Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | August 30, 2012

Are the American voters idiots?

What do you think, readers?

I still say no, even after 2008, when it took very little effort to find out everything you needed to know about Barack Obama.  Steeped in ‘60s-era radicalism, a “community organizer,” and a close associate of everyone in the political-guilt shakedown industry in Chicago.  This guy was everything my leftist college professors thought of as a hero.

His associates, political thugs, pried open sealed divorce and child-custody records to embarrass his opponents in the 2006 Senate race.  Yet his own records – e.g., college transcripts – have remained firmly sealed.  His political record, other than his years in community organizing, was of a hard-left voting pattern (coupled with a lot of “present” votes), and a recorded interview in which he decried the US Constitution’s marvelous provisions to keep government from doing things to the people.

There were so many reasons to know in advance that Obama would be a poor president.  Yet many of the voters were taken in by the media hype surrounding Obama.  The president’s associations and recorded statements were played down.  The record was there for a number of investigative authors to find, from Michelle Malkin to Stanley Kurtz and Aaron Klein.  But the mainstream media presented a very selective picture of the Democratic candidate.

The MSM, in fact, has embarrassed itself to a near-fatal degree with its remarkable coverage of the Obama administration, whether it is amplifying the cries of “racism!” that erupt whenever there is criticism of the president, or credulously reporting whatever the administration puts out, word for word, as if there is no previous record or any set of facts to be counter-checked.  (The latter pattern is especially strong when it comes to reporting about defense and national security.  Reporters have regularly retailed administration talking points about the unprecedented “shows of strength” the Obama administration is making, when a little research would reveal that the US had already been doing whatever the “unprecedented” thing is, for 5, 20, or even – in the case of North and South Korea – 60 years.)

There has been a tremendous growth in vague, elliptical, and/or tendentious narration of what’s going on in the nation and the world.  The people can be pardoned for being tired and confused.

But the inability to distinguish fantasy-news and talking points from reality is a product of the US education system.  That system has taken millions of people with plenty of native smarts and indoctrinated them with a set of ideological trigger-concepts, all while declining to teach them to think critically.  Developing judgment through critical thinking is one of the hallmarks of adulthood, and the US education system has been making that harder for Americans, rather than fostering their abilities.

But has this actually made Americans stupid?  I don’t think so.  One reason is that my experience with sailors in the last 10 years of my active-duty time was that an awful lot of them were coming in “stupid” – a noticeable difference from previous years – but most of them quickly learned discipline, responsibility, and the acquisition of knowledge, once they were challenged to.  Lazy, whining kids who had never before been required to actually meet a challenge found it invigorating and rewarding to do so.  (New sailors who came in from disciplined backgrounds like sports or music had an advantage, even though their store of knowledge was lacking, because they had already been challenged to perform to a standard along the way.)

Indeed, throughout my life, people’s hunger for challenge, and their adaptability when they are given opportunities to learn and improve themselves, have been in strong evidence.  People aren’t happy as dependent creatures, supervised and fed but never rising to challenge or opportunity.  People aren’t happy in any of the pathologies so prevalent today, whether in welfare dependency, “job” dependency – having to wait for someone else to create a job, with the government’s say-so, so you can have rewarding work – or drug use or sexual excess, or constant obsession with ideas of victimization and despair.

Only the most foolish of the young can think that these things make you happy and fulfilled.  Americans used to know better, and I believe we want to again.  It doesn’t make anyone happy to live in a network of these pathologies – not even the politicians and advocacy professionals who make their living from exploiting them

It does make us happy to take responsibility, exercise discipline, work hard, accumulate wealth, marry and raise children, and give our families a bright future.  Some people are unhappy in any circumstances, but no one is happy trapped in the modern American pathology-network.

There is a lie in our minds that it has become economically feasible for lots and lots of us to live in this pathogenic manner, but the evidence is all around us that we can’t.  Our unfunded federal obligations now total more than 8 times our entire annual GDP. Most of our federal budget every year goes to entitlement programs.  But the problem is larger than that.  How many young men and women have been squeezed out of productive life by the pathologies of welfarism?  How many abortions and STDs, how many lives ruined by drugs and alcohol, how many gang killings do we need, before we will acknowledge that it is not a good idea for government to subsidize pathogenic living?

I believe Americans are waking up to reality.  Perhaps it took the Obama presidency to reveal to enough minds the ugly deceptions behind the talking points of the left.  The now nearly mindless and painfully predictable shrieking of the left’s most unseemly pundits – and even of some of its politicians – comes off as a death scream.  The MSM will continue its fantasy-narrative generation, but the public has seen what Obama the Savior has wrought, and it’s collapsing businesses, dying jobs, and crony-tending with the taxpayers’ indenture, as far as the eye can see.

People do seek the truth.  They do want to live well, by their own efforts and according to the moral code of God, in ways that are satisfying and rewarding.  They respond with overwhelming capacities to challenges.  We aren’t cut out to live the way the 1960s-era radical left has been determined – for nearly 50 years now – that we will.  It doesn’t work.  The inconsistencies and invalid propositions have us bursting at the seams.

I think Americans are waking up to that, and will recognize that the first step is changing presidents in January.  No, the voters aren’t stupid.  Too many have been misled for too long, but we still have what our Founders endowed us with:  a public square in which we are free to encourage and persuade each other.  I believe more and more Americans are listening, and thinking critically again.  I don’t know if we will have a universally honest and fair vote in November, but I do believe we won’t have a stupid one.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.

Note for new commenters:  Welcome!  There is a one-time “approval” process that keeps down the spam.  There may be a delay in the posting if your first comment, but once you’re “approved,” you can join the fray at will.

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Responses

  1. are you a voter?

  2. I knew. That the Rev Wright alone didn’t keep people from voting for this guy shocks me. Yes, my wife and I knew, yet almost 100% of our (former) friends from the California Bay area who range from PHD physicists to off-the-books handyman ALL of these fools voted for obama. Most never heard of Bill Ayers. Many didn’t know who Wright was or had heard obama call his own grandmother a “typical white woman.” Two insisted they had seen Sarah Palin on TV saying she could see Russia from her house. “What an idiot” was their assessment of her. The PHD said “I’m an elitist and I want the smartest guy in the office.” He lectured my wife on why she should support Hillary Clinton instead of Sarah Palin if she wants a woman in high office. My wife gave it right back to the big smart PHD – “Why should I support an enabler of bad behaviour who’s done nothing except ride her cheating husbands coattails into power vs a self-made American woman who saw problems at her school and joined the PTA. Then ran for mayor and won when she saw how much more good she could do in that position. Then sat on the Alaska energy board where she outed corrupt republicans and democrats. Then ran for Governor and defeated the good old boy. Had an 80% approval rating until the leftist scum lied lied lied about her til even some Alaskans believed it. WHY would I not support this great American woman?”
    In truth IMHO, Palin was the smartest of the 4 people running in 2008, despite what the leftists say to this day. Now the republicans appear to be eschewing her and her leadership of the TEA party which is almost soley responsible for the new repub majority in the House. They do this at their GREAT peril.
    In any case, I dont think any of these former friends have seen the light. They will all vote for obama again. They all supported Brown for governor here in California and he is threatening to take billions away from education if he doesnt get ANOTHER tax hike, tho he wont touch any money going to ILLEGAL aliens. Some people will just never learn. It’s that simple. And that dangerous. We are on the edge of the precipice. Even if Romney wins, it may be too late to save this republic. The drag of the democrats may be too heavy to lift.

    • Very well said. I am waiting to see what Mitt and Co. does after being elected. If they don’t do a good job, by 2015, I am going to try and start a third party. There has been a lot of the good old boy thing going on in the two party system. There has been times where it was hard to tell them apart. The main reason is the Progressives in both partys trying to sell this Country down the river.

    • Fully concur as to Sarah Palin.

      We are indeed on the edge of the precipice. If Romney wins, the left, the MSM and many liberals will do everything in their power to obstruct and undermine Romney and the Republican’s efforts.

      Sarah Palin’s efforts at focusing on Congressional elections, especially in the Senate is absolutely critical and I suspect little appreciated. Romney’s chances of repealing Obamacare, strengthening the military, reining in debt, defunding Planned Parenthood, etc., etc. depend entirely upon having the votes in the Senate to chart a new path.

      The left, MSM and misguided liberals will not go quietly into the night.

      The left is as committed as the right but will do anything to regain power if Romney is elected.

      Get ready for BusHitler all over again.

  3. It depends on where you are:

    City voters are renters. They own nothing, have no stake in society, and in general live hand to mouth lives where nothing of much value is either made or left to future generations. Their stake is in what they can “get” from the government. The government is their existence. They look to everyone for everything, from the roof over their heads, to the food on their tables, to their basic transportation needs.

    They are also the most frightfully ignorant (both innocent and malignant) people on the planet. Everything is corrupt, everyone is corrupt, and there is no relief from the cycle of the patron and client.

    The near in suburbs are slowly degenerating into “city” existences, but there is some hope. People who own their own property, own their own transportation, and actually have a stake in a rational government still exist, but they are on the wain as fewer people can buy property, and more handouts are demanded from the government.

    But there is hope in the sprawl. The suburbs are the hotbeds of Conservatism. The best generator of the Conservative voter is the four bedroom house, with 3 bathrooms, two cars, and a yard to mow.

    It also generates smarter voters, who get involved in school boards, county boards, and church groups. When people must tend to their own needs and must be responsible for their own lives, and maintenance of their precious and expensive property, smaller government follows.

    My old history professor, a Rhode’s scholar classist who thought the Romans were tacky, and the Greek polis was near perfection. He was a pure libertarian from the mountains of North Carolina and, said it best; “Government is a form of legalized highway robbery.”

    Smart people don’t let the robbers have access. We have a dwindling supply of smart voters, there is some hope, but it fades with every passing year.

    r/TMF

    • ====City voters are renters. They own nothing, have no stake in society, and in general live hand to mouth lives where nothing of much value is either made or left to future generations. Their stake is in what they can “get” from the government. The government is their existence. They look to everyone for everything, from the roof over their heads, to the food on their tables, to their basic transportation needs.

      They are also the most frightfully ignorant (both innocent and malignant) people on the planet. Everything is corrupt, everyone is corrupt, and there is no relief from the cycle of the patron and client.
      ===

      way to prove that you’re a damned and ugly-minded fool!!!!

      • Parasites generally get angry when their hosts object.

        To swine the sty is heaven.

        tootles… enjoy your fetid sewer.

        -TMF

        • you’re less of a host than a hollowed-out swine skull full of Jell-O.

          you’re just an empty head full of ugly and one can only hope that whatever kids you have developed an immunity to your unhealthiness.

    • Things have changed. The neighborhood in which I grew up went from working class to welfare class, while home values skyrocketed. Businesses taking government handouts and mandates for alternative energy are welfare class, too, but they have the temerity to claim they are champions of free enterprise.

      If you took away all the businesses, farms and individuals who derive a substantial portion of their income from government transfer payments, we would have == a country of a population like Switzerland.

      Hmmm. Lots of room. No crowds. Cuckoo clocks.

  4. I’ll be voting for the lesser of two evils, so to speak. I can hide the fact that I wish I had a better Republican nominee. A great Republican candidate would have had this election clinched already. As it stands today I’m leaning Romney, hoping for a competent congress, and a Cabinet stuffed with as many of the (truly) best people America has to offer.

    Common sense, reform, reform and again reform. Everywhere.

    It ain’t gonna be easy.

    • which of the contenders for the Republican nomination was better than Romney ?

      it seemed like a remarkably dismal group.

      • To be frank Fuster, I agree, the lot of them sucked. But our incumbent is hardly up there with the “great ones” either. We could sure use some exemplary leadership across the board with the issues we face. I don’t think we will be getting it, but there has to be some hope and optimism, as naive as that may sound.

        Like I’ve said on previous occasions, maybe we’ll get lucky and the rest of the world will muck things up so bad, that we will look great in comparison.

  5. Are you kidding? Give me a break. How’s that for some well worn cliches? Several others come to mind, but I do not care to bore you just because you tried to wear me out with your fantasies.

    If you had ever made it through high school you might have realized that this nation is the greatest in the world if only to record all that it has provided for its citizens. Of course, you probably would not have realized that with the efforts made to redefine democracy as the “American Way”, our leaders for the past couple of decades have saddled our President with tasks far beyond the capability of an average person, much less one who made a real effort to repay his “employers” for all that they had bestowed on him.

    And then, to add to the generalized confusion of the day, there were a number of incidents that required his attention. Getting our troops out of Iraq was the most difficult – based on all of the promises his predecessor had made along the way, then, there was the Gulf oil spill which required not only a solution, but a need to make certain our relief forces would not be compared to the travesty in the wake of Katina, and of course, trying to deal with the contrariness of a Congress that has no clue as to how to remedy the fiscal crises they have caused over the past ten to twenty years.

    Oh, I see, you were just kidding. OK, go back to sleep!

  6. One thing that people ought to learn, is if what is said is the truth, it is not mud slinging. Like Bill Clintons past, I would have like to known about his past before he was elected than after. Like his draft dodging and etc. Why can’t we get Obama’s Collage records, draft records and etc. I would be led to believe that they are hiding the fact that he was a foreign exchange student. Who paid for his education? Was it the US taxpayer or George Soros? Why is he hiding the fact that he is a Muslim. The only thing he does not hide is his contempt for the United STates and its People.

    • “Why is he hiding the fact that he is a Muslim.”

      Herman—when did you stop taking your medication? and why aren’t you hiding the fact that you’re half a donkey?

      • There are too many factors saying that he is, 1. The old Muslim saying once a Muslim always a Muslim. 2. His dog does not travel with him on AirForce 1, because a muslim believes they are unclean. He has said that he was a Muslim. What other proof do you need?

        • Herman—- those were two really remarkably stupid reasons that you advanced and I’m assuming that you’re writing for general amusement.

          everybody knows that the dog doesn’t fly with Obama because he’s assigned to pilot the press plane.

    • “Why is he hiding the fact that he is a Muslim?”

      If he is Muslim, the reasons for the secrecy would be obvious.

      But is that supposition or do you have factual evidence to cite?

      I suspect he’s an agnostic, secular humanist with strong sympathies for Islam.

      • do you think he dresses to the left or to the right, Geoffrey?

        • I wouldn’t know fuster, why the interest?

          • because you’ve shown such tremendous insight in delving into the recesses of the man’s mind and divining that he’s “an agnostic with strong sympathies for Islam” that I felt confident that you would really, really know about the other as well.

            • “Suspecting” something is hardly claiming “tremendous insight” and “divining” the “recesses” of Obama’s mind. But if it walks and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck…

              As long as the evidence is circumstantial it must remain a suspicion. But the circumstantial evidence is disturbing;

              Obama’s refusal to place his hand over his heart when the national anthem is playing, his statement that the Muslim call to prayer “is the most beautiful sound”, his first foreign ‘apology’ speech in Cairo…, bowing to Saudi Arabia’s king in his official capacity as President.

              Active hostility toward Israel, including threats designed to intimidate Israel into refraining from a pre-emptive attack upon Iranian nuclear facilities.

              His complete unconcern at Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers infiltrating into positions of influence in the US. His refusal to take the threat from Iran seriously, ensuring greatly increased nuclear proliferation into many more unstable third world regimes.

              Twenty plus years regular attendance imbibing the Rev. Wright’s racism and anti-Americanism. Close association with Ayers and Dorhn, the unrepentant domestic terrorists.

              Statements, behavior and actions both by Obama and his administration completely consistent with European transnationalism. Which eventuates in ongoing attempts to undermine our national sovereignty.

              I could go on but the points been made to all but the willfully obtuse and those who share Obama’s agenda.

              Circumstantial evidence isn’t ‘undeniable proof’ but to any objective analysis, it’s a damning indictment.

              • I couldn’t have said it better.

              • GB, that wasn’t great, but it was pretty rational and coherent.

  7. “Are the American voters idiots?”

    It’s been proven over the past three and a half years that over 50% of them were in 2008. And some number not far from 50% of them will be even bigger idiots this November. Including, I might mention, a certain fellow who uses a frog as his avatar.

    • I will tell you what, I am beginning to think that a lot of them are followers, like a flock of Sheep. I will tell you what the Oil Companys and others did to the Public, back in the early 70’s. When they switched from Leaded Gas to UnLeaded Gas, they raised the price of a gallon of gas up because they had to take the lead out. Most people didn’t know that the Lead was added to unleaded gas as a anti-Knock compound. All the gas was unleaded when it was manufactured, and cheaper than leaded gas. Now the price of Gas in not regulated by supply and demand, they use any excuse to raise the price of gas. We might have a war in the middle east, a hurricane in the Gulf, any excuse the can think of and bam the price of gas will go up instantly, not next week or next month.

  8. Taking the question seriously; if Romney’s elected, the left, MSM and many liberals will conclude that Americans are idiots and if Obama is reelected, most conservatives will conclude that Americans are idiots too.

    Americans intelligence, as with any other group, plots as a bell curve.

    It is our beliefs that shape our perceptions and those beliefs act as filters, unless the individual is rigorous in their adherence to principled logic and reason, those filters only allow through ideas, facts and arguments that fit the preconceived beliefs of the individual.

    Human nature, when divorced from reason and logic, accounts for the seeming stupidity of people.

  9. Well one of the architects of the template, David Chelian, gave himself away with that comment about ‘Republican’s wanting to have black people drown’
    he set up the Gibson interview, than presided over the editing.

    • the dude was fired for making a grossly nasty and indefensible remark that offended most everybody…and only a smarty-pants funster such as you would call it a “revelation of the template”

      aw, miggs….it’s just you being you playing Raider of the Template of Doom.

      • And all the other “newspeople” who heard the disgusting comment laughed, guffawed and giggled. Yep, republicans want dirty air, dirty water and dead black folks. That IS what the left believes.

        • George, have you any idea at all as to the number of people who laughed or WHY they laughed or whether they were “newspeople’ or technicians or members of the John Birch Society or CPUSA ….or what?

  10. The American political scene is sports for fat people that don’t understand the rules of ball games. When the Yankees beat the Red Sox, the Bostons don’t disappear from the American League. And so it is with the two parties. A landslide victory by either criminal enterprise doesn’t send the other to oblivion, they simply offer up criticism and wait their turn. The duo are happy to share the spoils and united against a third, which explains the vituperation directed at the Tea Party. Casting a vote is an exercise in naivete. If no one voted, then the politicos would really be worried. You’ll note that mandatory voting is a frequent requirement of totalitarian regimes. Saddam Hussein received basically all the votes in Iraqi elections.

    Through the ages the problems with the “democratic” process have been pointed out again and again. Tocqueville was pessimistic about the US chances. Bertrand de Jouvenenal and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn were later critics of it. Naturally their thinking is pretty much ignored in the US since it doesn’t conform to the accepted fable, even though they make very effective arguments.

    By the way opticon, I was reading some Tom Wolfe last night and really enjoyed his article “The Truest Sport: Jousting with Sam and Charlie”, an account of a day in the life of two Navy F-4 crewmen on the Coral Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1967. If you’ve read it, I’d be curious what you think of it.

    • ” If no one voted, then the politicos would really be worried.”

      Right.

      OK, I concede your point; if things were different, things would not be the same.

      “Through the ages the problems with the “democratic” process have been pointed out again and again.”

      Yup. Churchill agreed,“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

      But he also observed that, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

      • Winston Churchill: Son of one of the most exciting women of her era, world-class polo player, lucky cavalryman, decent journalist and writer, OK painter, another statist politician.

        • Congratulations. That is one of the most moronic comments to ever soil this blog.

          • GB, there are at least TWO comments on this post from FOOTSIE and one from Herman Johnson that are parsecs more moronic in reality than you (pretty much mistakenly) think chuck’s to be.

  11. Let’s hope there will be elections… a Secret Service skrewing hooker’s and doing coke in Columbia and a DHS buying hollow point ammo are bad indicators

    • The thing I worry about these new electronic voting machines, is if a crook can program electronic slot machines to pay off illegally, They can do it with the voting machines. I just hope when I vote for Romney, it won’t regester as a vote for Obama. They must have a way to check to make sure this doesn’t happen.

      • I am quite sure that every hacker under the sphere of influence of the leftist scum, which probably means almost all the hackers alive today, are working on hacks attacks to the Diebold voting machines. If they can get into NASA and the Pentagon and the banks, does anyone really think they can’t hack these voting machines? And if obama wins and there is evidence of massive vote hacking, does anyone believe that eric holder will pursue the offenders to learn the truth. Anyone?

        • George, have you ever had a taste of leftist scum, or even hacker scum, and concluded that the groups are identical via your sense of taste?

    • yeah FOOTSIE government employees engaging in sex with prostitutes and doing drugs …. are unprecedented. nothing like that ever happened in Viet-nam…..or even within the membership of Congress….. and it surely it points to the cancellation of elections

      • They are the protection for the Presidency, If they are allowed to behave like this they will not uphold the Constitution. They become the thugs surrounding the new dictator. Fuster please grow a brain and don’t soil this valuable site all the time

        • FOOTSIE—- they’re a small group of bodyguards and counterfeiting and fraud investigators and what the heck does

          “they will not uphold the Constitution”

          amount to in terms of holding elections or not???????

          you’re rather laughably unfit to tell other folks to “grow a brain”.

          but I would enjoy reading your brainiac answer as to how they would destroy the nations ability to hold elections.

          • hold your breath for two months and pay attention

            • Let’s not call names, folks. I believe we’re a long way away from a thuggish praetorian guard around the president, but fuster wouldn’t necessarily be the first one I’d consult on that matter.

              • good point. I shouldn’t be the first to be consulted, I’ve known but one person high up in the Treasury enforcement ranks and he’s been out of there and back working in NYC quite a while

  12. How can a sitting President who had a majority in both the House and Senate for two years. And who got EVERYTHING that he asked for: Two stimulus packages valued in the trillions of dollars plus the Health Care fisaco??…. Be held to no accountability for their dismal failures!!?
    Reagan never blamed Carter once for his terrible state of the economy. And he turned the country around in just 4 years. It is time to fire the bumb!

  13. Yes, they are idiots because too many see elections in terms of a sports event, or any other meaningless contest, in which you either a) root for your own team no matter what, or b) since you don´t really know anything and don´t care, you want to bet on the likely winner, the more popular choice, the cool guy, the one who you want to tell your peers you voted for. So in fact you vote to prop up your self esteem. You vote to flatter yourself. As if you didn´t have any skin in the game (and some people don´t, depending on their non-private-sector job)

    In fact an election is more like a hiring process, in which you hire your own boss and cannot fire whim for 4 years no matter what he does to your company, where you have to make a living. Oh, and this is a company 99% of you cannot ever quit.

    Here´s the thing though: The hardcore partisans are found on both sides,
    You vote conservative out of a temperament that makes you want to protect the given society and side with “us”. You vote left-wing out of a temperament that makes you contemptuous of the given society and side with “the others”, taking the good stuff for granted and dismantling the rest (whittling away the “design margin” of society, as another blogger put it).

    However, the vanity vote goes to the Left, to Obama, who has the media and all the “right” people on his side. I don´t think anyone can be accused of voting for Romney, or Bush, or McCain, to flatter himself. You do it out of a mature understanding about the facts of life. You hire the guy who will do a better job, given the choices at hand. You hire the guy who doesn´t hate your country. You don´t need to delude yourself that he´s a messiah, “the smartest guy ever”, and you don´t need him to feel your pain either.

    So far so good. What has happened in the last 20 years will make all these considerations moot. American demographics have changed, increasing misery, increasing dependency and creating a sizable voting block that votes on the basis of handouts and group identity. This is what big government and mass immigration begets. Are these voters idiots? In a way, yes, because they are re-creating the banana republic many of them wanted to get awy from. Whether you can blame them is another matter.

    The end result in any case is that the share of people which see the election as the kind of hiring process I described above is shrinking, and the Left has a new voter block.

    America now has European-style permanent low employement, a permanent underclass, falling birth rate … too many people have taken too much for granted.


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