Over on the right side of the aisle, the big question is: When is it permissible to say that the average American is stupid?
(This controversy has something to do with Obamacare
and a ninny who bears the ominous name of Gruber.)
Right-wingers have answered with one voice: Never. You must never call average people "stupid." Anyone who does so is a condescending jerk.
Well, that's their public
In private, I suspect that conservatives are just as likely as anyone else to play the role of the condescending jerk. In fact, they are more
likely. In his Nietzschean heart-of-hearts, your average right-winger considers himself a diamond in a bag of charcoal. I am the Overman and the rest are mere cattle:
Isn't that the whole point
of Galt's Big Speech? Isn't that precisely what the Best Book Ever is trying to teach us?
In a funny post
, blogger named David Swanson argues in favor of the proposition that the average Americano has become achingly, stupefyingly, outrageously and dangerously dumb
-- particularly on the topic of peace and war:
But the primary thing the U.S. government does is wage wars, and it wages them against other people who had no say in the matter. Of course I don't want wars waged against Americans either, but the general impression one gets from traveling around and speaking and answering questions at public events in the United States is not so much that people are indifferent to the destruction of the globe as long as they don't miss their favorite television show, as that people are unclear on what destruction means and can't identify a globe when it's placed in a lineup with six watermelons.
A few young people believe we simply must have wars, and every last one of them has the identical reason: ISIS. Because ISIS is something evil, there must be war. "Should we attack ISIS or do nothing?" they all ask.
I imagine I'd laugh if I weren't trembling for our future. Iraq III: The Return of the Decider is becoming the worst parody of a humanitarian war in history. First George W. Obama gave himself a waiver from his own dumb rules against killing unlimited civilians. Then he asked for a special waiver in order to arm lots of really good people who happen to torture some folks and murder some folks and rape some folks and genocide some folks. This after he asked the CIA if arming rebels has ever worked out, and the CIA said "No, but we do it as a matter of principle," and he said "Let's roll!"
This is the best bit:
Do you recall, you can say, that last year the White House wanted you to support attacking Syria, and wanted to attack the opposite side in that war? And people said no, remember? And now they want to attack the opposite side, while arming it, and this makes sense to you? They have no goal in mind, no plan, no estimated end-date or price-tag or body-count, and this makes sense to you?
I honestly doubt that most people understand that we did
switch sides in the Syrian war.
Or did we? That's still an open question, because the administration is trying to do two contradictory things at once. We are attacking ISIS, the enemy of Bashar Assad, but we also trying to topple Bashar Assad. We are attacking ISIS in Iraq with the not-so-hidden intent of herding them back into Syria, where they are to kill the people we want
them to kill.
Not only that: The neocons have tried to hide the fact that ISIS is the enemy of Assad by spooling out a lot of inane propaganda: Thus, the "Assad created ISIS" meme. I'd like to think that nobody bought into that propaganda, but...well, Americans can be pretty stupid.
There. I said it. In public. Let's get back to Swanson:
It happened that while I was touring and talking, NATO claimed for something like the 89th time this year that Russia had invaded Ukraine. If it were ever true, I asked, would anyone believe it? The answer I got: Nobody cares.
Nobody with the easy ability to do something about it cares.
Actually, a lot of them do
care, but they've been bamboozled. A lot of people think that Putin started the civil war in Ukraine. A lot of people think that Putin invaded Crimea.
And a lot of people still
think that Putin shot down that jetliner.
And that really is
a stupid thing to say, now that we have new photographic evidence indicating that a Ukrainian
warplane shot down MH17. For an excellent instruction in the ways of propaganda, compare the kind of treatment this story has received in the UK press (go here
to see the photos) with the version published by the American media
And then, if you have the stomach for it, check out the comments left by Americans...
Russia back to the days of Pravda and the KGB. Don't think this is unique to Russia and other distant government controlled societies around the world, as the like minded Obama and his Democratic Party have brought government controlled messaging to the once free people of the United States...
I wish the Russians would come clean and just admit the mistake, agree to pay compensation to the victims, and be done with it.
And so on. As though Putin had anything
to gain from shooting down MH17, or from covering up an accident....!
In point of fact, even before these photos came out, we had substantial evidence that the Ukrainians shot down the jet
But really, this isn't about evidence, is it? It's about propaganda.
The American people have been subjected to endless
propaganda designed to implant one simple narrative: Putin is always the bad guy, and Americans are always the good guys (unless that American is named Barack Obama).
Americans, in short, have been fooled. But does that fact means that we can call them fools?
And can we ever call them fools
out loud, even though doing so carries an obvious political risk?
When is it permissible to say that the average American is stupid?