Welcome back to what I hope will turn out to be a weekly column. Years after writing Driving While Stupid and Why the News Sucks, I still receive messages and emails asking me to do more. While I did write those pieces in a comedic sense, I had hoped to make readers think a little.
I admit, I’m an American through and through. I love our country, I love the freedoms we enjoy, I’m fiercely patriotic and despite who’s in the White House, I don’t seriously bash the man trying to get us going in a good direction. I can and do disagree frequently with our lawmakers but I find it hard to criticize those who make far more important decisions than I do. The old adage of if you don’t like the way I do it then do it yourself jumps in my mind during those times I don’t like a law or something that has passed.
The tragic part about being an American nowadays is the almost worldwide hate we seem to inspire in others. Few people seem to realize that this isn’t because of what we represent, or our religious beliefs, or our ideas on health care or of other topics the world finds important. To be frank our country is hated because we’re a nation of idiots.
I can faintly hear the sounds of cocked weaponry and rednecks drooling on their keyboards while they vainly search Google for my location, but hear me out on this first.
Our nation was built on the idea of the people being represented by government that listens to the will of the people. Unfortunately the idea is flawed as not everyone is going to agree on everything, so we made it so the majority rules. Sometimes this results in laws you don’t like and sometimes it results in laws that you do like. Unlike a lot of countries, you get a say. You may not like the answer but you get to ask your question and be heard.
So the first sign of idiocy in this nation comes from us not freely utilizing our ability to have representatives listen to our hopes and dreams of what we want out of our lives. Did you vote? If not, shut up. Seriously you have no basis to cry over any decision if you weren’t bright enough to have your input put in when the rest of ours put ours in.
The next sign of idiocy is where people come to the conclusions on some of these ideas. Most of them didn’t put logic in place and think something through themselves. If they had, they may have come to the same conclusion but at least would’ve had logical reasons for their idea. Instead they allow media or others to do their thinking for them. I have a family member who is an absolute expert on everything. Can’t balance a checkbook, can’t bother to vote, couldn’t bother finishing school, but will go on for hours about how she heard the budget deficit should be corrected. I have friends that whine and whine that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes and corporations are running the country, and blah. The top 1% of earners in this country pay 40% of the bills. That top 1% pays more than the bottom 95% combined. Yet someone hears a sensationalist report on CNN and it becomes their whole focus of debate. Screw facts and independent thought! I have a TV!
Want to see this in action? You don’t have to go further than comments on any news article on any American news website. Bring up Yahoo, click on any article you want and scroll down to the comments. You won’t get 4 or 5 down before someone who can’t spell president is bashing his policies, race, gender, and what color shirt he was wearing last Friday.
I try chatting with some of these people while pretending to agree with their opinions just to see where in the world they came up with the nonsense they’re posting everywhere. One gentleman confessed to me that he had a 6th grade education but felt qualified talking about immigration because of a news report he saw on TV. He also saw an old episode of South Park (Dey took our jobs)!
I ruined my keyboard when I spit my coffee out after reading that when he sent it to me. He firmly believes immigrants are here to steal our jobs and the government is going to let them do it. While this isn’t idiocy in itself, the way he went about believing it in the first place is asinine. This country offers free public education, not only did he feel it necessary not to avail himself of a resource like that, he then decided to allow a satirical cartoon, and a potentially biased news report to think for him. Idiocy isn’t in the idea but the method on how you came to the idea in the first place. This is a white guy from Georgia, which is ironic. If he was a Native American, I can understand his views on immigration but a Caucasian man of European decent in North America complaining about immigration? Pot, meet kettle.
When you combine the idiots in our country being a lot more vocal then the rest of us, with the general arrogance most of us feel toward other countries, then it’s not difficult to understand why we’re hated. We built our country our way, that doesn’t give us the right to push that on other people who want to live their life, their way. We’re a country based on freedom, let’s all stop being idiots and remember that freedom works both ways. A little respect goes a long way to avoiding the hate.