Opinion: Yes We Can Call These People Morons
Admit it, every time you see a truck with a Confederate flag or a trump bumper sticker, you wonder how these people tie their shoes in the morning without help. While this is completely unfair, for those of us with critical thinking abilities, it’s human nature. However, I had a recent conversation with an individual regarding the 2018 Midterm elections and his response for not voting was “I won’t vote for Hillary.”
This was followed by “I won’t vote Democrat.” It may be understood that not everyone follows politics or even wants to, but this kind of idiocy is almost unheard of. You also have to recognize that this 30 year old Caucasian guy has avoided paying any taxes his entire working life, has health insurance via the Affordable Care Act, has a wife and kids that are on Medicaid and Food Stamps. Yes, he is so clueless, he doesn’t realize that each of these benefits are thanks to Democrats. He is also completely unaware of the fact that voting (or not) affects many areas of his life and that of his children.
It is natural to make attempts at explaining that voting is our only way to align and balance the government and refusing to vote or voting for a candidate that wants to remove environmental protection or force something like Bible reading in schools does affect our lives. However, discussions usually results in “you are taking this political stuff too far.” There is an apparent disconnect in understanding that politics deeply affects our lives, whether we want them to or not.
I have an advantage in this analysis as I have known this person for a long time; and I can say that this is also a perfect example of an individual that whines about life not being fair, while he personally blew every opportunity that was given to him with really bad decisions and choices. In talking with him you get the picture that he is rejecting all common sense aspects and is just looking for someone to blame. This has transitioned over a short period of time to the atypical racist name-calling which now borderlines on putting the blame for his idiot life selections on the shoulders of all those that he is trying to feel superior over.
So where does he get this attitude? Astoundingly, it isn’t from his family, as they are from a long line of Democrats and tried to set themselves as good examples, including teaching him and giving him information. It is instead, from his “red neck” friends, bosses, and co-workers. These are people that couldn’t pass a high school entrance test, even if they cheated. In analyzing the behavior and responses, combined with the refusal to understand basic facts, his reactions comply with those that fall into the description of a “cult.” Psychologists have done a lot of studies on this, and those that fall into the cult category are usually looking for people or groups that offer an alternative to their unhappy plight and/or want to share in blaming others for their own self-induced problems, while rejecting any facts that are presented by their families.
So Where DO these People Get their Information?
During the Presidential election, this individual was making negative comments about the video that they watched depicting Hillary Clinton as a young attorney. This was a standard propaganda piece, edited for the weak minded. Hillary Clinton was “laughing” at a question posed to her regarding whether she would trust lie detector machines and was then used as fodder for those stupid enough to lack fact checking abilities to make them think she was laughing at defending a rapist.
Many of these types of people don’t read, and frankly, have never bothered to read. Therefore, the current flow of easy-to-digest information via videos and social media is perfect for them. They also seem to be unaware of the differences in media forms and to separate facts from those that are designed to brainwash. This is the demographic that is most vulnerable to the Russian and Macedonian purveyors of false news. When you add into the mix that they would much rather believe the propaganda being fed to them on a daily basis by their fellow uninformed friends and co-workers, it’s a formula that is perfect for conservatives to appeal to.
If you listen to some of the comments that these individuals spew, you will quickly recognize that they parrot each other. Whether type written or spoken, they are copy-and-paste and almost all sound like they are those that are repeated on Fox (not recognized as a news channel). They seem to be quite proud of their lack of knowledge and yet still seem to think that they are smarter than minorities.
I am reminded of the quote from John Cleese, British Comedian, Director, and of famed Monty Python:
“In order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place,” Cleese elaborates, “which means — and this is terribly funny — that if you are absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it.” With that, he gives us an extremely brief introduction to the Dunning–Kruger effect, “a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate” owing to “a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude” (and, by the same token, of “highly skilled individuals to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others”). — John Cleese
In other words: some people are too stupid to realize how stupid they really are!
There is No Appealing to this Demographic
I have been an activist most of my life, fighting the good fight for “we the people.” Anyone that has been on this journey understands that it is often a thankless condition, but we don’t do it for the accolades, we do it because it is the correct thing to do. I, and others, have fought for civil rights, women’s rights, increased minimum wage, for healthcare for all, to protect the planet, to get rid of those that are moving the U.S. to fascism, to support science, and to end politically motivated wars. However, in the eyes of people such as this young man, those that follow the rallying cry to maintain Democracy, are just radicals. They are clueless in understanding or even wanting to know that the history of our country is based on protests and that the many benefits that they currently enjoy are due to people such as myself.
There is no way to appeal to the “common sense” side of individuals such as this because they are brainwashed with the affirmations that they get from their friends and co-workers on a daily basis. Facts and truth mean nothing to these people and this is the fertile ground that Republicans look for when they are seeking out voters for “their side.” They truly do look for and appeal to the uneducated.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to stand up for all Americans, to sift through, fact check, and make an attempt to clarify the information and hold our representatives accountable.
Don’t get me wrong, Democrats and liberals are not perfect, but the one thing that we do that is opposite, is that we call out the bad behavior of Dems when we see it.
Having an experience with this young man is enough to instill disgust and depression. If this is what part of our country has become, all that our families fought for during the many wars, has been in vain.
The good news is, that there seem to be far more enlightened young people that are becoming involved and taking charge of their futures. These are people that understand the importance and having people in government that can offer them a bright future. My hope is on these people.