Ignorance is Bliss

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The dumbing down of America began long before the current president rose to power. It’s easy to blame the man, but in this case, he’s merely jumping on the bandwagon and taking the ignorance to new and immense heights.

For all of his faults, and there are too many to list here, recognizing the stupidity of so many Americans and capitalizing on their failure to reach even the bare minimum of intellectual curiosity might be his most significant and long-lasting contribution to America’s decline.

All you need to do is scan the news every day for examples of how far we’ve gone from being the envy of the world to a country ultimately coming apart at its seams, flailing and hurtling head-first into a world of conspiracy theories, lies, racial division, and absurdity…

*Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas tests positive for Covid-19 and claims that it was the mask itself that probably caused it—ignoring reams and reams of scientific evidence to the contrary that wearing a mask is one of the most effective means of preventing the spread to others, as well as yourself.

*Every day, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media outlets show individuals around the country throwing hissy fits over mandatory mask requirements—in some cases throwing projectiles at employees merely doing their job enforcing the rule.

*The current president continues to demand schools open up around the country, without any plan or money helping them safely and securely—backed by his clueless Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and others who try and curry his favor.

*Reports indicate that the current president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner pushed back against responding nationally to the pandemic because the virus was only infecting so-called blue states, again ignoring warning signs from top health experts around the world that rural and urban centers alike would soon be susceptible.

*The current president and his son retweet Dr. Stella Immanuel’s claim that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for Covid-19, even though there is no legitimate scientific evidence to support it.  For her part, Immanuel has said that some illnesses are caused by sex with demons, among other outlandish comments she’s made in the past.

*Delta Airlines had to turn back mid-air and head back to the airport when two passengers declined to wear a mask. They dropped the two off and resumed the flight.

*The right continues to push the current president’s ‘Obamagate’ allegations, of which there’s been no evidence of any wrongdoing. Attorney General Bill Barr has hinted that he’ll have an October’s surprise just in time for the election, against Justice Department guidelines that prohibit such an occurrence.

By no means is this a comprehensive list, but there is only so much time and space. The intellectual decline is in full view for the world to see. Our friends in the Western world are watching our coming election with nervous anticipation. Surely America will not make the same mistake twice. Surely they’ll do the right thing this time, won’t they?

It’s hard to pinpoint when ignorance and stupidity took hold in America. It’s always been there to a certain degree, but perhaps with the onset of social media and 24/7 news coverage, we’d inevitably get to this point.

It also could be our education system that’s failing us. Some states have decided to engage in revisionist history, depending on the subject. Our students over the last several decades aren’t getting the real story when it comes to America’s dark and troubling history. Do today’s high school students engage in any serious debates about the Deep South’s Jim Crow era? Are they ever told about the Civil War traitors whose name adorns many of our most famous military bases?

It’s a sad commentary on the United States when nearly 40% of the public continue to support the current president. Oh, he’s dropped a few points here and there, but his poll ratings have been staggeringly consistent throughout his first (and hopefully last) term.

You’d think that a man who champions conspiracy theories, lies multiple times a day, and installs cronies at governmental agencies to serve his own purpose would lose more than just a few percentage points in polls.

But in today’s America, he’s just what the doctor ordered for so many citizens. These are the citizens who ignore scientific facts, especially if it contradicts their own worldview. And the dog-whistle racial animosity (bullhorn?) seems to fit their narrative nicely as well. We’re told that the current president merely ‘tells it like it is,’ and gets ‘shit’ done. When asked about the supposed ‘shit’ he’s getting done, most can’t name a single accomplishment–other than that his wall is being built, or that the economy was the greatest of all time—again, ignoring the real facts.

But facts today do not matter to a vast portion of America. Why should it when they can simply head over to chat rooms on Facebook or conspiracy-laden Twitter accounts to reinforce what they’ve been told is the real truth? Years ago, these outlets never existed. So maybe we’re onto something here. Perhaps it is the social media apparatus that has sucked the intellectual air out of our society.

Whatever the reason for America’s descent into ignorance-induced chaos, we do have a choice on November 3, 2020, to change the trajectory. No, we will never stop it totally. But can we at least slow the regression? Of course, we can.

By removing the ignorant society’s dear leader, you take away it’s most precious resource—the one who champions their innermost belief system and tells them all how he’s going to make everything great again. You know, that period in America where certain people knew their place in society and would never even think twice about upsetting the status quo.

Ahhh, yes, those were the good old days for our friends who blindly follow their flawed and indecent man. Remove him, and those days will be gone for good. If we Speak loudly on election day, the likes of him will hopefully never inhabit the world’s highest office again. Speak softly, and you can kiss this once-promising country goodbye.

Seems like a very non-ignorant choice.

33 comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    American exceptionalism … was it ever a ‘thing”? … “The dumbing down of America began long before the current president rose to power. It’s easy to blame the man, but in this case, he’s merely jumping on the bandwagon and taking the ignorance to new and immense heights.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good question about American exceptionalism. I think after WW2 and for several years after, we were considered that. Certainly not in race relations, but our standing was pretty high generally speaking. Not anymore though. That ship has sailed away long ago. And what this president has done to our country is unconscionable.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think it began with Reagan and when the religious right wormed their way into politics and education. We are so screwed. How do you ever get rid of willful ignorance, insidious racism and such a virulent anti science bias. I don’t know if you do…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed Mary. Certainly Reagan’s foray into the so-called ‘moral majority’ played a huge role. I used to think that once the old racists began to die off, we’d see a new and better America. Maybe when I’m long gone from this earth we’ll see it. It’s so hard to get through to these people though. Like you said, I don’t know that it can ever sink in for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff,

    The president needs to keep his eye on the ball. People are dying and rather than fix the problem, he is fixing the blame. He wants people to be able to sue China for the virus, but from where I sit, they should be able to sue the president for his mishandling and misinformation. Governors are pleading for more help.

    What routinely surprises me is the thought of being presidential does not seem to enter into his mind. Rather than alert Americans to the pandemic after being briefed several times in January, he for some reason chose to nay say it, downplay it and call it a hoax as late as Feb. 28. Now, he is telling us everything is under control. This disinformation on top of his misinformation harms Americans.

    Taking the president at his word is a fool’s errand.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed Keith. I think that’s the $64 million question. Why? Why did he ignore it? Why doesn’t he engage in an all hands on deck approach? Is he that incompetent, or is it something much more dark and evil? I don’t know at this point. He should be sued, and he should be jailed as soon as Biden(I hope!) gets sworn in on Jan 20.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. it truly amazes me just how ignorant people can be. They don’t know what the Constitution actually says, aren’t at all clear on what the Bill of Rights are, but they sure know how to scream their “rights’ are being affected by health and safety measures. They are, quite simply, MORONS.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent analysis, Jeff. I would add that in addition to ousting Trump, we need to oust those in Congress who also pander to the fears and desires of those who ignorantly wish to turn this nation into a white, Christian, male-dominated nation, for they hold power, too. One of my concerns, even once Trump is gone, is that those elements in our society who put him in office to begin with will find another who promises to turn this nation into what they wish, and the next one might actually be intelligent enough to succeed. Sigh. I shall re-blog later this afternoon … thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jill, and for the reblog of course!
      I too worry about the future. I’m sure you know who Tom Cotton is, right? Senator from Arkansas? He might be a guy we need to fear. He’s got fascist tendencies and is certainly smarter than Trump. Some of his comments have been downright scary. You can tell he’s got higher ambitions. Remains to be seen whether the certain to be depressed Trump cult will gravitate towards him. But, if not, I’m sure there will be others to try and fill the void. They ain’t given up their white supremacy/privilege without a fight!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes … Mr. Tom Cotton has crossed my radar many times, especially in the past month or two. An abominable man. I hadn’t considered that he might be the one they run with in 2024, but … maybe. Presumably, the GOP has learned some lessons from this reign of Trump and will pick somebody whose stench isn’t quite so unbearable next time. And, think about this. Biden is going to have to make some unpopular decisions in order to begin repairing the damage of the past 4 years, so come 2024, he may have an uphill climb to a second term … not to mention his age by then. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very true Jill. In that realm, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mitt Romney has one more run in him. I think he’d be like 75/76 years old but he’s obviously someone who covets the office. He’d be formidable for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I tend to think Biden’s plans are to be a one-term president. From various things I’ve read, this is why his pick for VP is so important because that person may be (one of) the 2024 presidential candidates. Of course none of us know what’s going on behind the scenes. But speculation is alive and well. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      4. You may well be right about that, Nan. This is probably one reason his choice will not be Elizabeth Warren, for she’s likely considered too old to be a viable candidate in 2024. I just hope that Biden can make significant progress in fixing some of the damage Trump has done.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. For sure Nan, definitely a one-term presidency I’d suspect. If he wins this year(he better!) he would be 83 years old at the end of his first term. That might be a bridge too far for most people were he to run again.

        Like

      6. Yep. And things start going downhill a lot faster with each year that’s added to your lifespan. Trump’s now and again gaffes are just one example. And he’s only in his mid-70’s! IF he should happen to get reelected (the gods forbid!), I can pretty much guarantee we’re going to see a LOT more.

        Scottie has thrown out the thought that he might put Ivanka and/or Jared in as VP should he be reelected. If he did, you know they would cover for his gaffes … and might even become his spokesperson.

        Egads! I think I’m going to be sick!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Our friend Jeff from On the Fence Voters has written a thoughtful post about the current state of affairs in the U.S., or rather the ignorance that created the monster who created that state of affairs. There is much food for thought here, and I hope you’ll take a moment to read and consider his words. Thank you, Jeff!

    Like

  7. Refer back to the ‘Know-Nothings’ and you will see how embedded this fracture in the USA is, it sat lurking within the foundations of Independence, nurtured by those self-styled ‘persecuted’ for their religious beliefs who embraced intolerance as a creed. Like every nation the USA has it flaws and like every nation their comes a time when those flaws are made respectable. And so 60,000,000+ Americans invented Trump.
    The sobering aspect is that if White Democrat & Liberal citizens are now lamenting the state of affairs and fearing tomorrow their neighbours of varying minorities will be thinking ‘Ah. Now you’ve noticed,’
    Take heart, you’re not alone. The Ignorance and Hate are stalking the entire world, long before Covi-19 started.
    Y’see we forget the lessons of what truly caused WWI, WWII and the subsequent ‘minor’ wars…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes Roger, I can sense the march to fascism around the world in various places. These so-called leaders sense the unease from within their populations and know how to seize upon it. We just have to be very cognizant of such a man/woman, for before you know it, another Donald Trump emerges. I do not wish such a person on anyone!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Here is the fearful thing Jeff, in the history of government for the Mob by the Opportunist Trump is not even in the top twenty in ability or capability. He wouldn’t have even made the cut. If you were going through a Tooth & Claw stage in US politics (which can be just as vicious in a democracy as anywhere he would have not even made it past the first primary. Up against a Kennedy, Nixon, LBJ, Regan or either Bush his staffers would have been left sitting in some drafty room in Iowa or New Hampshire while he screamed down the phone at them in impotent rage from his luxury penthouse in New York.
        Trump is a symptom of a sickness in the Political System. He is a nothing, it’s how he got where he is which is the issue here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. An asterisk Roger. That’s how I will refer to his presidency when he’s finally put out to pasture. A mistake, a huge mistake that America will hopefully never make again. But these days, you just never know.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Another excellent post, Jeff. I’m encouraged by the election polls, but as I watch the Madman-in-Chief ‘s behaviour each day, I cringe when I think about the damage he will do between now and November 3rd. Then it is another long haul until January 20th, 2021. Biden may have the greatest challenges that any president has ever faced. I pray he selects a running-mate who will help him shoulder the enormous burden of rebuilding America and setting the free world on an even keel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you John. I appreciate that. And I agree with you, the challenge ahead for Biden is real and it’s going to be so difficult. Having someone he can trust and help govern the coming trials and tribulations is paramount. At this point, I have my favorites for his companion, but I’d be ok with whomever he picks. Democrats, or just those on the progressive side of the aisle, have a tendency to overthink these things. Whomever he chooses will upset those who hoped their person got the nod. I sure as hell hope the pushback won’t be too bad. Social media drives me crazy with this stuff. It seems so obvious to me that there’s only one choice and that choice is to beat Trump. Period. His VP choice matters, but we cannot lose sight of the number one goal: make sure the current president is a one-term loser.

      Like

  9. As an inner city teacher, I witnessed the dumbing down of America in the unchallenging test heavy , teach less curriculum that I was forced to use in my classroom.

    Like

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