Even the Pentagon Says Morons Are Inheriting the Earth
Welcome to Dumb-ville, where residents not only celebrate ignorance but have chosen to embrace it as a lifestyle!
Remember the recently elected congressman, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R- Ala), who was asked to name the three branches of our government?
His answer, “the House, the Senate, and the Executive,” would have been funny if it didn’t sadly illustrate the huge educational deficit that exists for a large segment of our population. Even worse, he was elected by a constituency that never bothered to determine if his lack of knowledge about our government made him unfit to serve. Or, if they did, they didn’t care.
Historically, we’ve always depended on those who were more educated and more informed to deal with matters of state.
They were expected to represent us, to stand for the things that are best for the majority, and to preserve the basic tenets of freedom and individual rights as defined by the constitution.
And while party affiliation has generally been reflected in a partisan bias toward the current issues, the constituency generally deferred to elected officials — regardless of their party loyalties — to “work things out,” make compromises, and negotiate the details of new legislation.
That’s the theory, anyway.
So when did that change? What happened to “reaching across the aisle?”
I realize the groundswell of hostile political confrontation — an Us versus Them mentality — is not new within the political arena. For decades, mud-slinging politicians have often resorted to attacking the opposition with innuendo or outright accusations of unethical and illegal conduct.
But that kind of “dirty politics” was typically reserved for the campaign trail and, for the most part, I believe the majority of us recognized it for what it was.
Opportunities to hurl insults and discredit the opposition have become the norm. Divide and conquer is the mantra of a congress fueled by desperation. Party leaders tell us, it’s our way or no way. We’re not interested in compromise.
As a result, inciting dissent and confrontation has become an art form.
Personally, I’ve never been politically motivated. I don’t identify as either Republican or Democrat. In my opinion, it shouldn’t matter. A man or woman elected to congress may demonstrate allegiance to the party that endorsed and supported their campaign. But once they’re installed in office, their support of the American people — All Americans — should not be in question.
But the last election cycle has left strong echoes of conflict and division. As a result, the majority of Americans believe that only those who voted for the newly installed incumbent will receive the benefit of the politician’s attention and support.
And what of those who voted for their opponent? Are they now the enemy? Should they be ignored? Or worse, should they be vilified and punished for voting their conscience?
Apparently, there are plenty of members of congress who think so.
Our congress has become two warring tribes of feces-slinging monkeys, rationalizing their positions and viewpoints with invented “facts” and downright scary flights of fantasy.
Sadly, their rhetoric isn’t a reflection of poor judgment. It’s a reckless and irresponsible expression of their lack of knowledge, combined with an intentional refusal to learn and accept the truth.
But here’s the scary thing . . .
They were elected by their own kind — those who express the same illogical, irrational mindset. From their perspective, their “version of the facts” is justified by the existence of “The Enemy,” who, by the way, is beyond redemption — not worthy of consideration and certainly not deserving of respect.
Regardless of the issue or topic, one side condemns the other as a bunch of devil-worshipping, cannibalistic whore-mongers, whose actions are so vile and corrupt, that any action necessary to defeat them is justified.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, there’s an even greater danger
Those most adamant in their beliefs refuse to consider any other information that might undermine or disprove their strongly-held opinion. They’ve made the conscious decision to label any evidence that could prove them wrong as “fake news.”
Their attitude represents the very essence of what’s wrong with a large portion of the American constituency: Don’t confuse me with the facts — I’m happy being wrong!
“Then there’s the painful fact that the average IQ in America and across the West is clearly dropping. If you’re imagining that the population around you is getting dumber, you’re right Even the Pentagon says morons are inheriting the earth.” — Observer
For example, Twitter, Facebook, and the majority of other social media platforms are boiling pots for rumor and conjecture — often presented as truth. These websites can be used to create a virtual mob mentality by implying specific and highly regarded freedoms are at risk, and could quickly disappear under the helm of an unwanted politician.
Rather than promoting debate, a reasonable exchange of ideas, and the opportunity for intelligent deliberation, users flock to these platforms to obtain confirmation of personal opinions they already embrace and support.
And yet, I don’t believe the problem stems from social media.
It results from a lack of education!
From the very start of our nation, the founding fathers were concerned about who should be given the power of the vote.
James Madison was particularly concerned about the rights of the more educated being subordinated to the whims of transient drifters, minorities, and naturalized immigrants, whose vote was more likely to be swayed by promises of relief from poverty, discrimination, and persecution.
Madison wanted voters to make an informed choice. But in the 1770’s, literacy rates varied widely among the colonies. Some estimates put the number of people who could read and write as low as thirty percent, while other historians believe it was as high as sixty percent. In either case, there were a substantial number of people who lacked a basic education.
Nearly 250 years later, the numbers have changed, but not as much as you might think.
Today, “the U.S. Department of Education reports 54% of U.S. adults 16–74 years old — about 130 million people — lack proficiency in literacy, leaving them reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.” — Forbes
And sadly, the scholastic requirements for a high school diploma seldom include a passing grade in civics or government.
“Only nine states and the District of Columbia require one year of U.S. government or civics. Thirty-one states only require a half-year of civics or U.S. government education, and 10 states have no civics requirement.” — American Progress
Is there a solution?
I believe there is — and it has very little to do with the officials who currently serve.
It all comes down to teaching the young how our system of government and democracy is supposed to work. That includes knowing the salient points of the constitution, and realizing our duty as an informed constituency to listen to both sides of the argument before making a rational, independent choice . . . a choice based on the facts.
What can you do personally?
Treat any single media source as suspect. Ask yourself if the broadcast, newspaper, or article is reporting the news or spreading personal opinion. The media has long known that if the truth doesn’t get great ratings, stories based on hyperbola, exaggeration, and outright fabrication will increase viewership.
Use daily newscasts as an opportunity to talk to your kids about the political process. When you see or hear information that could be invented or manipulated to support an opinion, encourage your kids to research the topic from several sources to confirm the truth.
Becoming more informed is the first step in reducing the number of people elected to congress who can’t name the three branches of government. Hopefully, it will also reduce the number of congresswomen who claim the increase in California forest fires is the result of Jewish space lasers.
The bottom line is really a question . . .
The three most prominent symptoms of a failing democracy are weaponized false rhetoric, a divided constituency, and violent confrontation. The fact that we now witness all three on a near-daily basis prompts an obvious question . . .
Can we find our way back to a unified attitude of respect and appreciation for our system of government — one that brings thousands of refugees to this country every year? Or will we allow it to disintegrate into multiple and divided factions, promoted by those who don’t have the knowledge or education to understand the irreversible harm they’re doing to this country?
In other words, is it too late to save Democracy?
I’ll like to know what you think. Comments?
Thanks for reading,
Roger A. Reid, Ph.D. is a certified NLP trainer with degrees in engineering and business. Roger is the author of Better Mondays and Speak Up, and host of Success Point 360 Podcast, offering tips and strategies for achieving higher levels of career success and personal fulfillment in the real world.
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