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You are watching: Never underestimate the stupidity of the american voter

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This is funny (it would certainly be even much more so if it pertained to some other country!):

How did politics in the US concerned be conquered by human being who do a virtue out of ignorance? was it charity that has permitted mankind"s the next living loved one to spend two terms together president? exactly how did buy it Palin, Dan Quayle and also other together gibbering numbskulls obtain to whereby they are? How can Republican rallies in 2008 it is in drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting the Barack Obama to be a Muslim and a terrorist?

Like most world on my next of the Atlantic, I have for countless years to be mystified through American politics. The US has the world"s ideal universities and attracts the world"s ideal minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and also power depend on the applications of knowledge. Yet, uniquely amongst the emerged nations (with the feasible exception of Australia), finding out is a grave political disadvantage....

It wasn"t constantly like this. The establishing fathers of the republic - Benjamin Franklin, cutting board Jefferson, James Madison, man Adams, Alexander Hamilton and also others - were amongst the greatest thinkers of their age. They felt no should make a an enig of it. Exactly how did the task they introduced degenerate right into George W Bush and Sarah Palin?

On one level, this is simple to answer. Ignorant political leaders are elected by ignorant people. United state education, prefer the US health and wellness system, is well known for its failures. In the many powerful nation on earth, one adult in 5 believes the sunlight revolves round the earth; just 26% accept that advancement takes ar by way of natural selection; two-thirds that young adults room unable to discover Iraq ~ above a map; two-thirds of us voters cannot name the three branches the government; the maths an abilities of 15-year-olds in the US space ranked 24th out of the 29 countries of the OECD. But this just extends the mystery: exactly how did so many US citizens come to be so stupid, and also so suspiciously of intelligence? Susan Jacoby"s publication The period of American Unreason provides the fullest explanation I have read for this reason far. She mirrors that the deterioration of US national politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.

One theme is both familiar and clear: religion - in particular fundamentalist religion - makes you stupid. The us is the only rich nation in i beg your pardon Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing....

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But there to be other, much more powerful, reasons for the pundit isolation of the fundamentalists. The us is strange in declining the control of education to neighborhood authorities. Teaching in the southern claims was dominated by the see of one ignorant aristocracy that planters, and also a good educational gulf opened up up. "In the south", Jacoby writes, "what have the right to only be described as an pundit blockade was implemented in bespeak to store out any kind of ideas that could threaten the society order."

The southerly Baptist Convention, currently the best denomination in the US, was to slavery and segregation what the netherlands Reformed Church was to apartheid in southern Africa. It has actually done much more than any type of other pressure to save the south stupid. In the 1960s it tried to stave turn off desegregation by creating a mechanism of private Christian schools and also universities. A student have the right to now development from kindergarten to a greater degree without any type of exposure to secular teaching. Southerly Baptist ideas pass intact through the public school device as well. A inspection by researcher at the university of Texas in 1998 uncovered that one in 4 of the state"s state school biology teachers believed humans and also dinosaurs lived on earth at the very same time....

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 29, 2008 in ~ 09:09 am in Of cultural Interest, Texas Taliban warns (Intelligent Design, religion in the Schools, etc.) | Permalink