43% of Americans are apparently not paying any attention

CyberLizard brought this to my attention via Twitter: Kemibe at Dr. Joan Bushwell’s Chimpanzee Refuge just posted results from a recent Gallup poll, in the aptly-titled article “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?“, regarding Sarah Palin’s future in politics. That’s right, future, despite the fact that she left the governor’s role two years into a four year term just because all those darn ethics violations were catching up to her, gosh darn it. And despite the fact that everything the woman says is laughably myopic and usually provably false.

The woman is demonstrably stupid, and I’m not talking stupid in the way that’s sort of a judgment call, as is often the case in political discourse. I mean nipple-twisting, nut-crushing dumb. It’s impossible not to see this. I imagine this is why so many people like her–they, too, are stupid, and they eagerly identify with her jabbering bumblefuck ways. But they are missing the point: We are not supposed to vote for someone who reminds us of a look in the mirror for president, we’re supposed to vote for someone special. I sure as fuck wouldn’t vote for anyone like me, and I can read and write.

Preach it! But not too loud, Brian Dunning will yell at you for confusing difference of opinion with objectively verifiable stupidity. For what it’s worth, I happen to think the evidence is nearly overwhelming that she’s achieved success despite her intellect, rather than because of it. (See the comments below for proof.)

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43% of Americans are apparently not paying any attention
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4 thoughts on “43% of Americans are apparently not paying any attention

  1. 1

    It’s not clear to me exactly why the fella you linked to insist on calling for mitigation, except maybe to stake out a position few others are (Palin has unconditional supporters and people who loathe her, but few lie in between, at least in the world of blogs).

    He’s a good writer and could be persuasive were he staking out a defensible position, but with this:

    “If she’d exhibited stupidity on the Wasilla city council, they probably wouldn’t have elected her mayor.”

    His essay collapses. The pantheon of U.S. politicians is filthy with morons. But that doesn’t even matter, because all you need to do to see that Palin is an idiot is watch her and listen to what she says. No backstory needed, no excuses necessary.

    Granted, “stupid” is itself a subjective term: Does it mean someone can’t do calculus? Perform capably in a spelling bee? Wipe his own ass without help? But in the world of politics “stupid” does, or should, have special meaning. Our elected leaders should demonstrate above-average intellectual competence–period. Without this, our system is suspect. Call me elitist, but what is “leadership” about anyway?

    One angling to give Palin the benefit of the doubt might say she simply isn’t good in front of the cameras and tends to be muddle-mouthed on this basis. Well, believe it or not, she was a sports reporter for an Alaska TV station or two back in the day. She’s been in beauty pageants. She had *plenty* of practice learning to be composed, even glib, when speaking for an audience. Instead, she can’t put whole sentences together–except when saying something stupid (or at least ignorant) about her religious beliefs and how they inform her interfacing with the world.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the irony from the guy who commented that “the media is determined to turn Sarah Palin into another Dan Quail,” and also got a chuckle from the commenter who asserted that Palin is not dumb, then went on to state that researchers have has more success with adult stem cells than from ESC’s. Fuck have mercy.

  2. 2

    kemibe said:

    …also got a chuckle from the commenter who asserted that Palin is not dumb, then went on to state that researchers have has more success with adult stem cells than from ESC’s.

    I think you hit on one of the biggest problems. There is a very large portion of the voting public that isn’t very bright when it comes to the facts. A lot of them are fundamentalist Christians. I think we’re in big trouble until we can dramatically increase the number of rational, skeptical people who vote.

  3. 3

    Kemibe: I don’t think I could be any more in agreement with you. Dunning’s Skeptoid is one of the podcasts on which I cut my skeptical teeth, however in this case I seriously think he’s the one who is confused. Yes, people call one another stupid constantly, as a sort of shorthand for “I don’t agree with them”. However, that’s not what’s happening here. When you’re savvy enough to pull the wool over the eyes of just enough people to get elected in a state where being ignorant of the world at large is generally a virtue, you’ve not demonstrated that you have a particularly keen intellect, but rather that you’re in touch with the also-demonstrably-stupid (as in, ignorant and apathetic) populace (as to Dan’s point). Either that, or you really ARE stupid, and the credit for the victory belongs to your handlers, which is a possibility I haven’t seen raised in these discussions.

    I’m kind of sad that Dunning makes this mistake. And I do think it is a mistake to assume that the people who are calling her stupid are only doing so in an ad hominem manner. I often fall prey to semantic arguments, but in this case, I believe he’s doing the same, assuming that “stupid” is an ad hominem attack and “dishonest, ignorant, inarticulate, uninformed, prejudiced, and married to ideals and ideas that are demonstrably wrong and detrimental to your own interests” is valid criticism. Because the latter set of charges should be just as insulting, even if it avoids the scareword “stupid” and even if each charge can be backed up with proof. So what if “stupid” is a short form for all those later charges? They’re a mouthful to have to say every time!

    Edited the original post for more linking (and attribution) goodness.

  4. 4

    I have nothing to say, except do you have room up there for some refugees? Never mind, it’s too damn cold up there for this Fla boy. The “sailboat in the carribbean” option is looking better and better. The lack of connection to the internets is actually starting to become a positive.

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