Friday, September 19, 2008

The Outstupiding of America

Keep this in mind: if the republicans can't outsmart the democrats, remember: they can outstupid us.

Outstupiding is the threat. Stealing the theme of "change" from the Obama campaign, was cagey - technically clever, but *there is a fine line between clever and stupid. The republicans crossed the line into outright stupidity by bringing in the ridiculous Palin.

But this reducto ad absurdum is why their little ploy just could work: it is so stupid it is unfathomably stupid. Suddenly we're spending tremendous time and energy trying to make sense of it.

I do believe we're in some form of shock. And we'd better snap out of it.

In the short run, it is easier for humans not to think. Blithely pretending things will magically get better on their own seems to require less effort. But it's similar to taking out a loan to buy an unaffordable house with the hope of paying it off with future riches. The short run isn't long enough to reach that future, and you lose the house. Look down the timeline over the past eight years. We have allowed this state of affairs.

Now, I didn’t do it. And you certainly didn’t do it. But we did it. It's like the Man in Black said, "a person is smart. People are stupid," and the republicans know it!

We know adhering to the principles of the conservative platform is a grandiose mistake (as in: McCain has supported Bush in over 90% of his decisions and only disassociated from him in recent months). But what about the people who are buying into the stupidity?

The way to keep the republicans from outstupiding us isn't to put our energies into discovering a way to do something more stupid than they (an irony beyond humor - to do so would require brilliance and waste time). We need to take the game back.

The US presidential election in 2008 marks a monumental opportunity for the growth and development for our culture. We're entrenched in an unjustified war in Iraq and have been throwing bombs on Pakistan. At the heart of our troubles is the fact that we're being still very much driven by the same motivations that justified slavery and the genocide against Native Americans, not to mention our covert hostilities in Central America in the 80's.

Greed kills. Now that our economy is in full tailspin, we’ve got to pull upwards with as much drive as we can muster. The motivation has to come from within us, and from each other.

This election is about what is possible if we rise to the best and smartest within ourselves - each one of us: what if we paced ourselves for the long run? What if we banked on our intelligence instead of our willingness to let someone else do the thinking for us? What if we admitted that a society is not a business?

Here's how we can twist the irony of outstupidity back into the realm of the sensible: education. Help people think. We have to appeal to what is best and smartest in us and bring hope into play again.

We own this one. Ask anybody if they would like to be smarter. It's a rhetorical question. How would we behave globally, make decisions at home if we were even 5% smarter. We can be just a little smarter today than yesterday - tomorrow, even smarter – and smarter still beyond.

They can only outstupid us if we play stupid.

*David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tuffnel in This is Spinal Tap. They said, "...fine line between stupid and clever," but context and poet's licence required I flip it.

1 comment:

John said...

There are such a lot of us in the world beyond the US hoping quite desperately that the American electorate will do the right thing in November - and not fall for the ridiculous Palin etc.

The trouble is... voters (the world over) are unpredictable, and this looks like being such a desperately close-run thing that the least thing could swing ity either way.

I do think, however, that four or more years of McCain/Palin would do such damage to the already battered relationship between the US and much of the rest of the world that it could never be properly put right again.

And that would be a tragedy for all of us.