/ Home (New, Shiny Things) / Essays (Stupid Opinions) /
/ Reviews (More Stupid Opinions) /
/ Short, Shorter, Shortest Stories /
/ Poetry (Emo Tomfoolery) / Picture of Things /
/ Recipes (Things to Put in Your Face) / Links (Things You May Like) /

         
 

 

  The politics of stupid.

SEPTEMBER/2011 – Somewhere around junior high being smart goes from something to which you aspire to being something ridiculed that you want to hide. Having brains becomes the ultimate bully fly paper. When I was in junior high (somewhere around the time Moses was giving oceans a reverse Mohawk, give or take a year or two), you’d be accused of secretly having a pile of pocket protectors stashed away. Never mind the fact that there was nothing to protect because most junior high boys and girls wore t-shirts sans pockets.

You’d also be accused of being a computer geek. I’m not sure what today’s equivalent is, considering the phone in my pocket has more computing power than your average NASA-owned, mid-80s supercomputer.
 

 
     

While I’m not sure what kids these days (yeah, I used that phrase un-ironically) call each other, I know that as long as the dumb, strong people outnumber the weak geniuses there will always be a surplus of wedgies and pocket-protector-related insults. Or, at the very least, the adult equivalent (can you give someone’s Facebook profile a wedgie?).

I’d like to think that this is the kind of thing that we outgrow – like eating with our mouths open, skinned knees and having snot dripping from our noses. But the pragmatist in me knows that isn’t true. We may have grown older, but our hearts are still 13 years old. Take a look at the current state of politics and the standards to which we hold our politicians.

Smart, Ivy-league-educated politicians who take the time to explain their position (with historical context, no less) are rarely elected. Instead, they are accused of being “elite” while dumb-asses who most likely date-raped their way through high school and college while on academic probation are described as being “someone I could have a beer with.”

I want (politicians) to
put aside every personal
feeling they have and frolic
about through charts, graphs
and statistics like they’re
Uncle Scrooge swimming
through pools of gold bullion.
Hey, we’re well past
2001 – can Hal run
for office, yet
?

 
     


How cool my elected representative would be when downing a beer at the local watering hole is so low on my list of “important political qualities” that it rates somewhere between their ability to beat Cool Hand Luke in an egg eating contest and their mastery of the Rubik’s cube.

Personally, I want the person who represents me in the government (both local and federal) to not just be smarter than the average person, but be in the top 3 percentile for intelligence. I want their brains to work like computers. I want them to analyze cold, hard facts and spit out real-world solutions based on that data. I want them to put aside every personal feeling they have and frolic about through charts, graphs and statistics like they’re Uncle Scrooge swimming through pools of gold bullion. Hey, we’re well past 2001 – can Hal run for office, yet?

In many ways, Richard Milhouse Nixon was the ideal politician. That fellow was a brilliant, self-made man. He came from nothing, used his brains to work his way up and eventually become president. Facts were his religion. Unfortunately, the man was also paranoid and delusional and while he personally favored facts, he was quick to engulf his pants in flames every chance he got. If Nixon had a scale on which he weighed facts and truth, the truth would be launched into orbit like he loaded it into a catapult.

But, I digress before I start sounding like I’m a fan of Nixon (good gawd, I’m not).

So, where have the politics of stupid gotten us? Oh, let me count the ways:

  • Attack ads that oversimplify opposing candidate’s positions
  • Us vs. them mentality
  • Sound bites that don’t reflect reality
  • The removal of anything resembling historical context in debates
  • A lack of charts, graphs, statistics and anything even remotely quantifiable
  • Fact checking is non-existent
  • Pundits resort to name calling
  • Politicians resort to name calling
  • Anyone that is well educated is called “out of touch”

So, it has pretty much gotten us nowhere.

Things need to change. Together, we need to stop insisting that our elected leaders be “one of us.” Keep this in mind: Your jackass neighbor who mows his lawn in his boxers at 6 a.m. on a Sunday – he’s one of us. That guy in the raised truck that flipped you off ’cause you didn’t accelerate fast enough when the light changed – he’s one of us. The old lady that cut in front of you in line at the grocery store then had the nerve to pay half in pennies and half with a check – she’s one of us. The person at your work that eats things out of your lunch bag – they’re one of us. The family that kicks the back of your chair and talks through the movie and the teen that can’t get your order right in the drive through – they’re all regular folks like us.

Honestly, do you want them running the country? I didn’t think so.

What we need are braniacs, ivy leaguers and the terminally nerdy to step up and run for office. And we need to actually reward them for their intelligence and elect them.

I want to see debates that more closely resemble the final round of Jeopardy than a barroom debate on the merits of beverages being both tasty and/or less filling. I want our elected representatives to talk about solutions in multi-syllabic terms that completely baffle me (and not because they’re pulling, ahem, “facts” out of their butts and talking in circles). I want them to make me look mentally deficient, not vice versa. I want them to pull out charts and graphs and take hours to expand on the subtle intricacies of their plans. I want our politicians to bore us to tears and I want us to thank them for the pleasure.

But most of all, above everything, I want them to be able to state, “my party may believe this, but the facts say otherwise and I always side with facts.” And I want this because the current politics of stupid are, well, stupid and I’d like to think that as a society we’ve moved past junior high.

-Caruso Deluxe

My ideal politician would be like The Hulk’s nemesis The Leader … only much less evil, less green, with less
moustache and with a snappy snappier suit. And he’d be a Pisces and like unicorns and long walks on the beach.

 
         
     

< older / top of page / newer >

 
         

/ Home (New, Shiny Things) / Essays (Stupid Opinions) / Reviews (More Stupid Opinions) / Short, Shorter, Shortest Stories / Poetry (Emo Tomfoolery) / Pictures / Recipes (Things to Put in Your Face) / Links (Things You May Like) /

 

 

Copyright © 2011, Caruso Duluxe/Turnip Farm. All rights reserved/similar legalese mumbo jumbo to keep you from plundering as you please.