Have we reached the peak of Mt. Stupidity, the apex of 360 degree ignorance? The Donald’s repeated assertion that President Obama -with Secretary Clinton proving her gangsta bona fides riding at his side- was “the founder of ISIS.” Dumb enough, sure, ridiculous even..pathetic. Where I get out of the clown car is when media organizations preface their commentary with this or that “fact” websites rating of either “Pinocchio,” or my favorite, “pants on fire.” How exactly does one fact check such a statement? No really, I’m serious, how? Do they check in with the Council on Foreign Relations, Alex Jones, Zbigniew Brzezinski? And yes, that’s spelled correctly. I fact checked it with the US Embassy in Poland.
Donald Trump is not the problem, nor Hillary Clinton. The media is not to blame for this Kabuki Theater on Democracy. It’s not the RNC or the DNC, the DEA or the FSB we should blame for our epic failures as global citizens, kin to our fellow man. You know who I think is to blame? Ronald Reagan. Just joking. The blame should be cast upon many parents of this country going back 40 to 50 years. Accepting this growing new culture of brains saturated in nonstop television, video games and social media, American families in general have willingly participated in an ever growing culture of blissful ignorance. And the slide continues to steepen with each generation, each financial crisis, each necessary second or third job necessary to support that very family in our post-modern consumer culture.
The statement “when I was a kid,” can be overused, nevertheless, the striking differences I see between norms of my childhood in the 70s and 80s with that off today must be a sign of something cultural and menacing. It’s no secret that kids back then were much more active, spending full days out of the home, sometimes far from home, playing sports, riding bikes and skateboards, doing all sorts of things. It’s not everything sure, but those experiences surely had a positive nature, learning, making mistakes, just learning about things we might otherwise never encounter at home? Somewhere in the 90s things swung the other way, rapidly, almost unnoticed. Parents are to blame, though the reasons, mostly out of their control, are, I believe, complicated?
Like a self licking ice cream cone, the echo of danger, whether actual or not, parents became fearful, the number of kids out of the house and off the property decreased, making the wild seem more dangerous, on and on. Reality TV crime docs made America seem like the wild, cable TV and video games offered more reasons to stay home, more danger, more internet and games, on and on. So now, a mom letting her 9 year old son take the subway, or 8 y.o. daughter the public bus, is met with indignation and hate. Practically child abuse. It’s actually pathological and rhetorically insane. The natural byproduct of this nannying is, by in large, young adults completely unprepared for the world outside of the familiar box that is their home for 18 years. This ignorance doesn’t cease with personal relationships or not knowing how to ride the bus, but rather, the ability to accept points of view beyond those you’re accustomed to.
I know we’ve never been completely free of ignorance in the United States. But really, in 2016, can you imagine there being enough bright, intelligent, other than nonsensical patriots around to fight a revolution, compose a Constitution, and set-up a government from scratch? I know it’s more complicated. I realize this analysis has flaws and is lacking in research. But am I wrong in saying that a man like Donald Trump couldn’t have gotten anywhere near the Presidency prior to television shows the likes of Keeping up with the Kardashian’s and Duck Dynasty reaching millions of steady viewers every week? Could you imagine what Lincoln, the first POTUS to represent the GOP, would think of a Donald Trump the standard bearer of his party?
Yes, politics in America has been nasty, even downright dirty, dating all the way back to the days of Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson. They used propaganda, the media, even sexual dalliances to get the upper hand and get elected. Not to mention the fact that at that time, the enslavement of fellow men and woman was condoned by the plurality of American’s, in and out of politics. Has there ever been a candidate so woefully small and petty, so blissfully ignorant and misogynistic to be on the final ballot, Nationwide, for President of the United States? No! And if the culture bears any witness to the future, he wont be the last.
Because why? Because ignorance has truly become bliss in America. Nobody likes a know it all, yet today, here, far too many voters for my comfort, like a knows a lot less. Politicians these days are so clueless, so dishonest, with a public that rides along in rapt silence, that fact checking them has become an actual industry.
This fact check intercourse seems stable, for now. In my opinion though, fact checking is as fleeting and possibly degrading to our National dialogue as sites like 538.com -outlets that assemble polls and other data to predict elections- are to normal voters. This is a separate conversation altogether, but is anything less useful than polls and poll aggregators to regular voters? I mean a candidate will either win or lose, right? Does it matter any more that the polls say 60-40 in one race, 90-10 in another? Especially when 99% chances have gone down -Clinton in Michigan primary, 99% of winning according to 538- Polls, like the DOW Jones and 14 day weather forecasts in nightly news casts, are little more than airtime filler. Not there for one to make a good decision, yet possibly, dubious information that could spur a regrettable one?
Now I need to boot up my pirated season six of Game of Thrones. Ha!