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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Are the American voters idiots?


The CNN Center in Atlanta. Are Americans stupid or are the media only giving them half the information they need?

The CNN Center in Atlanta. Are Americans stupid or are the media only giving them half the information they need?
Photo Credit: Josh Hallett

Are the American voters idiots? What do you think, readers?

I still say no, even after 2008, when it took very little effort to find out everything you needed to know about Barack Obama. Steeped in ‘60s-era radicalism, a “community organizer,” and a close associate of everyone in the political-guilt shakedown industry in Chicago. This guy was everything my leftist college professors thought of as a hero.

His associates, political thugs, pried open sealed divorce and child-custody records to embarrass his opponents in the 2006 Senate race. Yet his own records – e.g., college transcripts – have remained firmly sealed. His political record, other than his years in community organizing, was of a hard-left voting pattern (coupled with a lot of “present” votes), and a recorded interview in which he decried the U.S. Constitution’s marvelous provisions to keep government from doing things to the people.

There were so many reasons to know in advance that Obama would be a poor president. Yet many of the voters were taken in by the media hype surrounding Obama. The president’s associations and recorded statements were played down. The record was there for a number of investigative authors to find, from Michelle Malkin to Stanley Kurtz and Aaron Klein. But the mainstream media presented a very selective picture of the Democratic candidate.

The MSM, in fact, has embarrassed itself to a near-fatal degree with its remarkable coverage of the Obama administration, whether it is amplifying the cries of “racism!” that erupt whenever there is criticism of the president, or credulously reporting whatever the administration puts out, word for word, as if there is no previous record or any set of facts to be counter-checked. (The latter pattern is especially strong when it comes to reporting about defense and national security. Reporters have regularly retailed administration talking points about the unprecedented “shows of strength” the Obama administration is making, when a little research would reveal that the US had already been doing whatever the “unprecedented” thing is, for 5, 20, or even – in the case of North and South Korea – 60 years.)

There has been a tremendous growth in vague, elliptical, and/or tendentious narration of what’s going on in the nation and the world. The people can be pardoned for being tired and confused.

But the inability to distinguish fantasy-news and talking points from reality is a product of the American education system. That system has taken millions of people with plenty of native smarts and indoctrinated them with a set of ideological trigger-concepts, all while declining to teach them to think critically. Developing judgment through critical thinking is one of the hallmarks of adulthood, and the U.S. education system has been making that harder for Americans, rather than fostering their abilities.

But has this actually made Americans stupid? I don’t think so. One reason is that my experience with sailors in the last 10 years of my active-duty time was that an awful lot of them were coming in “stupid” – a noticeable difference from previous years – but most of them quickly learned discipline, responsibility, and the acquisition of knowledge, once they were challenged to. Lazy, whining kids who had never before been required to actually meet a challenge found it invigorating and rewarding to do so. (New sailors who came in from disciplined backgrounds like sports or music had an advantage, even though their store of knowledge was lacking, because they had already been challenged to perform to a standard along the way.)

Indeed, throughout my life, people’s hunger for challenge, and their adaptability when they are given opportunities to learn and improve themselves, have been in strong evidence. People aren’t happy as dependent creatures, supervised and fed but never rising to challenge or opportunity. People aren’t happy in any of the pathologies so prevalent today, whether in welfare dependency, “job” dependency – having to wait for someone else to create a job, with the government’s say-so, so you can have rewarding work – or drug use or sexual excess, or constant obsession with ideas of victimization and despair.

Only the most foolish of the young can think that these things make you happy and fulfilled. Americans used to know better, and I believe we want to again. It doesn’t make anyone happy to live in a network of these pathologies – not even the politicians and advocacy professionals who make their living from exploiting them

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8 Responses to “Are the American voters idiots?”

  1. Monica Tucker says:

    The progressive democratic liberals own the news. Their goal is to deliberately distort the facts to promote an agenda. They carefully select what is reported and eliminate anything, no matter how bad it is, to promote the politically correct ideology. This article nails it.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    To the contrary, all the major media outlets other than Fox are owned by huge apolitical media conglomerates.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    "how many gang killings do we need".

    In fact, violent crime rates are at their lowest level in a generation.

    'People aren’t happy in any of the pathologies so prevalent today, whether in welfare dependency, “job” dependency'.

    True. Many Americans are stuck in job dependency because of the fact that they will lose their health insurance if they take a new job or quit to start a business. That is a major reason why the Affordable Care Act was enacted. The Republicans would maintain the status quo.

    And the number of persons receiving cash welfare benefits is also at the lowest level in a generation.

    The "shoot first and do research later" attitude of this author does not fit a publication such as this that generally takes care in its journalism.

  4. Alice Derman says:

    Mr. Dyer has given us a rant repeating the same old right wing misconceptions that we have been force fed for several decades. It probably is true that many voters do not think clearly about elections. If they did, the Democrats would be winning in a landslide. Nonetheless, I believe that enough voters recognize that Obama has pulled us out of a recession and they are not so foolish as to put the party responsible for creating the recession (the Republicans) back into power. Despite all the attempts the Republicans are making to disenfranchise the poor and Democratic oriented ethnic groups such as blacks and Latinos, our demographics are changing as the old white males die off. Soon we will be back to the more successful progressive governments, similar to those we had we Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton. Like it or not, the following is the future of the United States of America.

    1) Higher taxes on those able to pay more. Raising more tax revenue is the key to deficit reduction. The Laffler curve is nonsense and the "trickle down" and "supply side" theories have never worked. The robust Keynesian approach as advocated by Paul Krugman and others is the only way to have a strong economy and one way or the other we will end up following that.
    2) A national healthcare system that covers everyone from cradle to grave and which pays for reproductive health services such as contraception and elective abortions in the first two trimesters just like all other medical services.
    3) A reduction in our worst national entitlement—the bloated military budget.
    4) Immigration reform to allow the vast majority of Latinos presently here without the proper credential to acquire such credentials.
    5) A gradual switch to cleaner energy production.

    It may take a while to get all of that. I'm working for those things. Most American Jews are (for most part) in favor of those items as well.

  5. "Cash welfare benefits"
    All that means is that checks aren't being written directly to recipients. The actual spending has been going up:
    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/welfare_chart_40.html

    You're right about the drop in violent crime rates. It also seems to be inversely proportional to household Internet usage, so I'm not so sure that Obama really has anything to do with it..

  6. Charlie Hall Are you a comedian or soemthing similar? A clown perhaps? Rich hypocritical Satan-[Democrats]worshipper Paris-junketing disgusting rich snob 2-faced bas**rd!

  7. Charlie Hall Are you a comedian or soemthing similar? A clown perhaps? Rich hypocritical Satan-[Democrats]worshipper Paris-junketing disgusting rich snob 2-faced bas**rd!

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