Friday, June 06, 2008
Me Am So Dumb
Is America a nation of idiots?
I'm not asking this out of despair, though that tone has been known to grace the statement whenever I see they've made another season of Dancing With The Stars. I'm asking this out of anger, the same way one would ask, "What do they think we are, cowards?" Because I've seen this pattern popping up again and again, the idea that the average American doesn't have a brain in his head. But it ain't that "anti-American" sentiment that we were told was en vogue right around the time Iraq pissed away all the good will America had accrued after 9/11. No; I'm seeing it come from within, from the people who claim to represent America and its people.
Seeing it come out of Chris Matthews's mouth is one thing -- his style of journalism seems to feed on petty factionalism. But -- and I know I'm late to the party on this one -- to hear Paul Begala, who claims to speak for Hillary Clinton, say that candidates need to steer away from "eggheads", is just another insult entirely. Is this the common American to these people? I understand that the current economic situation and the systematic deconstruction of financial aid have made it hard for working class students to attend college, but to mark the common American as someone who stays away from higher education and, worse, intellectual exercise? Is this what people like Matthews and Begala think the average American is like?
The American people are not idiots. They just need the right information. And as long as people like Matthews and Begala continue to think of Americans as people who need to be spoken down to, then they'll fail to get it.