Are Americans Stupid?
Where to begin...
If you ask your average person on the street if Americans are stupid, I think you would get a pretty heavy response in the positive. After all, we all love America, but we don't really like each other. Most of us would call ourselves smart, and the majority of strangers stupid, because our common interactions tend to be negative. All you have to do is ask people about driving a car to figure that out. We all consider ourselves better drivers than anyone else, and the closer you get to family, the more acute that belief becomes. That is just one of the bizarre idioms of modern life.
Take going to the mall, for example, or Walmart. Picking on stupid people at these places is easy, because that is where stupid people go. It starts in the parking lot, where even entering seems to be a baffling experience to some. They stop after pulling in from the street, frozen in indecision about what to do next, totally oblivious to the cars trying to enter behind them. Then comes the hunt for the best parking spot possible, which usually means driving as close to the entrance as they can, despite any chance of finding anything in a line of cars doing the exact same thing. Inevitably, they get stuck behind someone waiting for a family of five to load their stupid groceries and their stupid children into their lame minivan for 10 minutes, again, oblivious to the line of cars waiting behind them.
This is the core of parking lot stupidity and the selfish and lazy aspect of parking protocol in general. Americans will do anything to avoid walking an extra 50 yards, including getting into fistfights. The smart ones, once they get past the entryway zombies, drive AWAY from the entrance and park on the outskirts where spaces are available, and then walk right past the stupids and into the store 15 minutes sooner, WHERE...
The stupidity has just begun.
Once you enter Walmart, it seems like they were handing out Quaaludes at the door. Everything and everybody has entered the slurry zone. There is no sense of purpose or awareness, just an aura of cluelessness.Traveling in inpenetrable packs, families look upon and discuss a bag of Ruffles as if it had come down from an alien planet. The concept of personal space and leaving room for others has no meaning. These are the people who camp out for days before "Black Friday" sales, totally content with eating Thanksgiving dinner in a parking lot in order to save 3$ on a twelve pack of crew socks. And then, in the spirit of holiday cheer, they proceed to trample each other getting through the doors. Merry effing Christmas, everybody!
But shopping and driving are just run of the mill, everyday stupid for us Americans. The real, dangerous stupidity comes with life changing consequences. The big three are religion, guns and voting, and this is where the idea of "American Exceptionalism" takes on it's true form.
Americans cling to their religion like a dog playing tug of war. They want it, but they don't really understand why. Their only defensive position is the path of rightiousness given to them by themselves and their elders and granted by annointed clergy who are all too happy to oblige. The absurdity that serves as the foundation of all religions has been lost through centuries of affirmation. That is, "WE are RIGHT, and THEY are wrong."
The insanely brilliant episode of "Southpark" about the Mormon religion demonstrates this best. I defy you to watch this and not think that this could apply to any and all religions (except yours, of course).
Obviously, I say this from the platform of a devout athiest, but our founding fathers were very shrewd to make it clear that the seperation of church and state was very important. That is, that a government that took sides with any particular religion risked alienating and descriminating against all other religions and was much better served by staying out of it completely.
It is hard to describe religion in general as "stupid", because so much inteligent thought has gone into it for centuries, but the way America has handled it over 300 some-odd years is has been abysmal, and we're not getting any better at it. Our Puritanical roots have always given us a judgemental edge that we just can't shake off, and the 9-11 attacks, coupled with our disastrous response has launched us into an unending religious war.
I think it's fair to say that most of the modernized world outside of this country knows that America is stupid about guns. Every statistic you can come up with points to the fact that we have lost our collective minds about our gun culture, yet we continue to double down on it again and again. If we can tolerate a school full of murdered children, what is the possible turning point? I can't think of an example more horrifying and a response more despicable than the defensive backlash from the gun advocates.
If there is one issue that will eventually drive me out of this country, it is this one. When I find myself looking for escape routes in movie theaters, or afraid to honk at a reckless driver because I am afraid of getting shot, then it is time to reconsider my surroundings. I'm sure the gun nuts will be glad to see me go, and I will be glad to see them in my tail lights. There is no talking sense to people who see no meaning in facts.
Nowhere is the American ignorance more obvious than when it comes to voting. The running joke reel of ordinary citizens on TV failing to grasp even the basic aspects of world and domestic affairs is beyond disheartening. It doesn't take anything even remotely complex to confuse the average American, like asking things like "what country is on our northern border?" to demonstrate the vast and disturbing stupidity of your 'man on the street'. Trump voters, when interviewed on the street, consistantly come across as ignorant hick bigots, as they have no facts or real idea of what their candidate is really saying. This is exactly what Mr. Trump is counting on, if he has any chance at winning. Liberal voters, on the other hand, behave like entitled, snotty whiners, and do no justice to the strong hand that they hold. With a fistfull of worthy truths, it should be a turkey shoot for the left wingers, but they often seem as clueless as the conservatives.
The true stupidity of voters is when they vote against their own interests. The classic example of this is the town hall meeting that John McCain held in 2008, when an elderly woman cried out; "Keep your government hands off of my medicare!"
They just don't get it. It is like when I see Republican African American pundits on the cable news networks, defending the conservative movement. I am pulling my hair out. Are you frigging crazy?Don't you understand that the Republicans HATE you? They have done everything they can for the past 5 decades to undermine the progress of minorities. They want to supress your vote. They are perfectly OK with the prison population being overwhelmingly minority in comparison to the general population.
And the there is Obama Care. Yes, there are many flaws, but millions of uninsured people now have health care because of it, and the elimination of the "pre-existing condition" clauses in obtaining insurance has saved thousands of lives across the country.
The bottom line is that if you are black, or hispanic or a woman, or gay, and you vote Republican, you are being stupid. Weather you are generally stupid or have just been duped is open to discussion. Just stop watching Fox News for a month and figure it out.