August 1, 2009
Liberalism and the Dumbing Down of America
"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."
- William F. Buckley, Jr., Great American Thinker
As Barack Obama spends day after day touring the world (how many days has he spent in the Oval Office?), trashing America and taking the country on a trip to hell in a hand basket, the liberal electorate and fawning media for the most part remain completely enthralled by the One. Although his poll numbers have dropped considerably, liberals have yet to abandon ship as they remain strong supporters of the Dictator-in-Chief despite his anti-American agenda.
From socializing the country's infrastructure to gutting the Constitution, from cozying up to the world's tyrants to abandoning proven allies, many on the left simply cannot, or will not, open their eyes to the frightening direction in which Obama is taking our country. There are only so many times that one can use the phrase "drinking the kool aid" or "brainwashed by his rhetoric." At some point, liberals must be held accountable for their willful ignorance.
I recently bumped into a Jewish neighbor who I had not seen in over a year. During the course of the conversation, she made a point of telling me that she was a proud Obama supporter. When I mentioned to her that I recently returned from Israel and was very concerned about the impact that his administration would have on that country's future, she asked me why. As I discussed the litany of concerns, she stared blankly at me. After a brief moment she stated, "Well I think he will be great for our country."
This woman had no idea what I was talking about with regard to the administration's Mideast policies that have been at the forefront of every decision he has made to date. On what does she base her confidence in Obama's ability to lead America in these tumultuous times? Just for the fun of it I asked her how bowing to the Saudi king, shaking hands with Hugo Chavez, silently nodding throughout Ortega's hateful anti-American rant, apologizing to the Muslim world and abandoning missile defense would be helpful for the future of the country. Another blank stare turned into an insecure smirk and the conversation was clearly over.
This is but one example of the encounters that I have on a regular basis with friends, family, and colleagues who have no idea what is going on in the world. They read the New York Times and believe they are informed. There is no intellectual curiosity, no questioning of reporting, and no analysis of what the mainstream media is pouring out to the masses. While we all like to blame the fawning media which is complicit, if not actually abetting, in the usurping of the Constitution, I repeat: at some point we all have to take responsibility for our own thoughts and decisions.
As I watched events unfold in the streets of Iran after that country's rigged election, I was reminded of a conversation with a close liberal friend who voted for Obama but who could not intelligently discuss any major issue or explain why she voted for him other than the vapid (yet common) response that he will take the country in the right direction. Months into the presidency we had another conversation during which she wore her ignorance like a proud medal of honor, lecturing me that everyone is entitled to vote no matter how uninformed the person may be. And while she is sadly correct, that is surely not what the founding fathers intended.
Individuals were given the right to vote in order to ensure freedom. Millions of American lives have been lost fighting for that freedom both here and abroad. The right to cast a vote is a privilege, with that privilege comes responsibility. We have learned that too many Americans did not take that responsibility seriously in our last presidential election. The ignorance of the electorate is simply astounding, with many voters completely lacking in intellectual curiosity.
How many people flock to the magazine stands to buy the latest Vogue with Michelle Obama on the cover? What is it about her arms that have the average reader going gaga? She is not particularly attractive, when she opens her mouth she says nothing particularly insightful, and she is not very interesting. But magazines continue to feature Michelle and Barack Obama because evidently people cannot get enough of Michelle's latest $500 sneakers or $8000 purse and Barack's singularly unimpressive pectoral muscles and mom jeans.
Here in New York City, people believe that Obama is doing a bang up job. Perhaps some of them dislike America as much as Obama apparently does and they are not offended by his apology tours across the globe, his labeling of Americans as arrogant, or his socialist political agenda. But I surmise that despite the higher education so many liberals have been fortunate enough to receive, they lack the intellectual curiosity required for critical thinking and rational thought. And that applies to Obama and his entire administration as well.
If only someone would tell our newly elected Elitist in Chief that he is not chairing a think tank but is presiding over the free world and managing the greatest nation in the world. Unfortunately, our POTUS, graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, has surrounded himself with similarly educated professionals and advisors who fail to understand that they are not simply playing war games or posturing economic theories on a learn as they go basis.
The Obama administration is bursting with Ivy Leaguers who have been indoctrinated by, and who program others through, liberal education, yet who are clueless about the difference between idealism and reality. Alan Dershowitz is the perfect example as he opined in the Wall Street Journal on Obama's continued support for Israel despite the President's transparent animosity towards our ally (the only promised transparency we have seen to date from Obama!) As noted in my articles responding to his opinion, Dershowitz said nothing of substance, and yet liberals see his name on an article and it has instant credibility. Serious thought has disappeared under the Obama presidency.
I recently had dinner with a very intelligent acquaintance who had just learned of my conservative ideology. The conversation could have gone in any number of different directions addressing issues concerning Honduras, North Korea, health care or cap and trade. Instead, with an amused look on his face he said to me,
"What I want to know is why Monica Crowley is so angry these days. Is it because McCain lost and she was hoping to be his press secretary?"
Since the depth of the conversation was clearly not headed in the direction that I had anticipated, I responded to him with a similar type of question,
"What I want to know is why liberals allow themselves to be informed by a media which has lost all credibility by its lack of questioning and analysis of the Obama presidency. Is it because journalism as a profession is dead or is it because half of the electorate have turned their brains to autopilot?"
When I first began writing for American Thinker, I had a conversation with submissions editor, Larrey Anderson, in which I stated the maxim, "Great minds think alike." Larrey corrected me and responded, "Great minds think." Unfortunately for America, it appears that we have stopped producing great minds and are spitting out more and more individuals who enthusiastically allow the media, academia, and the government to think for them. Without great minds, this country has very little hope of remaining the greatest power in the world, and a beacon for those who aspire to achieve greatness.