America - Land of the Dum #1: Dumb by Design
*Note: This blog post is the first in a series of posts exploring America's downward spiral into stupidity that will attempt to explain how the United States went from the country that invented radiocarbon dating, chemotherapy, and the internet to a country that believes a former gameshow host knows more about a global pandemic than scientists and doctors and where people voluntarily watch "The Bachelor."
America's surrender to stupidity is no accident. It's very much by design.
Think about it: How could a country obsessed with being #1 in pretty much everything be okay with a public education system that is consistently considered to be mediocre on the global stage?
Answer: Because an educated population is not what's best for business.
Educated people ask questions. Educated people question authority. Educated people ask for sources and statistics and proof and don't just blindly believe what their uncle's cousin's neighbor posted on Facebook about how the COVID vaccine makes your dick fall off. They also know who they should listen to, trusting in science and research and reliable experts to guide their decisions.
Dumb people are easy to control. They are sheep. They will believe anything they're told and will follow the herd right over the cliff. They'll proudly and violently oppose things that would clearly benefit them (like people living in trailer parks opposing raising the minimum wage) if that's what they're told to do because thinking is hard and there might be something good on TV.
It's no accident that state-mandated tests exclude subjects like government, history, and economics (three subjects that would help create well-informed and well-rounded citizens). We don't want Americans knowing how the government works or about interest rates because then how could people be exploited?
We can't blame America's stupidity epidemic entirely on the public school system, though, because a distrust and disdain for intelligence is built into the foundation of our culture.
We teach children from an early age that it's better to be athletic or good looking or popular than it is to be smart. We celebrate athletic state championships with parades and homecoming queens with crowns. How do we celebrate students who earn a perfect score on the SAT's?
Very simple. We don't.
Intellectually superior individuals are mocked, insulted, and ridiculed and taught to be ashamed of their intelligence by their intellectual inferiors. We label them as "nerds" or "know-it-alls" or say they're pompous or elitist. Dumb people often feel threatened by intelligence and wield their stupidity like a baseball bat, swinging it at anyone unfortunate enough to come near them, in a desperate attempt to avoid feeling inferior or "less-than."
Nowhere has this been more on display than during the pandemic where experts like Dr. Fauci, people who have been studying infectious diseases for decades SPECIFICALLY in case of a global viral outbreak, have been vilified, criticized, and dismissed by people who are getting opposing viewpoints on Facebook from their neighbor who is a garbage collector "but does his research and really knows what he's talking about!" or politicians more worried about their stock portfolios than saving the lives of those they swore to serve and protect.
The scariest thing is that the persecution of the educated is a common trait in authoritarian governments. Dictators and tyrants often persecute and cleanse the educated from their societies so they can be the sole source of information and truth. Back in the 70's, Cambodia's Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge famously executed any citizen with more than an elementary education to strengthen their control over the country.
No, we are a dumb nation by design and now we are suffering the consequences as we struggle to contain the COVID pandemic. People refuse to wear masks because "MA FREEDUM!" but also refuse to get the vaccine that would prevent them from having to wear the mask they don't want to wear ... (wait, what?) all while the political party most of these fools belong to continue to spread misinformation about the pandemic and pretend it's not really that bad (I'm still trying to figure out how it benefits a political party to kill off their own voters ... maybe I'm too dumb to see the long game).
Anyway, I'll let A.C. Slater sum things up here:
In my next "America is Dum" blog posts, I'll explore the role entertainment and technology played in our intellectual downward spiral.
If you're looking to see where all this stupidity ends, check out my dystopian comedy Trumptopia! The United States of Walmart. You can buy your copy here.