Down with the Idiocracy!
by Kelvin Wade
This past week the political world has been abuzz over the comments made by Representative and Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) when he told an interviewer: “From what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape is) really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Despite what this flap may reveal about some Republicans and their Paleolithic view of women’s issues, to me it’s more evidence of the Republican led Idiocracy.
For some reason one of the major political parties in America celebrates stupidity while ridiculing education and knowledge. Now while I believe the majority of Republicans in leadership are intelligent and don’t’ believe most of the canon of the Idiocracy, I do fault them for too often looking the other way. Too often they allow the idiocy to go on unchecked because they hope to benefit from it.
For years I’ve listened to conservatives talk about shutting down the Department of Education. They haven’t been able to actually do it legislatively so I think they’re trying to do it by default: dumbing America down. It’s insulting to listen to conservatives complain about the state of American education when they’re the chief defenders of the dipshits. No cockamamie conspiracy theory is too far out of bounds when it comes to those invested in the Idiocracy.
When you deny evolution, want creationism taught in schools, claim America was founded as a Christian nation, deny climate change, reject stem cell research, and fail basic biology, you’re part of the Idiocracy. When you believe the Bill of Rights only consists of the 2nd and 10th Amendments, support discredited studies done by groups like the American Family Association on gays, and believe the President is a Kenyan-born socialist Muslim terrorist sympathizer you’re contributing to the moronification of America.
What Akin said is a view held by a certain segment of social conservatives. Even GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has authored legislation with Akin talking about “forcible rape” as if drunken, drugged, coerced or statutory rape doesn’t count.
In years past, Republicans like former state Rep. Henry Aldridge (R) North Carolina and former. State Rep. Stephen Friend (R) Pennsylvania have both made their own stupefying rape sperm-killing secretions statements.
This past week NPR reported the story of Fay Boozman, an Arkansas Republican Senate candidate in 1998 who believed an “adrenaline rush” prevented pregnancy during a “legitimate rape.” Boozman lost his race but then-Governor Mike Huckabee selected him to run Arkansas’ Health Department! That’s major league contempt for the women of Arkansas.
It doesn’t matter to these mental midgets that these ideas have been discredited long ago. Truth doesn’t matter when it comes to the Idiocracy because stupid voters are what fuels what David Brock calls the Republican Noise Machine.
This past week Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, who has defended Akin, said he’d “never heard” of anyone becoming pregnant from statutory rape. That’s a truly asinine statement. There are studies by the Population Reference Bureau, the Alan Guttmacher Institute and others showing large numbers of teenage girls becoming pregnant by adult men. You don’t need a study or have to rival Einstein to know this.
But the leaders of the Idiocracy love to flaunt their idiocy. Earlier this year, the Jabba the Hut-like right wing radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh attacked coed Sandra Fluke saying, “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.” Limbaugh appeared to not understand that whether a woman has sex once a day or 20 times, she only takes one birth control pill for that day. But facts are the enemy of the Idiocracy.
Last year, Princess of the Pinheads, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R)-Loonyville, in addition to her numerous misstatements regarding American history, maintained that the HPV vaccine caused mental retardation (which should’ve made every reporter pursue Bachmann’s mother’s medical records.) Spreading misinformation is what helps keep these folks in power.
Repeatedly, conservatives are willing to listen to so called experts provided by organizations like the American Family Association and the Family Research Council or find fringe scientists on climate change or, as we’ve seen, spout nonsense junk science in order to support their troglodyte views on women’s health issues.
We’ve got to end this right wing celebration of idiocy. In their view college education is to be scorned as elitist or snobbery like failed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum told us. Theirs is a world where a President can revel in being a C student, a vice-Presidential pick is celebrated for not being able to name a single newspaper she reads, and the ability to buy an artery-clogging fried chicken sandwich is the extent of one’s knowledge of the First Amendment.
At this rate, we should go to work on Mt. Rushmore and change the faces on there to Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007, Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants and Beavis and Butthead.
Congress has no excuse. They can summon the leading experts in any field to testify before them. There’s no reason why a Congressperson should ever be fact-challenged. But the real sad part is that there’s no shame in being ignorant. Ignorance has a cure. But too often what we’re seeing is a willful ignorance by too many in Republican leadership. The willfully blind leading the blind. The last thing the architects of the Idiocracy want are informed voters.
If the Cletus voter is informed it changes everything. Cletus may awaken from years of having Fox News’ ass dumping in his cerebral toilet and he may start thinking for himself. He might start demanding candidates that know what they’re talking about. He may call them out on their bullshit during townhall meetings.
He just might launch a sledgehammer of knowledge into the middle of the black and white bloviating screen of Idiocy and wake his neighbors into voting their self interest. We can only hope.