8/14/09

Are Americans Just Stupid?

I'm awfully sorry, but the answer is Yes. How else to explain the outbreak of crazed concern about death panels and socialism lately? The very people who are so disturbed about government sponsored insurance ought to be supporting it, out of sheer self-interest. Wouldn't they like to have medical care for themselves and their families, should they lose their jobs? As Christians (most of them) shouldn't they be feeling some concern for the 1/6 of Americans who don't have health insurance? And what will be the dumbest thing of all is if the Democratic majority in congress doesn't simply pass health care reform, because they have the votes, and it's the right thing to do.

11 comments:

amos said...

No, stupidity is equally distributed throughout all the nations of the world. However, most countries hide their stupidity, while in the U.S. stupidity is flaunted by the mass media. That is true democracy, I suppose.

Faust said...

What is (not so) hillarious is all the seniors who worry that government run health care will take away their medicare.

lol?

Our media is indeed a major part of the problem. Hard to have a democracy when your media engine is corporate propoganda.

amos said...

The media is controlled by huge corporations or by the government everywhere. However, I can't imagine any Chilean political party, not even the most rightwing one, nominating Sarah Palin as a candidate. Not that the Chilean equivalent of Sarah Palin, someone aggressively stupid, doesn't exist. She just has no voice here. That has something to do with the class prejudices which rule Chilean society.

windy said...

Oh dear, this post is very uncivil - aren't you afraid that calling people stupid and crazed will turn them away from health care reform? ;)

Jean Kazez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean Kazez said...

Well, it probably would be counterproductive in "real life" but here at my blog, I just don't think any of the stupid people are reading. :-)

But in any event, different rules for different topics. In politics, we all know it's gloves off. When talking about people's religion, we're supposed to be deferential.

You might think that's absurd, but much of etiquette is absurd. The arbitrariness of etiquette doesn't relieve people of the duty to observe it.

Parrhesia said...

I don't think people do have a "duty" to observe etiquette. It may work in their favour to do so, but isn't it up to them to decide whether they think the etiquette in question is worth observing, and if not, then they need to be prepared for the possibility of a bit of a backlash? I would think that not many social mores would change without being challenged in some way, so maybe some etiquette should be challenged (particularly the idea that we should be deferential toward religion).

Btw, I hope you don't mind that I've just jumped into commenting here without introducing myself (I hope that wasn't bad netiquette!). I found myself here after linking from Butterflies and Wheels in all the kerfuffle over Unscientific America and so many of your posts caught my interest. I'm a vegetarian (who knows she should be a vegan but can't quite resist cheese) undergrad philosophy student with two kids. :-)

Jean Kazez said...

I'm delighted to have new folks here, and especially folks with kids because of the "philosophical parent" topics. Yeah, I know the problem with cheese. My downfall is really milk--must have my cappuccino. We are trying to cut back though. Turns out soy ice cream is quite good.

Hmm. Etiquette is interesting. Even if a rule is silly, I don't think you can dismiss the feelings people have when you break it. If it's really important to break the rule, you might do so, because you think the cost in feelings is worth it. But the feelings do count. They also have to be figured into the predictions you make about the impact of breaking the rules.

But yes. Etiquette isn't sacred. It can change...and sometimes should. I do see the worry that etiquette surrounding religion can protect entrenched ideas from being discussed.

Parrhesia said...

Thanks Jean. There is a brand of soy milk we drink here in Australia called "Bonsoy". Do you have it where you live? It's the only palatable soy drink I have encountered thus far, and is great in a latte (or cappuccino). I recommend it. Philosophically, I'm a vegan . . . but in the reality of daily practice I am no purist. I wonder if this makes me a hypocrite?

Re etiquette: do you think the feelings count in and of themselves, or only in regards to the consequences for fostering a dialogue? And what if it goes the other way, to religious custom causing discomfort for non-believers? For example, where I live I have noticed there are more and more Muslim women wearing "niqab", the face-covering veil. This makes me feel uncomfortable and kind of ostracised, as there is an effective block against smiling which I consider a very important part of non-verbal communication . . . do you think that Muslim people should be more concerned about the etiquette and sensibilities of non-believers?

Jean Kazez said...

Parrhesia, I'll see if I can find it. I tried making cappuccino with soy milk recently ("Silk") and unfortunately thought it was undrinkable. I think "hypocrite" is too harsh.

I'm just saying feelings count, even if they're triggered by the violation of arbitrary rules of etiquette. That doesn't mean they're decisive. You have to figure out if it's worth it to do X, if X causes those bad feelings. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. If the veiled women think things through this way, they will think they don't have to defer to your distress. But they shouldn't just dismiss the distress--that's all.

amos said...

About media coverage on rightwing ignorance in the U.S.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2009/aug/17/rightwing-america-history