Thursday, December 27, 2012


I have not been able to blog for a long time, partly because of the holidays, but mostly because I have come to the conclusion that everything about American politics, government, and society has become so stupid it is hardly worth the effort to comment any longer. Of course I realize that I have done stupid things in the past, and continue to do stupid things now, but for the moment this is not about my personal stupidity. When commenting on American stupidity it is difficult to know where to begin.
First, I should try to define what I mean by stupid, so let us turn to the online dictionary:
a : slow of mind : obtuse
b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
c : lacking intelligence or reason : brutish
: dulled in feeling or sensation : torpid stupid
from the sedative>
: marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : senseless stupid
a : lacking interest or point stupid
b : vexatious, exasperating stupid
car won't start>
stu·pid·ly adverb
stu·pid·ness noun

I should say that virtually all of these meanings apply to our current sociopolitical scene in one way or another. Consider a somewhat simple case, the Iowa Supreme Court decision that a woman could be fired from her job by being overly attractive and hence a threat to the marriage of her boss (apparently the wife of the boss complained). Shades of consortium! It was the case that men used to be able to sue for loss of consortium if their wife for some reason could no longer engage in sex. Wives, however, were not allowed to sue for the loss. I’m sure that in some jurisdictions this no longer applies but I would not be at  all surprised if it still exists in some others. But the point here is, could a man be fired for being too attractive if a husband complained? You can be pretty sure this would never happen. Further, if this decision was taken as a precedent, virtually everyone would be at the mercy of their employer’s spouse, a truly stupid idea when carried to its more or less logical conclusion.

Another example of stupid, more important, is the case of Iran. It seems that most everyone these days insists that “we must do something about Iran.” Iran is not to be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb. This is stupidity raised to a very high level. First, there is no evidence Iran is very close to developing a nuclear bomb or the capacity to deliver it even if it had one. Second, there is absolutely no reason to believe that if Iran had such a bomb it would immediately set out to attack anyone with it. The Iranians are not crazy, they know that surrounded by others with already developed nuclear capabilities, plus the constant threat they endure from Israel and the U.S., their use of a bomb would result in their almost immediate destruction. Thus the constant drumbeat against Iran is just  plain stupid (unless, of course, there is some ulterior motive for it which might well be the case).

It would be pretty hard to find an idea more stupid that the latest NRA proposal to arm our teachers and/or provide armed guards for every school in the country. The idea that you might reduce gun violence by the addition of more guns is truly stupid on the face of it. Children are not only vulnerable in schools, but also on playgrounds, skating rinks, movies, and on and on, why should they not have armed guards everywhere? And of course the idea that a teacher armed with a gun would be able to defeat someone determined to attack a schoolroom is rather stupid to begin with, unless they, too, were heavily armed with an assault rifle, in which case the killings would most probably increase. The NRA wants us to become an armed camp with everyone packing some form of “heat,” thus completely militarizing our already over-militarized society and, of course, selling more guns for the gun manufacturers. Indeed, this idea might be considered the mother of all stupid ideas.

Finally, for the moment at least, the idea that you can have a government run by politicians who can be legally bribed to do the bidding of gun and other manufacturers, corporations and wealthy individuals, is intrinsically stupid. Our so-called “public servants” are no longer that, but are simply private individuals out for themselves and the interests that are bribing them. Public service is no longer a motive for governing, what is good for the public is no longer of interest to our so-called “leaders.” Our highly touted “democracy” is no longer  a democracy at all, it has little or nothing to do with the will of the people and they no longer have much control over it. If the goal and purpose of “government” is to provide for the needs of its citizens our current government is stupid, stupid, stupid, little more than a joke concocted by a malevolent supernatural, perhaps for his/her/its amusement (if you believe in such things as supernatural beings).

Will we go over the (mythical) fiscal cliff, another stupid idea being manipulated by a gang of stupid individuals elected by a stupid electorates in mostly in stupid states for stupid reasons having little or nothing to do with what they seems to regard as stupid reality made up by stupid scientists stupidly trying to deceive us into believing stupid ideas such as global warming and environmental protection. It is all, I fear, too stupid for words. Or, perhaps I am just too stupid to understand it.


dburwell said...

Just a thought… you should continue to blog precisely because everything about American politics, government, and society has become so stupid. For a "voice of reason" to go silent in the face of all this stupidity would be tragic. I continue to blog and to read progressive blogs because that, along with my personal network of friends, gives me some hope, thus fighting the hopelessness you blogged about earlier. There are few blogs where the voice of the author is as clear and consistent as here. You combat stupidity with clarity, logic, and an openness to empirical evidence. For that I am a grateful reader.

boba said...

Many years ago, during the run up to the 1992 election, I opined to my room-mate that we must be a nation of idiots, because only an idiot looks to a fool for guidance and leadership. Like your previous post, it is a difficult position we find ourselves in; the situation is, for all intents and purposes, hopeless. We are condemned to choosing between evils; and as we belatedly discovered sometimes the lesser of the two evils is more evil than we can bear.