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Opinion

Opinion

America is dumbing down

January 5, 2012

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A friend of mine hands me what looks like a business card. It says, “Don’t Die Stupid.” As America begins another round of voting to select the next president, or retain the current one, what we need is a stupid test. Flunk it and you shouldn’t vote.

Evidence of the dumbing-down of America is everywhere. Some of it is chronicled in a new book, “Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America” by Daniel J. Flynn.

Flynn contends popular culture has divorced itself from the life of the mind. He has plenty of examples in case television, texting, video games and improper use of English (“she was like and then I was like”) are not enough.

Flynn calls the digital age that has sped up the process by which we receive information “Idiotville,” because it has made us less intelligent.

“Stupid is the new smart,” writes Flynn. He says we arrived at this lower level of brain activity because as recently as the last century “the everyman aspired to high culture and ... intellectuals descended from the ivory tower to speak to the everyman.” Today, he says, “Those who pursue the life of the mind have insulated themselves from popular culture. Speaking in insider jargon and writing unread books, intellectuals have locked themselves away in a ghetto of their own creation.”

That has left the nonintellectual class to fend for itself. One library in Portland, Maine, rather than leading, is being led by the unformed teenage mind. “Video gaming is just a new form of literacy,” says the “teen librarian.” If so, what’s the new form of illiteracy, ignorance about how to use a joystick?

Flynn quotes from Steven Johnson’s book, “Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter.” Sure, and sugar makes us slimmer. Johnson says, “Reality shows ... challenge our emotional intelligence.” Emotional intelligence? In an age when feelings trump everything and too many reality TV programs feature well-heeled housewives and love-starved bachelors, “emotional intelligence” is a contradiction.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste” is the slogan of the United Negro College Fund. It certainly is.

Here’s a potent example of what Flynn means when he writes about the destruction of our minds: “At the tony Cushing Academy in western Massachusetts, $40,000 in tuition doesn’t even get you a library anymore. ‘When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’ the prep school’s headmaster notes, adding, ‘This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451.’”

“It is, and ‘1984,’ too,” comments Flynn. “In place of the twenty thousand discarded books, the school spent $500,000 on an Orwellian ‘learning center’ complete with three giant flat-screen televisions and a cappuccino machine. School officials guessed that only a few dozen books had been checked out at any one time.”

The solution? Get rid of the books. Don’t get kids interested in books when they’d rather play “World of Warcraft,” or if younger, watch cartoons, which can’t be that different from “The Canterbury Tales,” right?

Our intellectual depth increasingly resembles floor wax; shiny on top, but lacking depth. A muscle atrophies if it is not used. Similarly, a mind becomes lazy if it is not well fed. And a weak mind dumbs down our politics. We elect people we come to dislike because too many of us require no more of them than we require of ourselves. We then wonder why little seems to work and the country soon suffers.

In Iowa this week, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, Republican voters will begin the process of selecting a presidential nominee. It’s not that sufficient information about the problems confronting us — along with solutions that actually work — are not available. It’s just that we’re not reading much about them.

Like, ya know, man, that’s just the way it is. Like, ya know what I’m sayin’?

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email is tmseditors@tribune.com.

Comments

budman 2 years, 11 months ago

And remember you're never the idiot, its only the other guy or society as a whole,

jonas_opines 2 years, 11 months ago

There should be a new term named after Cal Thomas, referring to the fetishisation of an imaginary past, so strong that it constantly distorts your ability to look at the present.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

The current resident of the White House is ignorant of the Constitution. He thinks he has the ability to declare when the Senate is in recess.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

And what the Bamster has done is directly contrary to the stated positions of his own lawyers, which were based on the stated positions of lawyers in the Clinton administration when Clinton was president. In other words, illegal. The courts will have the final say on this.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 11 months ago

but you fail to mention that Bush was found in violation of the Constitution more than any president in US History. Why was that document not sacred to you then?

I am disappointed in Obama for many of the things he has done, but the difference between you and I is that I was disappointed in BOTH presidents when they violated the Constitution, you only are upset about one meaning that you have no patriotism that is real, no morals that are real, no values that are real, only sides.

That means you are empty.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

LOL... Bush's fault. You leftists sound like a broken record. You chose a clown; quit blaming everything on the previous clown.

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 11 months ago

Not a leftist, I prefer to use the term, "Recovering Republican". (I used to consider myself as such, and then Bush happened. Living in Brownbackistan has cured me, I think.)

ivalueamerica 2 years, 11 months ago

clearly you and cato are broken people.

Clearly I said I did not like when Obama violated the Constitution and when Bush violated it.

You ONLY do not like it when Obama does it and did not care when Bush did it,

You have no REAL patriotism, morals, values or honer. Just sides.

That makes you pointless.

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 11 months ago

That's funny... I can't remember really being a big fan of Obama, either.

I think that assumption, as well as alluding to my apparent lack of values, morals, or honor, when you know absolutely NOTHING about me, might make your post rather pointless. As far as determining if a person is pointless or not, well, I'm not delusional enough to think I'm that important...

ivalueamerica 2 years, 11 months ago

My observations were based on the entirety of your comments.

If you want to present another side, then say it.

If you want to only say one sided, partisan and less than honest things, then you should not act surprised when someone calls you one sided, partisan and less than honest. Seriously.

Lisa Medsker 2 years, 11 months ago

Not sure what comments you are referring to that were less than honest, since I have had my experiences and you haven't, but okay. If you need to believe that I'm lying, and it really affects your life, go for it.

As far as my "one-sided partisanship", I'm pretty much disgusted by the extremes politicians and people will go to in order to "prove their party correct". Leftists, right-wingers, they've all shown absolute nuttiness to justify the actions of their "party". I am very one-sided in my views that no government has any business legislating every single aspect of people's lives, whether it's based on a religion, economic views, or a political party. However, the intermingling of government and economics has become downright scary. Greed has made some kind of accountability absolutely necessary. I believe, that since we're all stuck on this rock together, we do have some semblance of responsibility in making sure we aren't going out of our way to ensure the social or economic failure of any group or individual, based on a political or religious agenda. Gay people want to get married? Excellent. Love is too hard to come by for others to push their own agenda. Women want abortions? Some do. Does it have any affect on me? Nope. But I hate getting a call for a teenaged girl who had no clue that "the first time" would have results, was not allowed to protect herself from those "results", and she dies, trying to "undo" those results. I do have a problem with lobbyists being paid obscene amounts of money to push laws through, and using politics for economic gain. I have a huge problem with (metaphor, here) feeding the over-fed bigger meals, with the idea that the starving will get more scraps. It hasn't exactly worked that way.

So, not trusting the current or prior administration apparently makes me a "right-wing nutjob", and thinking that "live and let live" is a nutball Libritard point of view makes me a partisan, one-sided, pointless liar? Sorry. You still know absolutely nothing about me.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Obama has been a great disappointment in many ways, but these recess appointments aren't among them, and I applaud that he's taking Republican obstructionism head on. Too bad he's waited so long in doing so.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Bush made his recess appointments when the Senate was in recess. According to Obama's own lawyers, the Senate was not in recess when Obama made these appointments.

In other words, what Obama did was illegal. The court system will ultimately agree.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

He didn't disappoint me. I knew he was a liar and incompetent from day one.

mloburgio 2 years, 11 months ago

Rich Cordray will be Obama's 29th recess appointment. At this point in GeorgeW.Bush's first term, he had made 61 recess appointments

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Bush made his recess appointments when the Senate was in recess. According to Obama's own lawyers, the Senate was not in recess when Obama made these appointments.

In other words, what Obama did was illegal. The court system will ultimately agree.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

They are sham "sessions" whose only purpose is continued obstructionism.

Here's an excellent review of the situation, and the gridlock that has become the sole agenda of Republicans.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-with-recess-appointments-the-president-calls-the-gop-s/article_8cccf0ae-6db0-5f7e-85f4-f177d96475e1.html

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Bozo, this biased, one-sided screed is worthless. Obama's own lawyers have said that what he has chosen to do is illegal. It's now up to the courts to confirm the illegality of what he's done.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Whether it's legal or illegal, the sessions are still shams whose only purpose is to prevent recess appointments.

BTW, how did you manage to get in on Obama's briefings with his lawyers?

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

They filed a court brief last year that goes directly against what Obama just did. It's a matter of public record. They cited positions taken by the Clinton administration in support of the position asserted in their brief.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's a link for you.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/06/us-obama-appointments-idUSTRE80501020120106

And just to save you the trouble of reading it, it really doesn't support what you contend.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/202245-obama-under-strong-pressure-to-break-recent-precedent-on-recess-appointments

Quote: "Using this recess to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as liberals have urged, would also contradict a brief issued by the Clinton Justice Department in 1993, which Obama’s own deputy solicitor general cited last year."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/06/us-obama-appointments-idUSTRE80501020120106

"A 1992 Office of Legal Counsel memorandum gave President George H.W. Bush the authority to make appointments when the Senate was on an intra-session break, but it noted that past doctrine has been that the recess should be lengthy.

That memo noted a 1921 determination by Attorney General Harry Daugherty. It said the president could largely use his discretion to determine if the Senate was in recess, but added that "an adjournment for 5 or even 10 days" was insufficient to "constitute the recess intended by the Constitution."

The Obama administration has argued that the Senate began its holiday break on December 17 and will not be back until January 23, thus enabling Obama to make the recess appointments.

Senate Republicans have said so-called proforma sessions every three days bar recess appointments. But at least two times in history there have been such appointments when the Senate has been on a break for less than three days."

Clearly, there is no cut-and-dried definition of what qualifies as a "recess," or when recess appointments can be made. Taking it to court will likely be a matter of fishing for a judge who'll make the wholly political assessment desired.

But what's completely uncontroversial about this is that what's upsetting Republicans is that Obama has made these appointments in order to circumvent their obstructionism designed to keep the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the NLRB non-functional-- translation, more class warfare taking the side of corporations and Wall Street against working people.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

In other words, Obama has thrown a temper tantrum because Republicans have done what they were elected to do. What he's done is patently unconstitutional, and will ultimately be found to have been just that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

There was no tantrum-- Obama merely, and finally, did what he was elected to do.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, it's now finally clear - Obama was elected to engage in illegal conduct.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

Isn't quite a feat to know that FOX news has received the award for their viewers to know less than those who listen to no news at all.

50YearResident 2 years, 11 months ago

The selling point: Call your Doctor if you have an erection lasting over 4 hours! Any dummy would know that. (If it ever happened)

Christine Anderson 2 years, 11 months ago

From a woman's point of view, what would be so bad about that?

asixbury 2 years, 11 months ago

That movie has a lot of truth that can already be seen in today's American culture. Only stupid people are breeding, after all. The educated people wait to start having kids until after college, grad school and their careers are started. Sometimes, they wait too long and have difficulty conceiving. Stupid people, on the other hand, start having babies right away.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 11 months ago

Only if you assume that our understanding of Evolution is 100% accurate, but as we learn each and every day, science always finds a way to surprise us.

There is no guarantee that this line of reasoning will hold true.

asixbury 2 years, 11 months ago

Nothing is 100% accurate, ever. Everything changes.

TopJayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

correct and we continue to "dumb down," and devolve.

Just notice how many kids mouth-breathers have, and how many intelligent folks have. It's a numbers game, and we are losing.

Ragingbear 2 years, 11 months ago

Idiocracy FTW.

I can't believe you like money too. We should hang out.

Mike Ford 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

Making recess appointment when the Senate is not in recess is a violation of the Constitution. Even tho it was written by a bunch of white guys, it is still valid. Save the stump, tuschie! (from a source)

gudpoynt 2 years, 11 months ago

And by "in session" you mean a minority coming together for literally a few minutes just to bang a gavel and block a nomination.... A trick they learned from Reid after Bush II went hog wild on recess appointments.

And then Boehner calls Obama's move "unprecedented". Even though it happened several times in the prev administration. Surely the House speaker knew just how precedented this actually is. Do you think, just maybe, he's counting on his constituents to be ignorant of history, however recent, when he makes his claim of "unprecedented"?

And then why, oh why, would the minority senate members use this tactic now? To refuse to allow the consumer financial protection agency to gain any legitimacy, of course. Couldn't have a consumer protection agency with any actual teeth out there, could we? Couldn't put any restrictions on a financial industry that stuck it to consumers, while making out like bandits, and leaving a listless national economy in their wake, now could we.

Gee whiz, wonder who is pulling McConnel's strings here? Don't have to look too far. Who would be the ones to be hurt most by the new agency, and at the same time have the most.money to lobby against it? Hmmm...

Who doesn't want further consumer protection regarding financial products? Hmmmmm...

Who doesn't want more transparency in the financial industry? Hmmmmm....

What. A. Bunch. Of. Tools.

The Teapublican constituents are more and more becoming the party of the gullible. So much so that they refuse to see any benefit of government action, in this case some much needed oversight of the financial industry, even as the smoke from the financial collapse, which was a direct result of not enough people looking at what certain organizations were doing, is still thick in the air.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

You do know, I hope, that Woody Allen is a comedian?

And, anybody who's ever seen any of his movies knows he has some serious issues with women.

I know of no liberals who applauded his marrying his "adopted" daughter, and many who criticized him for it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, she wasn't his daughter-- she was the adopted daughter of his then wife. There was no legal or genetic relationship between them.

Not that that isn't a bit creepy in its own right.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

BTW, his latest movie, Midnight in Paris, is pretty good.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes - we saw it.

I thought it was excellent, but was surprised that my wife and I laughed a lot more than the rest of the folks in the theater.

I guess it helps to be a Jewish guy from NYC.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

To correct that further, it was the adopted daughter of his then girlfriend. Woody and Mia did not live together.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Cal Thomas is such a hypocrite. Will he call out the republican candidates when they start their anti-science, anti-intellectual litanies against evolution as "only a theory" that should be taught side-by-side with intelligent design? Will he call them on questioning the science behind the evidence that humans are changing the climate, despite the fact that one of the head deniers finally threw in the towel and admitted that the evidence is clear and getting clearer?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and if he accuses Obama as symptomatic of a hedonistic disregard for intellectual pursuits, then he needs to look at the flagrant anti-intellectualism and anti-science attitude that permeates the GOP in general and most if not all republican candidates specifically.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

Just watching the Republican pony show is sufficient fodder for the contentions made by the correspondant of this column. Vote for, uh,,,,,gee,,,,,I forgot........somebody.

Orwell 2 years, 11 months ago

False equivalency FAIL, but nice try. Both sources have an obvious ideological perspective, but one of them (and it ain't Fox) documents stories through objective sources and announces corrections when an error makes its way into the program. When Fox is called out and its lies are independently documented, its response is [crickets.]

Orwell 2 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes. Have you watched it, or are you just regurgitating what the right wing tells you about it?

Orwell 2 years, 11 months ago

Is this the best you've got? Pretty much like responding to an argument by sticking your tongue out.

woodscolt 2 years, 11 months ago

"America is dumbing down"........... Yep,  one faux news minute at a time.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

America is indeed dumbing down, and Thomas points to many of the reasons.

The anti-intellectual populism strain in America has met the "me, now" influence fueled by new technologies such as social media and video games and old technologies like television.

I think we are seeing one result of this in the GOP primary, which has revealed a succession of one-minute wonders able to keep the attention of the dummies for just a few weeks.

These candidates are so unserious and unintellectual (even anti-intellectual), but are able to appeal to the dummies through slogans and attacks with no basis in fact or reality.

Obama took advantage of this as well. The "Hope and Change" message of Obama was about as diffuse a slogan as ever, but it worked.

At least Obama has an intellectual, reality-based core and was just using slogans. These GOP candidates, there is no there there. They are all slogan and no reality or intellect.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

You should really learn to distinguish between the voices in your head and everything else.

kochmoney 2 years, 11 months ago

Were you intentionally trying to prove his point, or is your display of unintellect merely ironic?

whats_going_on 2 years, 11 months ago

+1000000000000000000000 for Bozo and Kochmoney. hah!

jonas_opines 2 years, 11 months ago

"The "Hope and Change" message of Obama was about as diffuse a slogan as ever, but it worked."

It sounded better to them than just flat-out saying: "I'm not Bush."

/even if that didn't turn out (no surprise) to be particularly true

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

The guy who supports attacks against educated people by calling them "elites" can't suddenly be upset about a dumb nation and expect us to take him seriously. He supported Sarah Palin as the vice presidential pick, for heaven's sake. Palin, outside of a rather tenacious ability to make a buck on limited skills and somewhat above average looks, isn't exactly the sharpest butter knife in the FoxNews tray. She believed Paul Revere went on his infamous ride to warn the British, after all. Thomas also supported Christine O'Donnell during her run for Senate.

Thomas is more than happy to exploit dumb when he sees it playing to his advantage. He attacks it now because the likely Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney, is by every definition, an elite. With Romney, suddenly it is time to act like Republicans really do like educated people after all.

Sorry Cal, but even when you lie down with dumb dogs, you still get up with fleas.

At the offense of those who hate repeated comments, I repeat the great line by George Carlin: Consider how stupid the average person is, then realize half of the people are even dumber than that.

SnakeFist 2 years, 11 months ago

Great response, beatrice.

Conservatism is full of contradictions, such as calling for deficit reduction but then condemning any cuts to the largest governmental department (defense); calling for less government regulation but then pushing term limits that tell us for whom we can and cannot vote and pushing a social agenda that tells us who we can and cannot marry; and, as you noted, attacking intellectuals as "elites" but then decrying the dumbing down of America.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for reminding us that Republicans would have allowed the American automobile industry to collapse, taking all the jobs with it, while simultaneously making sure to lend nearly a trillion to banks and Wall Street.

Thank goodness we have a President who recognizes the importance of keeping Americans working. Outside of the problems with the Volt (not the first car to ever be recalled, by the way), didn't you see that American auto makers are seeing profits and experiencing a major turn around since being given the help needed? Again, I know. You would rather have seen the companies closed and those American jobs going to Japan.

kochmoney 2 years, 11 months ago

I totally blame the Pinto recall on Reagan!

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow! Another stinker of a column from Cal. I mean, there's little doubt (at least to me) that we seem to be getting dumber as a society. But while Cal touched on a couple reasons/evidence for such a downtrend, the whole of the piece was disjointed, vague, and lazy.
And why does he always seem to pine for the "days of yore," as if the way-back-when eras mythically (apparently not a word according to spell-check, but I don't care) got everything right? Sure, Snooki makes us collectively less intelligent, but the good ol' days had a helluva lot more illiteracy and bigotry. Hardly a wash.

Thomas' column days should be numbered.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

Points for being first to mention Snooki.

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

Never watched a second of that crappage. The "news" alone makes my stomach churn.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

Too busy keeping up with the Kardashians, are you?

I can't even believe we know who these people are. ugh

somedude20 2 years, 11 months ago

I love how some of the jagoffs on this forum are talking about Obama being dumb when these fools were giving all of their support to Bachmann, who is one of the dumbest public figures of all time and makes Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin look like Stephen Hawking. Face it there fudge faces, you ain't got no winnable horse in this election. You will have still have to submit, once again, to a .....gasp....a person of colour.

kochmoney 2 years, 11 months ago

A person of color who graduated magna cum laude from freaking Harvard, fer cryin' out loud.

Armstrong 2 years, 11 months ago

Harvard should higher their standards obviously

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

I love it.

"higher their standards" indeed.

The phrase you may be searching for would be "raise their standards".

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

He also does not want them to do so discreetly. Rather, their action should be obvious.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

Reid also apologized for his comment, and that apology was accepted by Obama. So why do you use it as if that is the way America thinks? It clearly is not. It was a stupid thing for Reid to say. Also, since you claim to have been reading these posts for years despite ...um ... being a new user, you should already know that Obama was not anointed, he was elected by the people. Why do you hate American voters?

In a dumbed down society, you are praising the most watched "news" channel. That is funny. It is not at all surprising that the lowest common denominator has found something to watch, something that won't challenge them.

What next, going to tell us that McDonalds really does serve the best burgers, too?

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

A dangerous mix. Americans are dumber than ever, and yet have so many more ways to express their dumbness.

Twitter, Facebook, and forums such as this.

One only need read the comments posted here to see that America is dumbed down, and is flying that freak flag proudly.

beatrice 2 years, 11 months ago

How rude. Didn't we just learn that when students are in front of an elected official they are to do nothing but respectfully pay attention? They should be asked to write letters of apology.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

Carter was dispensing sage advice earlier this week to the current occupant of the Oval Office. {snort}

Mike Ford 2 years, 11 months ago

when my comments are deleted I must've offended the guilty parties. I guess it's mission accomplished. Nice to know that retribution against arguement baiters is open to being censored. I was named after Henry David Thoreau who advocated civil disobedience in the 1840's against the Mexican War. Please moderator... let three or four of these upstanding citizens constantly berate others with quasi facts and veiled racism and when I give them what they give...censor me....

kugrad 2 years, 11 months ago

The irony of a Cal Thomas article headlined "The dumbing down of America" is simply inescapable.

jonas_opines 2 years, 11 months ago

Cal's Days of Yore articles remind me of the end of this little bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8H5_l9E3s

Kirk Larson 2 years, 11 months ago

This column is pretty funny, It like Newt Gingrich decrying the use of negative campaign ads.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Stupid is as stupid does. They're doing it all around.

Michelle Bachmann 2012! No wait...

Rick Perry 2012! No wait...

Herman Cain 2012! No wait....

Newt Gingrich 2012! No wait....

Ron Paul 2012! No wait....

Rick "FMOFMAL" Santorum 2012! No wait...

To be continued.....

Popcorn, anyone?

Charlie Bannister 2 years, 11 months ago

I have a controversial cure for this "dumbing down" of America and so many stupid people voting. Make it a law that only property owners and/or business owners can vote. These are the people who pay the largest share of taxes (local and federal) anyway. This way you create an incentive for people to get educated and make something of themselves so they can become business owners and /or property owners, thereby gaining the right to vote. This would eliminate for the most part the lazy and unmotivated voting for whichever candidate is going to give them the most goodies. You may laugh (I'm sure you will) but it has merit.

Armstrong 2 years, 11 months ago

Problem is your idea was actually law a couple hundred years ago. Progress, a good thing ?

whats_going_on 2 years, 11 months ago

yes, because it is really easy to become a property owner when you're making next to nothing and can't get a loan. and yes, because it's super easy to just start up a business (like there are no idiotic business owners.........................................................................................)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Calling this proposal a roadmap to fascism is, sadly, not an overstatement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Didn't see read this before responding to P-man's post.

This is less a roadmap to fascism than to a full-out Dickensian nightmare.

SnakeFist 2 years, 11 months ago

I like the idea of limiting the right to vote, but I wouldn't base it on property or business ownership - property can be inherited and any fool can hang out a sign and say he or she is in business. I would base it on military or other public service. Only those who have sacrificed for their country should have a say in how its run.

whats_going_on 2 years, 11 months ago

wow, making this political, eh? You're dumb because you're a STUPID LIBERAL. No YOU'RE dumb because you're a stinky REPUBLICAN. Grow the eff up, seriously.

ALL politicians are taking all of us for fools, as is Hollywood. (Think: Kardisians) You think any politicians are in tune with how any of us live our lives. Not so much. They don't have to play by any of our rules, and they get paid for dumbing America down to the point where we all hate each other and have no CLUE what is going on (Think: Super Pac attack ads that are rarely even 5% truth)

I'm not all about conspiracy theories and such, but is it really a surprise that we collectively are as gullible, lazy, and idiotic when we are clearly getting taken advantage of at every turn?

notaubermime 2 years, 11 months ago

"He says we arrived at this lower level of brain activity because as recently as the last century 'the everyman aspired to high culture and ... intellectuals descended from the ivory tower to speak to the everyman.' Today, he says, 'Those who pursue the life of the mind have insulated themselves from popular culture. Speaking in insider jargon and writing unread books, intellectuals have locked themselves away in a ghetto of their own creation.'”

This is so immensely false that it is beyond ridiculous. Scientific information is exceedingly more available to the public now than it was 20 years ago. All you need is an internet connection and you can access scholarly journals, science blogs, research pages of faculty and students, and just about any other piece of information you would wish. Scientists are blogging, writing books, being interviewed on TV, and on radio all across the country. Do not blame the "intellectuals" because you are not listening.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Romney is going to need to dumb down to appeal to the teapublicans.

The process has already started.

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