Dumb Masses and Smart Asses
Though it may not be apparent to a reader of this blog, I’ve never been particularly inclined to take up sides in our unsophisticated and unidimensional partisan political structure. There are simply more variables than “liberal” or “conservative.” Those terms describe of attitudes toward particular policy issues, and do not require exclusive, total devotion and application for every single policy. We need a new language of politics because so many policy areas simply allow for divergent possibilities and approaches that don’t cleanly fit into our preexisting definitions and thus can make political waters murky and unsafe for people to happily associate with certain political organizations.
But it’s really hard not to enter the fray to defend the Democratic side when Republican “wedge” rhetoric polarizes people into groups of unthinking fascists and everyone else. I wish I was exaggerating, but a new poll reveals totally deranged Republican attitudes about Obama:
- 67 percent think he’s a socialist (let’s temporarily ignore the fact that this is a relative term)
- 57 percent think he is a Muslim
- 45 percent believe that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
- 38 percent say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
- And 24 percent say “he may be the Antichrist.”
I apologize for my own share of fear-mongering, but I get fearful myself when I see that Sarah Palin tells thronging and cheering masses of tea-partiers that “We don’t need no smart Prez’dent.” Ok, that’s a bit of a paraphrase, but it’s not far off the real quote:
In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.
Maybe it’s easy to pick off the low-hanging fruit of the Republicans’ political branches, but that just reminds me of the phrase that “it’s better to be a smart ass than a dumb ass.” But in the end, if you can accept any validity in that maxim, you still have to be an ass.