Monday, January 05, 2004
Civility Revisited...

Ahem. I return from Texas to discover the latest in anti-Bush rhetoric in the pages of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

What...can account for so many people being so supportive of the president?

The answer, I'm afraid, is the factor that dare not speak its name. It's the factor that no one talks about. The pollsters don't ask it, the media don't report it, the voters don't discuss it.

I, however, will blare out its name so that at last people can address the issue and perhaps adopt strategies to overcome it.

It's the 'Stupid factor,' the S factor: Some people -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- are just not very bright.
Brian and Tim have already said all that is necessary about the content of the article, so I won't reiterate their points on the obvious issues the author displays.

My issue is that the blatant elitism and barely concealed hatred for 'the commoners' exhibited by Mr. Neal Starkman (author of the piece) is the perfect example of what Rabbi Mirel was talking about in his article. Mr. Starkman has basically insulted (in his own words) "a substantial minority -- perhaps even a majority -- of the populace." He declares that:
It's not merely that some people are insufficiently intelligent to grasp the nuances of foreign policy, of constitutional law, of macroeconomics or of the variegated interplay of humans and the environment. These aren't the people I'm referring to. The people I'm referring to cannot understand the phenomenon of cause and effect. They're perplexed by issues comprising more than two sides. They don't have the wherewithal to expand the sources of their information. And above all -- far above all -- they don't think.
I want to laugh at him; I want to scream at him; I want to do a hundred things; but mostly what I want to do is shake this man out of the self-delusion in which he seems to reside (one in which he and a few of his like-minded friends are the only intelligent people on the planet). I don't know that it's possible, though, and that saddens me. Please tell me this is not where the Liberal Left is going.

Hmmm...would it be uncivil of me to point out the 'stupidity' in the lack of forethought in a newspaper (named the 'Intelligencer' no less) running a piece on the 'stupidity' of its readership? Perhaps - it depends on my word choice, I suppose. But either way, he started it!
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