June 26, 2009
When did the lowbrows take over the culture?By James Lewis
I've been trying to grasp for a truth that is so obvious that all of us know it. But it's not a polite truth, so we don't talk about it. Yet I think it's important to say it out loud, because it is a truth that haunts our national discourse.
As a nation we are under the thumb of idiots. Not just indoctrinated, or wrong-thinking, or power-hungry, or manipulative, or even malevolent people. No, I mean real lowbrows, people who constantly fall for really stupid ideas. Neanderthals. (Look at the Governor of California just running the state budget into the ground. See what I mean? That's not just incompetence. It takes special stupidity, almost a deliberate, willful absence of real thinking.)
The Federal EPA is about to officially declare carbon dioxide to be a pollutant. That's not just false and unscientific; it's not just an excuse for taxing everything in sight, including breathing. It's not merely wrong. It's idiotic. It marks a low point in our national conversation. Scientists or engineers with a grain of sense shouldn't be taking the EPA seriously for a second. Forget the "climate experts," with their grossly inadequate computer models. Normally intelligent people should boggle at the EPA. They are bizarre. Only the truly ignorant could fall for this level of ignorance. Or those who just can't think.
Or look at Obama's unbelievable spending spree. No sane and sensible taxpayer could possibly believe that spending trillions and trillions of dollars on blue-sky fantasies makes any sense at all; the only reason Americans aren't in open rebellion yet is that half of them can't believe it's happening, and the other half are idiots. We haven't seen the effect (yet) on our pocketbooks. There's food in the stores still, and housing has gotten cheaper. But let Obama's budget affect our wallets directly and just watch the voters explode with rage.
The Democrats in Congress are trying desperately to put the brakes on Obama's egomaniacal ambitions because they can see themselves going over the edge in 2010. In a self-respecting, intelligent culture, the Obama budget would be dead on arrival. It's an insult to our national intelligence. (His foreign policy is more of the same.)
Or look at the global warming farce, still hotly pursued by the political classes in Europe and this country, although the Australians seem to be coming to their senses. China now has more millionaires than the UK, because they use all their resources, like coal, to fire their industrial plants. They will never sacrifice a single luxury car to the cap and trade fraud. Neither will India. China and India have been under the thumb of egomaniacal socialists (in the case of India) and communists (in the case of China). They've been there, done that, seen the suffering.
No wonder those Chinese college students fell all over themselves with laughter when Timothy Geithner assured them that Obama would never spend the United States into debt. What an idiot! They laughed because Geithner's stupidity or mendacity was too obvious for words.
That's how we should all react to the miserable frauds who are now in national office. You have to dull your senses with drugs or endless propaganda to fall for it. I've sometimes wondered how many people must have killed off their critical thinking with alcohol and drugs. I know a walking few drug casualties myself, people who just burned out their brains. I'm sure they voted for Obama.
Or maybe there's such a thing as learned stupidity. How else can so many people be so idiotic? Our national IQ has dropped to about 75: Several standard deviations below normal.
Well, we have now voted in a President for the lowbrows. Yes, Obama himself is smart enough; even smart enough to say a few years ago that he didn't feel ready for the presidency. Well, now we can see why he said that. But legions of idiots voted for a man who was plainly unqualified, even by his own estimation, and surrounded by a bunch of malignant sociopaths like Wright and Ayers and all the rest. How could he possibly win? Well, Obama cynically appealed to the idiots -- the young, the stupid, the naive, the silly, the rock idol worshippers, and probably the drug-addled masses, all the lowbrows in the land.
That includes the idiot savants of academia. Academics have a very narrow band of intelligence, something that satirists since Aristophanes have noticed and poked fun at. The first philosopher in Western history was Thales of Elea; Thales featured in Greek folklore as a man who walked around at night gazing at the stars only to fall into a ditch. That's probably a folksy giggle at the absent-minded professor who is constantly bumping into walls. But there's a big element of truth in it. Academics can be incredibly ignorant and dumb outside of their small areas of expertise. Professors and media scribblers generally lack human smarts. They are sure suckers for all the con artists of the day.
Obama is a smooth-talking hustler who has specialized in charming academic liberals, like a smart graduate student who needs to impress his teachers with every word. They just dote on him, like a proud parent smiling on a favorite child. He's their dream, a black man who sounds so smart.
In his press conferences he hypnotizes all the ink-stained wretches of the media. It's a sight to behold. The man swats a fly and the suck-ups of the media go ga-ga with applause, and go back and write articles about it. That's not just a reflection on their (lack of) character and judgment. It's not just their childish immaturity. It's a reflection on their brains, or rather, on all that empty space between their ears. Our media stars are just not very bright. They're idiots. That single fact explains a lot. (And yes, they are also corrupt, easily seduced, haunted by deadlines, decadent in their values, and very prone to mob thinking. But if they had any brains it might be harder to manipulate them like this. The White House just pulls their strings and they dance.)
Obama's 22 White House czars. That's really stupid. As well as a violation of the Constitution. But it's a Chinese laugh line. It's so obviously wrong and power-mad that it's not worth debating.
Legalizing drugs. That's really stupid.
Obama's power-grab over the medical sector of the economy? It's profoundly stupid. We can insure all the uninsured people in the country for a tiny fraction of all that money. We just need to fix the tire on our national car, and this guy tries to sell us a brand-new O-mobile, it can practically fly off the lot, all on credit, long-term payments, no money down. It's gonna be free! So what if you have to mortgage your wife and children? Even if we already have two national lemons in our garage, Medicare and Medicaid, which nobody likes. Now Obee is trying to sell us on a really, really expensive dream mobile that will fix our problems forever, plus it'll be cheaper than what we have now!
Can you believe it?
That sales pitch only works for idiots.
The rise to power and fame of the real lowbrows explains a lot. It even points to an answer of sorts. Because we've all been intimidated by the Cult of Nice not to contradict anybody who comes out with a really stupid, destructive idea. We can no longer call a really stupid idea what it is. I know that I censor myself all the time. We have been taught to keep our mouths shut when a word in time might make a real difference. We have allowed the national conversation to be dumbed down.
Here's my resolution for July Fourth: From now on I'm going to call idiocy idiotic. Not nastily, but as clearly as I can. It is high time for normal, intelligent common sense to become acceptable again. I'm happy to have a respectful argument with anyone who disagrees with me. But I'm going to start saying the magic words:
That's really dumb! That's really ignorant! You haven't thought about that much, have you? Have you ever considered another side of that batty idea?
I promise to be nice.
Pass the word.
If we all start doing it we can change the world.