been guilty of what she writes about -- because I'm immersed in politics, I  judge people too harshly if theyaren't as obsessed by it as I am. I don't go as far as Leno on his Jay Walking segments or Jimmy Kimmel goofing on people by asking their opinions of events that haven't even happened, but I do think, "Oh, you idiot," if someone gets a historical fact or date wrong or doesn't know the name of his state representatives. As she hints, I'm probably the one with the problem, not the saner people who are just trying to live their lives.