Sunday, October 24, 2004
From Ruthie, With Love...
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Barbie McGee
Okay, I’ll tell you what I really think: people who are planning to vote for George W. Bush are stupid. I’m sorry to have to say that, but it’s true. If you’re voting for Bush and are not stupid, feel free to write and prove to me that you are actually quite intelligent. (I reserve the right to quote from your letter in future articles.)
But frankly, if you are reading this, you are probably not voting Republican—which, in my opinion, means you’re smart. Yes, you, and I are smart—but what’s with all those dingbats out there who are planning to vote for Bush? Do they not realize that someone who utters the ridiculous crap that pours from his mouth1 is not just inarticulate or shy, but a moron? You or I may be capable of the odd infelicitous phrase, but we don’t go around spouting such an array of nonsense that entire books can be published of our "isms."
I admit, Bush is probably capable of the kind of management that a particularly adept frat boy might be good at—getting the best price on a keg, pulling off the meanest pranks, etc.—and he’s a pretty good liar. But it is clear to anyone who saw him in the debates that he always says the same thing over and over, like a Stepford Wife, and it had clearly been fed to him by someone else, perhaps through an earpiece. He has always refused to have press conferences, and why? Because he is just, excuse me, too damn dumb to conduct them without making an ass of himself. Maybe I could not hold a press conference without a gaffe here or there myself. But I did not volunteer to be leader of the free world. He did. Why? Probably because he was trying to outdo his father, or his brother, or he figured being president was a lot like being elected to student government in high school—it meant you were popular. All I know is that if you want someone to do the most important job in the entire world—the job with the most riding on it, the job that has the most potential impact on the course of contemporary history—you should try to find someone with credentials and brains.
If you’re smart.
Stupid people don’t like to be lectured to by people who know what they’re talking about, like Al Gore in the 2000 debates. I admit, I found Gore’s petulant sighing a bit off-putting (though why was his mic turned way up?)—but I didn’t blame him. Can you imagine the humiliation of having been Vice President for eight years, a senator before that, and then having to engage with a bozo like Bush in a discussion of world affairs? It would be like trying to talk about Kant with your four-year-old nephew; you’d sigh, too.
But stupid people resent those smarty-pants types who know everything. "He thinks he invented the Internet," the stupid people guffawed about Gore.
This summer, the Stupids were up in arms because in their opinion—which was fed to them by Bush’s PR factory—John Kerry did not deserve all the medals he won. Even if this were true, wasn’t it unfair to subject Kerry to questions about his medals when Bush scammed his way in and out of the National Guard so as not to have to go to Vietnam at all? (But supported the war.) It’s undeniable that Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam, and that his opposition to the war when he returned was based on his acquaintance with the facts about what was going on there. If we are using fair criteria—which no one ever is these days—we would have to conclude that based on what we know to be true, Kerry showed courage both in going to war and in opposing it, and Bush was a big chickenhawk.
Stupid people will believe anything about Kerry if they’re told to because the plain fact is, they don’t like him. Why? Because he’s well-educated, well-spoken, and well-informed. Whereas Bush is well-heeled, well-oiled, and well-packaged. And stupid. You could go have a beer with him, or maybe six. Why? Because he’s just plain folks. That is to say, stupid.
I’m not saying I’d want to have dinner with John Kerry. I find his Brahmin manner a bit difficult, and if he had asked my advice before running for president, I would have suggested he go to the same elocution coach who taught Bush to talk like a Texan. But I’m not voting for someone I want to have dinner with, or even a snack: I’m voting for someone who will not lead us into war with Iran, who will not appoint Supreme Court justices that will set the legislative clock back a hundred years, and who will not use terrorism as an excuse to abrogate our remaining civil liberties. I am looking for a president, not a pal, and, while I’m at it, for liberty and justice for all, not a bunch of twisted rhetoric fashioned by crypto-fascist elves and then piped into George W. Bush’s stupid ear.
Is Kerry going to haul us out of the political, fiscal, and ethical mess we’re in? I don’t know if anyone can. But if I had to put my money on who would be most likely to send us all straight to hell, I would put it on Bush. And not just Bush himself—who is probably too stupid to destroy the world on purpose, just by accident—but on his evil henchpeople who, unlike him, know exactly what they’re about. They are not stupid—they are evil.
You could argue that it is worse to be evil than to be stupid, but I think it is worse to be stupid. Intelligence—and education (which the Bush administration very sensibly works to destroy)—are the enemies of evil. If we understand that something called a "Clear Skies Initiative" will result in more pollution—if we know that calling something "Operation Iraqi Freedom" will not in itself provide freedom for Iraqis—if, in short, we are Smart, then evil cannot thrive in our midst; we will root it out, vote against it, laugh at it and send it packing.
But if Americans are stupid—and according to the recent polls that place Bush slightly ahead of Kerry, most of us are—we are easy prey of whatever Karl Rove-like creatures crawl from under rocks to manipulate us. When the Bush administration announces a terror alert to chase something they don’t want us to know off the front page, the Stupid fall for it. If you’re stupid, well, you’re basically a sucker.
So is John Kerry the greatest candidate ever to press the public’s flesh? Perhaps not—though we have no way of knowing, since most of the media are biased not toward the left, as is sometimes alleged, or even toward the right, but toward the Stupid, who would rather talk about Botox than budgets. My suspicion is that if he wins, he will turn out to be a fine president; he’s fair and decent, and most important, he thinks—though the Stupid call that "flip-flopping." (For a good look at a real flip-flopper, compare Bush’s 2000 campaign promises to what he’s actually done.)
So I’m voting for Kerry. And so should you. Why? Because we’re smart..
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION To Any Which Way
Barbie McGee is married to protest singer Yikes McGee.
1"Tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a—you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And, therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."—Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004. From Slate