Friday, April 16, 2010

Ignorance? Not always…

A couple of things caught my eye last night and this morning that I felt were worthy of comment. The first was Lieutenant Colonel Terry Larkin, a doctor in the US Army. He is refusing deployment to Afghanistan because he does not recognize Barack Obama as the Commander in Chief. Why? Because he doesn’t believe the President was born in the USA. That’s right. Dr. Larkin is a birther. The fact that Dr. Larkin is a birther throws some dirt into my argument that birthers are morons. I’m fairly sure that even a bad doctor can’t be a moron and make it through the rigors of medical training so I need to apologize to the birthers and their movement. I guess they aren’t all morons after all. I still believe that most of them are morons. After all, this issue has been pretty much laid to rest. Hawaii has confirmed multiple times that the POTUS was in fact born there. But what about the good doctor?

I guess the answer is the birthers are a diverse group of morons and bigots. And possibly cowards. Today’s society has been very specific on what is and is not “politically correct”. Outside of the world of radical hate groups there is seldom a mention of race, gender, or religion as a reason for success or failure, competence or incompetence, qualification or lack of qualification that goes unnoticed. Statements such as “she was hired because she was a woman” or, “his failure was expected because he is black” or, “we never expected a Jew to be placed into that position” would garner howls of protest as they should. We have moved far beyond that type of reasoning within the law. But we have NOT moved beyond it in the way many of us think and act. It’s better than it was in the 60’s but we still have a long way to go.

So if Dr. Larkin is not a moron he must be a bigot or a coward. As I ponder this I find myself leaning towards coward. After all, a bigot is likely a moron. I think we HAVE evolved as a society to the point where we realize gender, race, or religion does not qualify or disqualify anyone from anything. Well, maybe there aren’t any women out there that will win a big dick contest. And I guess a Muslim won’t win “Jew of the year”. It’s also unlikely that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be competing in the “Miss USA Pageant” any time soon. But anything of substance is pretty much attained by hard work and dedication (or in the case of big business, occasionally by who you know) not by gender, race, or religion. Well, a member of a “protected class” might be advanced by someone who feels the need to proclaim to the world “Look at me! I’m not a racist/homophobe/woman hater/religious persecutor”/etc. Of course, if one feels the need to proclaim it, one likely has issues around it. But one would hope that a doctor, by virtue of their training and education would be very much aware of all this. Therefore, Dr. Larkin must in fact be a coward. This is the only sound reason he would refuse deployment to Afghanistan right?

Well, maybe not. Because as I continue to ponder the issue I realize that one might not necessarily need to be a moron to be a bigot. I think it has been demonstrated that reasonably intelligent people can in fact become blind to reality and be so infused with hate that they fail to think logically. Look at the populace of Japan during WWII. These were not stupid people. This was an extremely advanced society. Look at the Republican Party. There are a ton of seemingly intelligent people there who just don’t get it.

So if you don’t need to be a moron to be a bigot, then Dr. Larkin might very well be a bigot and not a coward. One could argue the point that the birthers get less shit than the KKK so it might behoove one to align with those who feign or claim ignorance to the place of Obama’s birth rather than a hate group. Well, I guess the birthers are a hate group…. But they claim not to be.

So, point number one is that those stinky annoying birthers might not be moronic but instead they might just not like black people or be little fraidy cats….

The second thing I found myself spending time I don’t have on today is an article sent by my friend Roy (thanks Roy) that concerns the establishment of startup news organizations that are being bankrolled by conservative groups. I need help with this one. Those on the right that take issue with the “liberal press” want to go out and create news outlets that will by nature be “conservative press”. Wouldn’t you think they would want to just support “neutral” or “unbiased” press? And this made me think of my mother.

OK, by now you’re wondering just what the hell is wrong with me. How did I get to my mother (may she rest in peace). Well let me tell you…. My mother had one very nasty trait (actually, she had several, but this one seemed to be a major annoyance to me). She COULD NOT accept as fact, that which she did not want to hear. In other words, if she didn’t believe it, then it couldn’t be true. Needless to say, she was a Republican (he said, with a wry grin). So I wonder, is this a trait shared by a big chunk of the Republican Party? Is this inability to accept anything other than what you want to hear, one mark of a conservative? I think it might be! Does this indicate ignorance, bigotry, cowardice, or some combination of the three? I think it does. Why? I’m glad you asked.

Ignorance is easy. When one is too stupid to formulate your own reality, you let others do it for you. And those others are generally those that are saying what you want to hear. Not necessarily the truth mind you. But what you want to hear. And it doesn’t even have to be the primary point. It can be anything that results in your preferred reality. If you don’t want a black leader (bigot), you might be relieved to hear that Obama was not born in the USA (ignorant) because now you can fight against him with a reason that makes you look like a moron instead of a bigot! But since you don’t have the balls to state the real reason you are against him, well I guess that makes you a coward too! So what better way to lessen your feelings of inadequacy and stupidity than to start up news organizations that speak to what you want to hear? Forget the truth. We’ll “FOX” you into a stupor. After all, ignorance is bliss!

Next time we will talk more about ignorance and creating your own reality. But instead of thanking Roy I’ll be thanking Greg. See you then.


Common Sense