Ugly Americans

There’s an interesting discussion going on at Dangerous Minds after they published a couple of pictures of lard-assed Americans, such as:

A few got annoyed with that, saying it was mocking the working class and taking aim at the wrong targets. Instead of paraphrasing myself, here’s what I wrote:

Every stupid person in the world has been fucked by the system in some way, or they would have gotten a better education. That doesn’t mean you can’t call teabaggers out on their intellectual laziness. Because their intellectual laziness is dangerous. There’s seriously damaging shit being done right now by the Obama administration (the ability to kill people at will). Put this power in the hands of a teabagger president, and you’re free to crawl in a fetal position. But to say that it’s “elitist” to call out dangerously-ignorant morons seems a shade too politically correct and not recognizing the damage that fat-assed stupidity can cause.

I’m sure there are many teabaggers who might spend their weekends rescuing puppies or other noble things. But you can’t overlook what a mass movement fueled by ignorance might be able to accomplish in this country. Newt Gingrich says things like – “I don’t remember any time in American history where we had such a threat to our basic way of life: A genuinely radical, secular socialist machine ramming things through with no regard for American values or the beliefs of the American people.” I can’t remember a time in American history where there was a mass movement of people working to make their current economic situation even worse. Interestingly, Dangerous Minds links to this chart soon after the other post. Just take a look at “Actual.”

The income disparity in this country is getting worse and worse, leading to more fat-assed ignorant Americans. A better use of resources and there could be more money to go to education, rather than Wall St. or defense, which could do a lot to end this mess. But the Tea Party is actively working against this because of their religious jingoism, racism, and total lack of understanding of what comprises socialism. And that lack of understanding could take over this country. While they say, “This is the end of America as we know it” – the party they support wants to make the income disparity even deeper. The reason people ascribe “white fright” to this is because there’s no other rational reason to think that Obama’s policies are killing America. If anything, he’s continuing Bush’s country-destroying policies, just maybe prolonging the amount of time it takes for that destruction to happen.

It’s not “elitist” to call people stupid. Plainly, there are some very stupid people in the world. It’s particularly American to think that everyone’s equal – that’s the American Dream: to think that anyone can strike it rich and be influential, no matter their situation. But this has led to a couple of things: a.) people being unable to acknowledge that, yes, the person over there knows a hell of a lot more than I do. And b.) the thing that sets people apart is not intelligence, or talent, but celebrity, regardless how that person got famous.   You too can be better than other people, even if you have no particular ability. It’s given rise to Sarah Palin, whose main damage might not be her Christianism, but her representation of the idea that you don’t have to know anything to be powerful. People should have equal protection under the law, but people aren’t of equal intelligence by a longshot.

I’ve been thinking why so many on the far right hold up the mantle of “freedom.”  I don’t think they’re holding this up as an American principle – more, it means the freedom to be as dumb or violent as you want to be, to believe the earth is 6000 years old, and not have the elites with all their “book smarts” telling you otherwise.  People are of course free to think whatever the hell they want, just not hold up ignorance like a badge.  And it doesn’t make sense to be timid about calling them out if those are the people who are supporting a system that dicks all of us – them included.  So I think you can call out the Tea Party on one hand and government on the other, because basically one wouldn’t exist without the other.

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