January 25, 2008

Ignorance, Stupidity, and Apathy

And now, more mad ramblings from Reese:

If I were running for public office (any of them), I probably wouldn't be very popular. Since I expect integrity from those who represent us in this democracy, I would like to think that I'd also demand integrity in myself. Does a real leader tell the people what they need to hear or do they tell them the truth? Whenever most politicians speak, they are either flat-out lying, truly believe their own bullshit, or are actually telling the truth... and in that order of possibility. I'd probably say something to the effect of, "The number one problems facing our nation today are ignorance, stupidity, and apathy!" That alone would lose me any chance of gaining public office. "Ignorant" is a harsh sounding word, but it's basic definition is to say one is uninformed, destitute of knowledge or education, or lacking comprehension of the things. When you put it that way, we are all ignorant one way or another. Maybe I should say that much of the populace is stupid. Stupid is defined as slow of mind, obtuse, given to unintelligent decisions or acts, acting in an unintelligent or careless manner, or prone to unreasoned thinking or acting. Then there are the ones who just stop caring. Anyway, if I didn't say those things, i'd be lying. Not because what I say is true, but because it is what I believe to be true. Of course, lying is the more accepted route these days. It was recently published that the Bush administration lied over 900 times leading into and through the war in Iraq. In most relationships, constant lying would get you a divorce, but the American people don't look at it that way. Apparently, the truth is not what people want to hear. They'd rather hear that america is awesome and that the common man is the reason that america is awesome. In my opinion, the common man is what holds american back somewhat, yet we all have our place in society. Some democrats want to eliminate poverty, for one. Eliminating poverty could only be done by guaranteeing a minimal standard of living to everyone. Of course, welfare, section 8 housing, and medicare kinda guide us in that general direction already. Who wouldn't argue that offering a minimum standard of living wouldn't just make for a more lazy society. Why work at all if I'm guaranteed things in life? It's like those contestants on "Who wants to be a millionaire". Once most of them reach 25,000, they just plain don't care if they lose, because the 25K is assured. It is said that the wealthy would be taxed more to compensate, thus bringing the gap between classes closer. Now, I'm not wealthy by any means, but overtaxing the wealthy just because they happened to gain riches by one way or another just doesn't seem fair. Some say education is then answer. Hypothetically, if everyone was sent to Harvard and everyone got a masters degree, would that make everything better? Someone still needs to pick up the trash. Someone still needs to make my Whopper sandwich just how I like it. People get paid what they are paid because they have a perceived rare knowledgeable or physical skill and/or they are hard workers. In sports, Peyton Manning gets millions each year, because he does what is perceived as a unique skill for the business of NFL entertainment. Sports figures are entertainers playing a game that the public finds quite entertaining. In other words, there has to be a lower class. If everyone was more educated, i'd be out of a job. I'd suddenly be an average person with average skills. I'd be another fish in a big pond. It's funny when I hear my peers say things like "Why is everyone so freaking dumb?" Even if robots replaced all mundane job employees, it would just move robot programmers into a lower class. There really is no way to accomplish this impossible task. This doesn't stop politicians, such as John Edwards from touting his rhetoric on the subject. He claims we can end poverty in 30 years. I asked my friend Brian if we could really end poverty in 30 years, he said, "Yes, but there would be a lot of bloodshed." There has also been recent talks of a recession. The government now has a plan in place to hand us all a tax rebate to help stimulate the economy. Brian said that the government looks at the economy like it's from a whole other planet... thinking that changing the interest rate one way or another is the one thing that everything hinges on. Like they are playing SimCity (which they have probably never played). Just set the interest rate a little higher, and fast-forward the game (on llama speed) to run for a few months and see what happens. How do these people come to power? These people with the ability to change thousands or millions of lives. Common men who are voted in by giving their rhetoric, answering a few debate questions, and smiling for the cameras. Why doesn't anyone post their IQ scores? Why isn't there some standardized political quiz that every politician can fill out that may help the citizen make a LESS IGNORANT decision? Why do we still use an archaic electorial college system for the presidential election. Local elections don't work that way. Counties/Parishes don't get electorial votes, the individual voter counts one by one. That's how the presidential election SHOULD be. If 5,000,000 people vote for candidate (A) and 5,000,001 vote for candidate (B), then with the electorial college system, it's as if the 5,000,000 candidate (A) votes don't matter. It's as if candidate (B) has the support of all 10,000,001 Louisianians. Does that sound fair to you? Then why are we still using that system in today's modern age? Stupidity has it's place in our woes as well. Stupid is voting for a candidate for reasons that are insignificant. Because someone is black, a woman, or is Christian. Stupid is the kind of person who easility believes the propaghanda without question. Stupid is the society that votes republican, becasue their family and friends votes republican. Stupid is also a society that accepts only two major categories of political figures. Republicans or Democrats... as if it's a black and white kind of world. As if a category can define a person enough to make them a viable choice. If we were not so stupid, we'd look at individuals equally, without predefined types assigned to them. We'd break down each candidate with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers. We'd examine the facts logically and methodically. Stupid is a major problem. Apathy is not only affected by the voter, but the non-voter. Apathy is a cause and an effect. I am apathetic to our political system to a certain extent, because it's so flawed. It's not a place i'm proud to be in, but it's something that most people don't have the time or energy to really try and make a change. Ignorance, stupidity, and apathy are the kinds of people that vote unqualified and/or greedy people into power in this country. As much as I'd like to blame the candidates themselves, it's we who are to blame.

On a side note, these cosmetic ads are getting rediculous with their claims... take a look:

Posted by Reese at 3:43 PM