Relative Stupidity

Dale Franks does a nice (and suitably humorous) job with this David Gelernter piece in the LA Times.

But at a point, I have to ask: don’t the democrat politicians have a point? I mean, they’re the ones proclaiming over and over again that democrats, their voters, their very base of support are just too stupid when it comes to politics and many aspects of self-responsibility in living. You know what? I believe them. Of course, I know lots of democrats who are perfectly able to conduct their lives in a self-responsible, self-sufficient, upstanding manner. But whenever I engage such people in discussions over politics or basic logic, I nearly always experience breathtaking ignoranc–at so many levels. It’s mostly manifest in an astonishing degree of ignorance about history, civilization, enlightenment, industry, capitalism, and so on. In other words, these are people who act as though they were just dropped off on Theme-Park Earth, but have no idea in the Universe how any of this came to be, or how any of it works.

And if that isn’t enough, then how about the fact that you don’t see any rank-&-file democrats objecting to the way they are being portrayed and characterized by their own political representation? I’d have to conclude that either they are that stupid, or, at least too stupid to notice what’s going on. Perhaps they’re too stupid to harbor any real dignity?

Lest anyone think I’m singling out the democrats, here, I point out plenty how stupid republicans are.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. SeniorGato on April 29, 2005 at 18:10

    I like to think both sides have thier idiots. However, despite the outspoken few, the majority of Americans aren't that dumb. At least, I hope they aren't.

  2. Tim on April 29, 2005 at 18:39

    Stupid is certainly relative. If you are in a two man cell with Albert Einstein you may well be the stupidest man in the room, long as you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt despite him being dead and all.

    Are the majority of Americans stupid, in both parties? I think so, and I bet Richard could justifiably agree, and the elected leadership in either party didn't get there by being average even though the electoral process requires that they pretend to be.

    However, in objective statistical reality 'intelligence' is distributed on a normal curve. Again objectively speaking, being way off center of the curve makes me a freak, not the average people stupid. Not that I'd trade with them…most days.

  3. John Lopez on April 29, 2005 at 19:55


    There's a phenomenon know as "rational ignorance" that most especially applies to voters. In a nutshell, it's rational to be ignorant of things that you have no control over.

    One vote counts for exactly nothing in any election that matters, so how much time is it worth to take putting thought into that vote?

    The answer to *that* explains why voters act stupid.

    (Bonus homework question is whether the results that one gets from voting are worth whatever amount of effort one puts into it.)

  4. Underdog on April 30, 2005 at 05:18

    I think we're stereotyping here, maybe, I don't know. I've seen more sincere and honest stupidity outside of politics. Politics today is like a vaudeville stage show. I have a mix of Dems and Repubs as friends. Both have their moments. My Dem friends are very smart, very caring, and are either social workers or hospital workers – and most of the time they don't talk politics because they know my husband and I are Repubs. We don't even bring it up anymore because our friendships are more important. I think that's very smart! We all vote our own ways, and don't try to sway each other because ultimately politics is as intimate as religion – thus the old addage "Don't talk about politics and religion with company." I have one very dumb Dem friend, and he simply mimicks what the Dems whine about, and he can't back it up with anything. I always tell him to shut up until he knows exactly what he's talking about, and he never does that. He's content to be stupid and go with the flow, as I think many Dems are these days – they just repeat what they hear and don't understand it one bit. Repubs seem to be old fashioned. My Repub friends are office workers and the wives stay home to raise families, or are families who are self-employed. While my Dem friends are the power couples who use day care. I think the stupidity is more relevant on the vaudeville stage, where stereotypes are born. Ok, this is just my opinion and I wanted to throw it out there. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I'm a Repub that wishes we'd all just get along.

  5. The Complimenting Commenter on May 1, 2005 at 19:39

    I'm glad that you are analyzing both sides of the political spectrum. Great job.

  6. DennyK on May 1, 2005 at 21:12

    You need to remember that people have invested part of themselves in their religion and choice of political philosophy. So, if you point out shortcomings of either of their choices, you are indirectly pointing out shortcomings of the individual.

    People are "stupid" because they are reflected in their choice, and it takes a lot to make a person say maybe I was wrong, or "they're no longer what I was/am."

  7. JollyRoger on May 1, 2005 at 19:15

    One should remember that "Nobody" won the election in 2004 with a 30 million vote margin.

    Why is this? I personally think the answer is pretty easy-people feel a huge disconnect from American politics. When a candidate like Kerry tries to go Bush lite, people are right to ask "WTF?" and become cynical that anything changes, no matter who is elected.

    I know it matters, as do most others, and I'm hoping the dangerous mixing of religion and Republican Party politics alarms and energizes (true) Conservative and Liberal alike. Will it? Stay tuned…

  8. Becca on May 2, 2005 at 10:50

    Just tell her you eat socks! That will do the trick

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