Dumb and dumber: Appreciating the contributions of the truly stupid in America
John Edwards was wrong. And I’m not talking about his recent criminal charges. Or how he treated Elizabeth, may she rest in peace. Or how he was a cheater. Or that he knocked up his campaign video producer. Or how he tried to keep their baby a secret.
I’m talking about the concern he voiced in his 2004 presidential election campaign over the stratification of America. Edwards warned of how increasingly there were two Americas: One for the rich and another for the poor. He thought having two Americas was a bad thing.
There’s a difference between a community comprised of people with different points of view and a society that gives a megaphone to the ignorant so they can amplify their stupidity to a point where it becomes cloaked in a mantel of legitimacy.
But he was wrong. Having two Americas is actually an excellent idea. But I’m not talking about a rich America and a poor America. I’m talking about a smart America and a dumb America.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not proposing dividing up the country along party lines. I don’t mind living in an ideologically diverse environment. I actually prefer it. Diversity of thought creates informal checks and balances which in turn result in a healthier, more tolerant society.
But there’s a difference between a community comprised of people with different points of view and a society that gives a megaphone to the ignorant so they can amplify their stupidity to a point where it becomes cloaked in a mantel of legitimacy.
I recognize the contribution that stupid people make in our society. They can be mildly entertaining in very small doses. It’s not witty or high brow humor, granted. It’s more raspberry than Onion. But still, slapstick humor has some value in the right circumstances. Even a “pull-my-finger” joke once in a (long) while can be (a little) amusing.
That’s why I’m not suggesting these voices be silenced. I’m simply proposing that they be relocated to the Dumb America. That way, we will be free to enjoy the humor they provide without having them crap up our political process. It’s sort of like Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi in Italy. We can enjoy the tawdry spectacles that he creates from over here without them dumbing down our political discourse or making a mockery of our system of government. We are doing a great job of those things on our own.
Whether a person will reside in Dumb America or Smart America will be determined by the following citizenship test:
Branson, MO is:
(a) hell on earth
(b) Where I’d like to have my dream wedding (and Lee Greenwood would totally country-rock my reception).
WWF Wrestling is:
(b) a hunnerd percent real (and a thousand percent awesome)!
True or False: Fox News an oxymoron.
(a) True. That’s a statement of fact, not a question.
(b) False. What are you, one of those Nazi communist elitists I heard about on Fox News? (If you don’t know what oxymoron means, just indicate your confusion by drawing a frowny face next to this question, and go on to the next one.)
When Sarah Palin talks it sounds like:
(a) someone took a set of patriotic word magnets, shook them up and threw them up against the refrigerator.
(b) an inspirational and patriotic mama grizzly bear with a promising future as a motivational speaker to other bears with little to no higher education.
True or False. God has a favorite country.
(b) Hell yeah, and its initials are U.S. to the F’n A.
If you answered “a” to these questions, you will reside in Smart America. But if you answered “b” to even one question, you will be issued a doublewide mobile home, a framed poster of Glenn Beck, matching "his" and "hers" LazyBoy recliners (with built-in cup holders), a big screen TV, and access to utility hook-ups in one of Dumb America’s many fine mobile home parks.
The official names for these countries will be as follows: Smart America will be called AmerIQa (pronounced “America,” but with emphasis on the IQ), and Dumb America will be called Dumberica. But since the citizens of Dumberica tend to spell phonetically, the silent “b” will be replaced with an extra “m” ASAP. After all, Dummericans hate intellectual elitists and are proud to put the “umm” in Dummerica. LOL.
What about cases where some family members end up citizens of Dummerica while others end up in AmerIQa? Don’t worry. I am not some Godless, anti-family values elitist. Passports will be available so that you can visit each other all you want, and then happily return to your own country at the end of each visit. Just as fences make good neighbors, separate countries will make happier families.
No matter what the bumper sticker says, my sense is God blesses everyone equally, regardless of what country you live in. But lately I’ve found myself praying that he’ll give me a little extra patience when it comes to dealing with Dummericans until we can get them all resettled in Dummerica. Can I get an “Amen” for that?