After following the debate on health care reform this summer, if it were up to Crabby Old Lady, she would require an IQ test for the privilege of voting. The ignorance and stupidity of vast swaths of the American public astounds Crabby. The ones who are not idiots are lunatics and some of both groups are dangerous to the lives of others.
THE LAND OF STUPID
Here is a partial list of lies, distortions and just plain dumb-ass ideas that too many people believe:
- President Obama is not an American citizen
- President Obama hates white people
- Health care reform is Nazism and President Obama is another Hitler
- The White House is keeping an enemies list of people who oppose health care reform so it can surveil them
- Health care reform will allow the federal government access to people's bank accounts
- Health care reform will require old and/or disabled people to be euthanized at the discretion of death panels
- Health care reform will require the government to pay for abortions (personally, Crabby believes abortion is health care, but we'll save that for another day)
- With health care reform, government bureaucrats will make people's health care decisions (instead of the current corporate insurance bureaucrats)
If Crabby Old Lady knows all these beliefs are lies - not to mention crazy - why doesn't everyone? It's not hard to find out what's real and what isn't these days. Crabby is reading the same stuff that is available to anyone.
And it's not that Crabby trusts politicians necessarily. As a group, it's hard to match them for venality. But with the exception of a handful of Congress members who align themselves with the tinfoil hat brigade, she doesn't think any would cross the line into the above list.
We can argue whether these wingnuts are stupid or more benignly ignorant, but as widespread as these beliefs are, Crabby is leaning strongly toward stupid. To wit:
If that's not stupid enough for you, 39 percent who were polled say the government should stay out of Medicare.
These numbers are in a poll where 96 percent of the respondents claim a high school or better education. What can have happened to schools since Crabby Old Lady's day?
What's worse is that the mainstream, not even fringe, media give these outlandish beliefs equal weight with honest information. And now that that bastion of faux and hate news, Fox, is beating the pants off CNN and MSNBC in the ratings, the two formerly almost reasonable news channels are taking their cues from Fox. Crabby Old lady will let Jon Stewart of The Daily Show tell that story:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|CNN's Just Sayin'|
Jon Stewart is a funny guy (Crabby wishes she had his talent for making political points with humor), but the sad reality is that as television news dumbs down reporting to third-grade level, the stupid quotient of the public multiplies.
Lately too, there has been an uptick in television pundits using phrases that should offend anyone who expects hard information from places that label themselves news organizations. Phrases like, “What the American public doesn't understand...” and “Health care reform is too complex for most people...”
Hull-oh, you blowhards. That's your job – to make it clear and understandable. Most of the time, however, their commentary takes place in a fact-free zone of kneejerk partisanship – left and right.
In any circumstance, it is madness to carry loaded guns to places where there are large groups of people and more particularly so when emotions run high as at congressional and presidential town halls.
These aren't only handguns. At least two people showed up carrying assault rifles. One man, when asked why he brought a loaded gun to a town hall meeting, said: “Because I can do it. In Arizona, I still have some freedoms.” Crabby thinks her freedom to live without feeling threatened by homegrown terrorists - yes, they are terrorists - comes first.
At least one of the people toting a gun also carried a placard calling for armed revolution. Anti-health care reform protesters write blogs urging their readers to take guns to town hall meetings and John Velleco, of Gun Owners of America (a far right organization that makes the NRA look like a lemonade stand), told Chris Matthews on MSNBC that legal gun owners should be allowed to carry loaded weapons to presidential events and anywhere else, including airplanes.
Not that there are many town hall meetings to attend here in Maine, should one turn up Crabby Old Lady will think hard and long before she goes to it or to any other large gathering of people in this increasingly adversarial and dangerous political summer.
And Crabby is furious about it. Furious that she is forced to worry that she or anyone might be shot.
Injecting a note of sanity into all this, Washington Post Op-Ed columnist, E.J. Dionne, wrote last week, “Free elections and open debate are not rooted in violence or the threat of violence. They are precisely the alternative to violence, and guns have no place in them.”
“If we can’t draw the line at the threat of violence, democracy begins to disintegrate,” he continued. “Power, not reason, becomes the stuff of political life. Will some group of responsible conservatives, preferably life members of the NRA, have the decency to urge their followers to leave their guns at home when they go out to protest the president? Is that too much to ask?”
With all the above, Crabby Old Lady thinks this summer is way beyond traditional August nuttiness. From her vantage point, it looks like the United States has gone batshit crazy.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson: Dangling the Bait