Platform of Willful Ignorance

By Phil Plait | October 19, 2010 2:00 pm

After that last post, perhaps this video is called for. Just sayin’.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Politics

Comments (57)

  1. shawmutt

    …and Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Hilarious!

  2. bigjohn756

    I’d vote for him. He’s not hardly any more worserly than most other condidiots.

  3. Zetetic

    It’s said that the best humor is based on reality.

    This one is just a little too real….
    [sigh]

  4. Chris

    If I had enough money I’d run this on TV just for the heck of it to see how many votes I’d get.

  5. The American election would be funnier if their economy and the Canadian (and thee rest of the worlds) economy weren’t so linked

  6. I see that is from the Upright Citizens Brigade…I went to college and did improv there with one of its founders, Ian Roberts. That’s not him in the video…if you are in LA or NYC and get a chance to see a UCB show, do it!

  7. terryp

    i’m opposed to photosynthesis as well. stupid plants.

  8. Edward Carney

    “Great is information, and she shall prevail.”
    E. M. Forster in A Passage to India (1924)

  9. Wow! An honest Republican!

  10. Itzac

    And magnets, he forgot magnets.

  11. Michael Swanson

    Baah. I wrote a really long comment. Forget it. The video was hilarious.

  12. Crudely Wrott

    Chris @ 4 said:

    If I had enough money I’d run this on TV just for the heck of it to see how many votes I’d get.

    I could swear I saw a couple of ads that are just like this parody. Then, it was in the wee hours and I was sorta drifting off . . .

    Seriously, this comedic presentation is all too eerily similar to what I’m seeing in the real world.

  13. AJ in CA

    Aww, you baleeted my comment? It was a joke! Incidentally, a disturbing one, considering the popularity of the band I was referencing (ICP).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracles_(Insane_Clown_Posse_song)

  14. AJ in CA

    I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what underlies this trend toward electing the people who seem the least informed, at least in the States. I think part of it has to do with the high (and skyrocketing) cost of tuition in the United States. Unfortunately, getting a good education is now perceived to be something reserved for the wealthy; hence if you have a doctorate or an Ivy League degree, you must be “elitist”. That this accusation is made by those who often accuse others of fomenting “class warfare” is doubly facepalm-inducing.

    Anyone outside the US want to comment? This little hypothesis is testable: in nations where higher education is heavily subsidized or state-funded, do you see the same sort of resentment toward doctorate-holders, scientists, academics, etc?

  15. JMW

    @AJ in CA:
    Dare I say that I think the answer is more complex than simply the high cost of tuition for post-secondary education?

    As a Canadian, I am watching with sorrow as your political right is sound-bite bombing your country back to the stone age. And I’m concerned that a like-minded right wing idiocy is gathering steam in my country.

  16. sound-bite bombing your country back to the stone age

    Heh! I’m gonna use that sound bite. Heh heh…uh…ohhhhhhh. :(

  17. Zetetic

    @ AJ in CA:
    An interesting question. I think that tuitions may be a part of the problem, but I fear that there are other factors that run much deeper.

    Aside from the heavy influence of religious fundamentalism in the USA there is also a strong anti-science backlash still ongoing in the USA. IMO it started with the “left” during the sixties as a reaction to the cold war, Vietnam, and as a “counter-establishment” backlash. Now though the march of anti-science seems to be coming mostly from the “right” in reaction to advances in biology, climate, etc. Basically it’s like the two side changed roles, for the most part.

    Obviously there are very pro-science and anti-science elements in both parties, the trick seems to be to break the grip of the anti-science elements in both parties at once.

    How to do that? I’m not really sure…for starters I’d like to see a much greater emphasis in critical thinking skills from grade school on, not just rote memorization and following instructions. This should include a greater emphasis on the sciences, while trying to make science more “fun”. I know, easier said than done.

    Also perhaps some “Great Project” would be helpful. Like the how the space program was an inspiration to many in the past, again easier said than done.

    Lastly, and perhaps more controversially, I’d like to see an end to the tax free status of many religious organization in the USA (especially the televangelists) unless they give a certain percentage of their operating funds to charitable activities. Perhaps on scale like the tax code for citizens, where the more they make, the more they have to give to charities to maintian a tax free status. Meanwhile very small churches may still remain tax free. After all it’s obvious that religious groups aren’t staying out of politics like they are supposed to do (Prop 8 anyone?).

    I think that by no longer giving churches (no matter how blatantly money-grubbing and out for themselves) an automatic tax break, you’ll see not only less negative influence by organized religions but more good for society in general.

  18. “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” — Isaac Asimov

    Sadly, this video is supposed to be funny. Instead it frightens me. :(

  19. JMW

    @18 Larian LeQuella

    Sadly, this video is supposed to be funny. Instead it frightens me.

    How many write-in votes do you think “Michael Sharp” will get?

  20. @ Zetetic:

    At the risk of being even more controversial, I would add one more suggestion: the obscene growth of the military and its pervasive influence on pretty much all aspects of the U.S. economy and culture.

    In military life it’s all about doing things the established way. No questioning, no second-guessing. Do as you’re told. Don’t think for yourself. Might makes right. He who shouts loudest (and wields the biggest army) wins.

    Mind you the military complex is responsible for a lot of technological advances, but at what price? Just look at the way this country worships its “heroes” over there, somewhere (don’t ask ‘em to find it on a map) “fighting for our freedom.” Does anyone ever ask why anymore?

  21. AJ in CA

    @ JMW: I’m sure you’re right that there’s more to it than that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a small part of it.
    I’m sorry to hear that Canada is seeing this sort of thing as well. Heh, I agree with #16 – “Sound-bite bombing back to the stone age” is a very apt description.

    @ zetetic: Damn, I wish we had a way to “vote up” comments the way you can on some forums :) I think you have a point about the anti-establishment angle, particularly in the US – we have a bit of a history of rebelling against authority. In the absence of pervasive slavery, racism, sexism, nazism, and all the rest, anti-intellectualism probably feeds a need that some people have to “fight the good fight” against an out of touch elite.

    I couldn’t agree more about the lack of critical thinking skills in our school system. I was lucky enough to take critical thinking and logic courses at my local community college, but they weren’t even mandatory for my degree! Critical thinking and the scientific method should take, at bare minimum, one year of high school math and science, respectively, IMHO.

    @Larian LeQuella: Great quote! I think it’s very true. That’s the double-edged sword of such great ideals as egalitarianism, freedom of speech, innovation, and all that good stuff. People feel that they’re given license to treat every opinion as equally credible, to proudly proclaim nonsense in public, and invent dark conspiracy boogeymen, all with the warm feeling that one gets from exercising one’s rights and taking the initiative.

  22. AJ in CA

    @zetetic: This is really embarrassing, but this discussion reminds me… At one time, I was a huge… what’s the opposite of a skeptic? So open-minded one’s brain is oozing out? You name a secret society or government organization, and I had a conspiracy for it. Not only that, I was on the “the evul medical establishment is covering up how you can cure cancer with amethyst crystals and positively energized water” bandwagon. I was quite adamant about all of it. Ack.

    Thank god my childhood fascination with science emerged and finally snapped me out of it. Thankfully, the logic and CT courses were really the final nail in the coffin for that sort of thinking, and damn am I ever grateful for it. But again, I just took them because they looked like fun! They were completely voluntary, and I firmly believe they were the most important hours I ever spent in school.
    If I was forced to choose between deleting either (A) my entire grade school education or (B) those logic and critical thinking courses from my brain, I’d pick the former. At least my mind wouldn’t be the plaything of kooks and hucksters. I’m not saying my public school education was worthless, but talk about putting the cart before the horse!

  23. Zetetic

    @ kuhnigget:
    One of things I’ve been pointing out on the AGW threads is to imagine how much further along we would be in terms of non-fossil fuel based energy and storage if instead of fighting Desert Storm we had spent just a small fraction of the money on R&D instead of a conflict that turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Not to mention the loss of lives.

    I read somewere that for the cost of Desert Storm alone we could have sent up a fleet of Saturn V’s to the moon. I never checked the math to see if the claim was accurate, but it sounds reasonably possible.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    @ AJ:
    Thank you for the compliment! :D

    I would start the basics of critical thinking in grade school, the earlier kids learn to start using their brains the less likely they are to stop using them later on.

  24. Zetetic

    AJ @ #22:

    At one time, I was a huge… what’s the opposite of a skeptic?

    I would say that “credulous” would be the polite way to put it. :D

    You’ll find that term used frequently in skeptical literature to try and avoid being too “off putting” to those that still believe in things that aren’t really rational.

    Don’t be too embarrassed about it, lots of people believe lots of things that later they are embarrassed about. What’s important is learning to “see through” the nonsensical.

    I’m no exception myself. I was much younger, I wasn’t so much into conspiracies as other types of woo. When I was younger my parents were sort of New Age-y, plus everything I saw on TV was “psychic” this, and “aliens are visiting us” that. So I just sort of absorbed it, plus it’s cool to think of having a potential “ability”, that’s how I think that they “hook” many people.

    Like you, my interest in science when I was younger caused me to start to question the things I took for granted. Also the “Creation Science” (I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember the term, but now it’s what we call Intelligent Design) controversy back then caused me to start questioning how credible some people can be. Also some of the articles by James Randi in Discover magazine were helpful too, come to think about it! In the end I think I outgrew my “psychic believer” phase before my parents did.

  25. Atheist Panda

    If CON is the opposite of PRO, what’s the opposite of progress??

    AP :-)

  26. shawmutt

    Four words.

    Rally to Restore Sanity.

    I’ll be there.

  27. Yeebok

    ..and photosynthesis. That had me in stitches. Thanks Phil :)
    As for the other questions raised, I can see to some extent those without resources resenting those with them – it’s just human nature. I doubt a conscious decision is made, it just happens.
    I live in Australia, and I echo the Canadian’s comments about linked economies and sound bites. It’s very sad to see the country we’re supposed to aspire to be like, outwardly appearing to fall apart. Kinda like realising your parents are flawed.
    The sad part here is I can see at least Australia if not a few others heading down the same proven to be wrong path.
    Maybe music company execs retire, get a new identity then run for PM or Pres?

  28. Adam

    As an observer of US politics, I am flabbergasted by the levels of stupid in some of the senate race candidates. The stupid needle goes off the chart in some cases.

    For example Christine O’Donnell… Good god what the hell is going on here? She’s a moron who struggles to coherently answer simple questions about her own policies or the constitutional / state framework they would have to work within. The audience actually laughed at her inanity at her last debate.

    The depressing part is there are actually people who will vote for her and others like her. It’s one thing to be disaffected, but if you’re going to vote for a representative, the very least you can do is ensure they mentally qualified for the job.

  29. Jamie Mueller

    Wow! I read this and my heart sank for the future, then I went and read this:
    http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002723/
    And I’m a bit more comforted!

  30. DS

    Because the career politicians know what they are talking about?

    Or because they know what gets them votes?

    There’s more than enough willful ignorance already in politics, so I’m really not sure why this is funny… of course, I’m not a pseudo-intellectual, I know what I know, I know what I don’t know, and I try to listen to people smarter than me. For example, I know that I don’t know the intricacies of administrating health care, so I won’t argue that a small group of people who have no experience either know how it can be ran best.

  31. I’d almost vote for that guy because at least he seems honest that he’s ignorant.

    “Everything I need to know comes from … the movie Independence Day …” hahaha

    Funny stuff. :D

  32. Zucchi

    Zetetic — I’m with you, but do you mean Desert Storm (1991) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003)? (Hey, I don’t come up with the names.)

    You can make yourself physically ill thinking of the things we could have done with the money poured down a rathole (that drains into a quagmire) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Things that would have gone much further even just in terms of enhancing and securing the U.S. position in the world: alternative energy programs, wiping out malaria, clean water projects. Almost anything would have been better.

    Funny video. Notice how when he referred to MLK, a picture of Malcolm X came up?

  33. Zetetic

    @ Zucchi:
    I meant “Dessert Storm” 1991.

    Not only would the money (and lives) saved there had more time to have done more good, advancing energy technology, etc., but the USA probably then wouldn’t have gotten involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom (and Afghanistan) under the pretense of searching for WMDs in the “war on terror” which was in part triggered by Desert Storm. Osama Bin Laden publicly stated that Desert Storm was one of main reasons they started trying to attack the USA directly which of course then got us involved in operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan in the first place.

    Talk about unintended consequences….. [sigh]

    If the USA had devoted the resources spent on Desert Storm to ridding itself from it’s dependency on oil, then the whole world would probably be nearly rid of needing fossil fuels by now and we probably wouldn’t even be talking about needing to stop AGW and debating CO2 cap-an-trade policies. Or at the very least we’d be far enough along that it would be much less of a concern at this point.

    I hope that clarifies what I meant.

    Also, yes, I though the picture of Malcolm X instead of MLK Jr. was pretty funny too. :)

  34. Zetetic

    Just to clarify things further, a small correction what I meant @ #33….

    “If the USA had devoted even a fraction (let alone the whole amount) of the resources spent on Desert Storm to ridding itself from it’s dependency on oil,”

  35. Messier Tidy Upper

    Its not enough to just vote for and advocate wilful ignorance either :

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/07/professors-in-c/

    Biology teachers in Colarado have been getting death threats for teaching evolution. :-(

    PS. Nice “exoplanet hotspot” clip at the side of that article too.

  36. Jeff

    people might laugh, but politics NEVER made any logical sense. The world isn’t constructed that way. Humans are a primate species, with primate emotions and need for “heiracrchies”. Logic is only needed to gather fruit/nuts and game and beyond that, it isn’t really needed for human society.

  37. Messier Tidy Upper

    @18. Larian LeQuella Says:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” — Isaac Asimov
    Sadly, this video is supposed to be funny. Instead it frightens me.

    Agreed. Great quote too.

    Mind you, it isn’t just the Tea Party although they are (sadly) running strongly and looking like triumphing with it now. I’m extremely cynical and disillusioned with all politicians these days. :-(

    Politics isn’t about logic or arguments.
    Its a popularity contest for ugly people.
    Its an auction of opinions and sentiments with unbelievable offers.
    Political parties are tribal “us” & “them” excercises.
    None of them can really be taken seriously when they say anything except “vote for me!”

    “Emotion & inexperience?” Sorry BA but that – & not being Bush & being the first “Black*” President – is how you’ve ended up with Obama as president now. What was the notorius “hope & change” slogan if not a meaningless mindless appeal to emotion fallacy. ‘Hope’ for what exactly? ‘Change’ to what exactly? An America that isn’t great anymore? :-(

    Politicians have been “playing folksy [ignorant] to win” forever. Intellectuals aren’t popular with the massses. Americans, it seems prefer ignorant – willfully ignorant – politicians running their nation. That’s just the sad truth and its highly counter-productive to the nation’s interests.

    Perhaps its time we put Isaac Asimov’s world-ruling Council of Science idea in effect for real? ;-)

    ——-

    * Except, of course Obama is actually bi-racial with a Kenyan Muslim immigrant father , an American-Amercian mother and an Indonesian upbringing. He isn’t really of African-American cultural origin or a descendent of the people shipped over as slaves.

  38. Consumer Unit 5012

    @37 – I love the way that you complain (correctly, IMGLO) that “Political parties are tribal “us” & “them” excercises.”, then effortlessly segue into a lot of Obama-bashing.

    Remember, it was a choice between him, and the Geezer/Dingbat ticket. I’ve vote for him again in the same circumstances in a heartbeat. (And he had a LOT of good ideas during the campaign – too bad he’s been such a wimp about implementing any of them…)

  39. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Consumer Unit 5012 :

    Not Obama bashing but Obama fact stating.

    I am no birther but the reality is that Obama is just NOT African-American. The facts are as I’ve stated. Barack Hussein Obama wasn’t born to descendents of slaves shipped centuries ago and grown up as an American. He was born to a Kenyan Muslim father and a American mother, raised in Muslim Indonesia and NOT America and thus has less identidficiation and less cultural “American-ness” than is remotely appropriate for someone wishing to lead the United States. Obama is about as far from being “all-American” as it is possible to get and still be eligable to run for the Presidency.

    Obama is just another politician misrepresenting himself and his ideas in order to take power.

    He mainly got in because he wasn’t G. W. Bush, the next president will most likely get in – probably in 2012 assuming Obama isn’t impeached or resigns or something first – because s/he isn’t Obama. Then the one after that probably because they’re not the last one too .. :roll:

    History will probably rank Obama with Carter as a miserable failure and one of the worst. His healthcare will be repealed & post these midterms he’ll be a lame duck incapable of doing anything much.

    I do agree about the lesser of two evils versus McCain-Palin though.

    What do you mean by IMGLO?

  40. Calli Arcale

    Zetetic: I’m not convinced ridding ourselves of our dependency on oil is as easy as throwing large amounts of money at it. Putting military expenditures into context with other expenditures can be quite eye-opening though, so I get what you’re saying.

    As far as the original video, that’s absolutely hilarious! Sadly, though, it’s hilarious in a gallows-humor kind of way.

  41. AJ in CA

    @36 Jeff: So true. Evolutionarily speaking, intelligence isn’t all that necessary for many animals. The fact that we’re the only sentient critters we know of shows us that (compared to species like cockroaches and sharks that haven’t had any need to change significantly over millions of years because they’ve got a great blueprint already) intelligence is a relatively rare evolutionary path. And for social animals like primates, “social” intelligence (charm, bonding, deception, intimidation) seems to be the most important bit. The fact that we can reason rationally at all is nothing short of amazing to me.

    @37: I never thought of Obama as playing the “folksy” card, but come to think of it, the vague slogans are themselves a sort of anti-intellectualism. Obama’s a very intelligent, highly educated guy, but he does seem to know how to take steps to appeal to “the folks” when he could easily be making more cogent arguments.

    Heh, the local coffee shop has a blend called “Obama” – half Kenyan coffee, half Hawaiian (Kona, of course). It’s actually really damn good :D

  42. Calli Arcale

    Messier Tidy Upper: the question of whether or not Obama counts as an African-American is far from settled. You are of the opinion he is not, but others are of the opinion he is. With a growing population of African immigrants, is it really sensible for the descendents of slaves to hold on to the title? I am descended partly from Scottish-Americans who emigrated before the Union was formed. I have a friend whose family emigrated from Scotland when she was little. Does either of us have more claim to the title “Scottish-American”? What about the descendants of African slaves in the Carribean who emigrated to the US fifty years ago — would their children deserve the title “African-American”?

    Honestly, it depresses me that there even *is* a controversy over the term. Obama’s Kenyan ancestry has merely unveiled the problem that so many African immigrants have faced in this country — they are discriminated against twice over, first by the white majority and then by the African-American community. But then, immigrants usually have it hard.

  43. AJ in CA

    @39: Could someone enlighten me here – I don’t understand why Republicans are so upset over the health care bill. Far from being a “government takeover of healthcare,” it has a lot more in common to the solutions that Republicans were pitching under Clinton. Buying across state lines, private insurance markets, all of that. I’m not saying it’s without flaws, but it’s lightyears away from the “nationalize all the hospitals” scenario that some people were freaking out about.

  44. Messier Tidy Upper

    Deleted by me. Thought better of it. Too late at night /early morn.

    *****************

    Obama mainly got in because he wasn’t G. W. Bush, the next president will most likely get in – probably in 2012 assuming Obama isn’t impeached or resigns or something first – because s/he isn’t Obama. Then the one after that probably because they’re not the last one too ..

    Anyone else feel we’re in a downwards spiral of successively worse and worse US Presidents and politicians generally? :-(

    Just as the polarisation and volunme of each sides shreiking keeps increasing too?

    Politics. :roll: :-(

  45. Luke

    @39 Messy Tidy Upper:

    “I am no birther but the reality is that Obama is just NOT African-American. The facts are as I’ve stated. Barack Hussein Obama wasn’t born to descendents of slaves shipped centuries ago and grown up as an American. He was born to a Kenyan Muslim father and a American mother, raised in Muslim Indonesia and NOT America and thus has less identidficiation and less cultural “American-ness” than is remotely appropriate for someone wishing to lead the United States. Obama is about as far from being “all-American” as it is possible to get and still be eligable to run for the Presidency.”

    What nonsense.

    Obama is 50% African, American culturally and legally, self-identifies as black, and embraced black culture. What is African-American otherwise? Only 100% African roots from former slaves? Good luck finding a significant amount of people whose ancestors haven’t mingled with other ethnic groups in the past, it’s surprisingly difficult. What exactly is the problem with Obama identifying himself as black? Do you think he plotted to use “white guilt” since childhood to ascend to the presidency?

    Also, why do you consider 4 out of his 18 years of childhood being in school in Jakarta as “being raised” there? Who are you to claim where he identifies with more or how “American” he is or feels?

  46. @ Messier Tidy Upper:

    It’s standard practice in the U.S. to use the expression “African American” for anyone who would have been racially identified as “Negro” or “Black” in the past. There is no requirement for how far back the ancestry goes.

    Nor, perhaps tellingly, is it typical to accept someone with dark skin but mixed race parents as “white.” A sorry state of affairs, perhaps, but that’s the way it is.

    Some of us mutts find the whole concept of race identification rather silly, but there you go.

  47. shawmutt

    Link is busted, anyone have a copy?

  48. Zetetic

    Calli Arcale @ #40:

    I’m not convinced ridding ourselves of our dependency on oil is as easy as throwing large amounts of money at it.

    I apologize if I gave that impression.
    True it’s not just a matter of money but also time (that another reason I mentioned Desert Storm) and intellectual resources. Regardless the fact remains though the R&D to make the USA energy independent, is far down the federal government’s list of priorities. Unfortunately it seems to have been a much higher priority, for a long time, to research new way to blow people up than it has been to research ways to eliminate the need to blow them up in the first place.

    There is nothing about getting the USA mostly off of oil that is insurmountable but it will take time,money, and intellectual resources that the USA (and many other countries) doesn’t seem to be willing to spend since there isn’t an immediate political payoff for the effort.

    My point is ultimately how short sighted to spend absurd amounts of resources on wars to keep a diminishing resource temporarily cheaper (especially with what we know about AGW) instead of spending the resources to get the USA off of it’s dependency. If the USA can spend itself into bankruptcy fighting wars for oil, there’s no good reason not to instead have “Space Race” or a “Manhattan Project” R&D push to end dependency on oil, especially when it would probably be at a fraction of the cost of the last couple of wars.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    AJ in CA @ #43:

    I don’t understand why Republicans are so upset over the health care bill

    Simple….because the Democrats want it. If then Democrats opposed it, the Republicans would probably be in favor of it as an “improvement in efficiency”.

  49. Anchor

    As usual, Messier Tidy Upper puts his foot in his mouth all the way up to his crotch. No, really, you didn’t have to make us cringe yet again, did you?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA (let’s be clear of the title) was elected PRESIDENT of the these United States of America (yep, that’s right: I live here and you do not) and he was elected by a majority of this nation’s voting citizens. Evidently, Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden were elected (over the opposition Republican ticket of McCain and Palin) because most voters either:

    1. Favorably resonated with the message that the Obama-Biden ticket offered voters a chance of restoring accountability and the necessary competence required of the executive branch of our government to remedy the wreckage inflicted by their predessesors, who had managed in eight short years to cave in one of this government’s greatest economic surpluses, while setting the stage for the greatest global economic downturn since 1929, turned our standing in the world of democratic nations into a laughing stock with (among other things) assinine promises to bring the responsible terrorists for 9-11 to justice, started TWO monumentally expensive wars that ostensibly pretended to get the culprits and did not, while killing literally tens of thousands of innocent people in the process, sanctioned unspeakable acts of torture, used its executive power to twist or otherwise obfuscate scientific findings funded by the federal government, and with the help of their party stold two elections…

    2. Couldn’t stand the prospect (let alone the sight) of a ticket composed of a guy who waffles so regularly he shames a windvane in a hurricane, and his running-mate who couldn’t tell the difference between color commentary and what shade of lipstick she ought to wear.

    The choice for reasonable Americans who still understand that they do not have to be persuaded by any external agency, however wealthy and powerful, in order to arrive at a personal opinion was then, and thankfully still is, intact.

    There’s a GIGANTIC difference between the two selections that Americans were offered: It was between one who had worked hard from the ground up, educated himself, refined his ideals, learned integrity, and established himself as a real player in the most daunting forum in the world: politics.

    Ahhh…the American Dream, where everyone, despite race, color, creed, or sexual orientation may be FREE to pursue their ambitions, not only for themselves, but for everybody…

    WOW. What a joltingly heretical idea. Positively ridiculous, right?

    As ridiculous as expecting the Chief Executive to be able to reverse the horrible state of affairs that the previous administration placed the nation and the world in? Ask yourself. Honestly. For a change.

    Mark this, bub: the OTHER choice – which was quite pridefully campaigned, designed and fully controlled by the GOP who brought us the hammer-blow of the Bush administration – presented us with the spectacle of an elderly snakeoil salesman in combo with a borderline idiot. Even McCain complained that he had no choice in the selection and vetting of his running mate.

    What kind of a president can such a dupe have made? What the heck can you possibly imagine is better about that ticket than the alternative? What makes you think the United States and the economic environment of the world would have been better off with the ticket so brilliantly dreamed up by the GOP, an organization that would clearly have placed us all on their mercy?

    Yet that’s not all. It is a demonstrable FACT that not a single week passed following President Obama’s inauguration before the machinery of the opposition party, the GOP and it’s considerable financial underwriters, had already revved up its massive engine to cast an ignominiously endless series of whoppers specifically designed to exercise the passions of weak and bigot-minded sore losers who evidently cannot abide the idea that they all belong to a system of government that is determined by the majority vote. All of it specifically designed by wealthy interests to tear down anything that represents a seed of hope that is judged contrary to those special interests.

    Moreover, since then, every single move by this duly elected President, and the elected majority in both houses of Congress, have been constantly attacked and thwarted by a secretive behind-the-scenes campaign bankrolled by wealthy interests, who also happen to own news agencies, in order to prevent the derailng of their gravy train – even resorting to casting blame on the President for the horrendous damage BP meted out on the Gulf of Mexico.

    For example, any casual perusal of Yahoo News commentary on any story (political or not, interestingly enough) will immediately demonstrate the decriptude to which people will descend, given the constant pressure, in the full hog and swinishness they are so agreeably accustomed, into the dispicable depths that political influence greased by wealth outside the proper machinery of government as outlined by the Constitution of our United States of America have taken them.

    And these idiots dare raise their stink about who belongs to their country.

    Dispicable.

    What kind of ‘patriotism’ can this circumstance possibly suggest to you? How lurid and low can a claim of ‘patriotism’ descend, according to your estimation?

    It is undoubtedly true that any system of government CAN’T work to its fullest potential unless every citizen is woman or man enough (that is, educated ADULT enough) to declare wholehearted allegiance to what the majority vote has decided. It is a matter of maturity. Evidently not all of us have grown up enough to acquire so cosmopolitan an understanding, let alone recognize the arena outside of our puny little and backwards-looking heads, as to accept even the slightest possibility that we might find ways of working together, let alone that we may be sorely mistaken.

    Alas, some relatively influential people arrive at the suggestion that it is uncouth to speak out strongly against the preposterous challenges of inanity…because it might make you feel bad for being a “dick”…because one needs to respect other people’s supposed opinions and beliefs because they have a right to hold them.

    And therein resides our weakness.

    Fortunately, not everyone agrees that it is acceptable to see people being swallowed whole by a propaganda machine heavily fortified by wealthy interests that CANNOT be democratically voted on or mediated by ANY of the people such wealth specifically targets.

    That’s right: Our country IS under seige. But the very worst and most dangerous terrorists are home-grown.

    Some of us still cherish the original principles outlined by the Constitution of the United States which have given us liberty, certain unalienable rights, and freedoms far beyond any previous methods employed by millennia of experiment. To be sure, the full extent of those freedoms have not always been tendered to all: people have been ostracized for their race, color and creed DESPITE what the Constitution stipulated. But that any justice has transpired comes about from the principles outlined by the Constitution: the literally evil forces of intolerance, bigotry and hatred amongst groups of PEOPLE as all too often inflamed by religious tradition is precisely the target of what the Constitution was designed by the founding fathers to aim at.

    On the basic problem of controlling large populations of people, it is without question that wealthy interests continually apply pressure. The founding fathers understood that tendency. Alas, too many of us have forgotten it. Yet we are still allowed to speak out against those who espouse what we consider to be injurious to our way of government. Naturally, another side thinks precisely the opposite, and wishes to avail itself of those very same freedoms in order to cut down any dissent.

    It’s a battle.

    Oh, but don’t forget to avoid rocking the boat. But the boat has been rocking about so badly for decades now that it has long since been foundering on the point of sinking. One should not APPEAR to be too dickish, at least. It would be bad form to attempt to prevent the sinking of the boat when so many others have a right to help sink it. Speaking out might hurt the feelings of those who wish to sink it. It might even hurt sales.

  50. Anchor

    Oh, and by the way: if Christine O’donnell ever does get voted into that office (unlikely, I’m sure) I would predict she’d bolt even more quickly than Sarah Palin did from her responsibility as “governor” of her state.

    Either way it goes, it will CONTINUE to demonstrate exactly how incompetent these people are. Any setbacks are impermanent…but if anyone REALLY wants big jump improvements, you might wish for bozos like the Republicans to get in to perform their wild dance of damage..but ONLY if you think we can afford to survive any more of their nonsense. However, time does have a tendency to run out leaving the risk-taking voter gamblers thoroughly skunked…but no worse than the sorry sob who decides not to sit at the table and play at least one more hand. Even that kind of loser would discover that his relunctance to play helped bring about his loss.

    MARK: to those who throw in the proverbial towel and think it somehow noble to refrain from voting? Why NOT engage in the joke? Go ahead and vote for whom you really think is representing the lesser evil. WHY NOT FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS A MERE LAUGH???

    Look at it this way: you can then actually SAY you voted for the person in office whom you figured would not accomplish anything you hoped, and jump up and down like an idiot telling everyone that you were right if that person fails. Otherwise you have absolutely nothing whatsoever to say one way or another about it.

    In other words? Put up or STFU.

    Because, man, that’s all you’ve got left, and that’s just about zilch as it is. Prove me wrong: go vote for the person you least detest. Everybody who votes does that. Why can’t you? Do you have any real problem with that?

  51. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 49. Anchor : Gee, did you miss the part where I agreed that Obama – Biden was the lesser of evils vs McCain – Palin? Sure looks like it.

    Perhaps you should try reading & comprehending what folks are actually saying before you launch your standard offensive ad hominem rants against them for once? :roll:

    Also I never claimed Obama was titled anything other than President & am utterly baffled how you could’ve concluded – so wrongly – otherwise. Sure Obama is POTUS – until 2012 or perhaps impeachment, resignation or something else.

    It is a pity that Hillary Clinton didn’t win in 2008 instead. She probably wouldn’t have been great but I doubt she’d have been as bad.

    BTW. For future reference ‘despicable’ is spelt with an ‘e’ not ‘i’ after the initial letter. :-P

    @51. Anchor again :

    ..go vote for the person you least detest.

    What if they’re all equally bad & you can’t stand any of them?

    I’ve had a gutful of politics and politicians. We’ve had a year of elections in Oz and overseas (now midterms in US which is inescapable in the blogosphere) and frankly, there’s nobody running who I’d wish to see in charge.

    @46. kuhnigget :

    Some of us mutts find the whole concept of race identification rather silly, but there you go.

    I agree with you that race identification is silly.

    I also think Obama played the “race card” and used his skin colour at least in part to be elected as POTUS.

    I think that was a silly choice and Obama’s use of emotion, inexperience and “Blackness” and non-G.W. Bushness was an illogical and it turns out flawed reason to elect a flawed President.

    As I’ve said, in my view the Democrats would have done better to have nominated Hillary Clinton and had her win the Presidency in 2008.

    The Republicans would’ve done better with nominating anybody other than McCain-Palin in 2008 and Rudy Giuliani would most likely been their best option.

    In My Humble Opinion Naturally.

  52. Brian Lindsay
  53. @ Anchor:

    You had me until this:

    It is undoubtedly true that any system of government CAN’T work to its fullest potential unless every citizen is woman or man enough (that is, educated ADULT enough) to declare wholehearted allegiance to what the majority vote has decided. It is a matter of maturity.

    Look up the expression, “Loyal Opposition.”

    Then step into the WayBack machine to the previous administration. (Not way back enough, unfortunately.) Yeah. Pledge allegiance to that.

  54. Richard Holman

    Too bad we do not have a “Loyal Opposition” and have not since the days of FDR, when debate over policy never jeaoprodized the outcome of the sceond world war. No “both” sides today (though there are significant followings of at least three other parties) are so wrapped up in the 2nd grade schoolyard tantrums of “I want it my way or else I’ll ruin the whole game”, that we are not making any progress. Party platform and is more important thatn the people, as for the Constitution? It says “We the people”, but we are not important, only party loyalty.

    The Pledge should read more like:

    I pedge allegiance the Party
    And to the platform for which it stands,
    Two nations,under God, divided, irecconciable,
    Stripping liberty and justice from all.

    The only real solution is to dismantle the two party system, and replace it with a multi-party system, thus ensuring congress could work together, because they would need to build colalitions, and really do their jobs, rather thatn parrot ideology every two years.
    OR
    As George Washington once promoted, do away with parties all together. You run on your priciples and integrity, with no party backers, not soft money, just your own integrity.
    Given the current crop, three people would survive out of our current leadership, one democrat, one independent and one Republican, all the others would be seen as the liars and propagandisits they are.

    For the record, since the 1988 I have gone either with the Libertarians or the Green Party, i have not met I Republican or Democrat that I think can do the job, minus the three honest policy makers I mention above.

  55. Luke

    @52. Messy Tidy Upper:

    “I also think Obama played the “race card” and used his skin colour at least in part to be elected as POTUS. ”

    I’m wondering what you think a black candidate *not* using the “race card” would look like to you exactly, since there didn’t seem to be a whiff of that during the campaign from the administration, and indeed any hints about race seemed to come from the right’s labeling Obama as an outsider, or from the birthers, etc. Can you show some examples of his campaign playing the race card, or is it all just this vague nebulous notion of “white guilt” that likes to be thrown around when any person of a minority ethnic group gets ahead?

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