We all know them. We work with them, they are our family and friends, and sometimes even our spouses. (Often, they tend to be in-laws; but that’s for another topic altogether). The Dumb People I refer to are the worst kind: otherwise normal, clear and level headed individuals; hard-working and good people who usually think…except when it comes to politics. These are the very same folks who vote both Democrat or Republican; watch either MSNBC or Fox as their primary source of news, and in a political discussion spew forth nothing but the latest talking points show to them throughout the day. They neither read nor can name any newspaper outside of The New York Times, The New York Post (which they claim they read because it has a great Sports Section, but I’m inclined to agree here), The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe. Heaven forbid a weekly news periodical crosses their doorstep, or they stray from the bookmarked blogs of their political persuasion…if they even get as far as the Internet.
These are the Dumb People who send you endless e-mails of humor that you just don’t want (or see the humor in), even though you’ve told them (under pain of death in some cases) a thousand times to cease and desist. The same people who send you the political e-mails in the hope that you “may see the light”, and come over from the “Dark Side” to see the world through their clouded eyes and lack of vision. Yes, we all know Dumb People, there is no escape from them. It’s pretty scary to be around them in the first place, but here’s an incontrovertible fact and an even more frightening reality:
They run The Planet.
Even Plato knew this, which goes to prove that either stupidity transcends time or it’s in the gene pool. Is it just me, or have you ever wondered if there actually IS a stupid gene in the DNA strands or the chromosomes? I know plenty of people who have Dumb People as their parents, or they themselves produce a little Dumb Person on their own despite the fact that they themselves do not fit into this category. Now, I’m not stating that those of us who are CLEARLY not Dumb People are “Smart People”. There are much more layers of nuance for the rest of the populace; but we tend to think outside of the box. Let’s just call ourselves “The Others” for the rest of this exercise. The Others read multiple sources of information, watch different News Networks (and as much as it often pains me to do so, I’ll watch Fox…but only after I’ve downed a Xanax or two). The Others don’t spew forth talking point after talking point like some crazed automaton. We will actually respect authors and columnists on both sides of the aisle (I often cite the late William F Buckley and more recently Andrew Sullivan as favorite Conservatives). While we will argue with conviction, we will rarely go at it with physical force…unless threatened by the same by a Dumb Person.
Since we’re at that Joyous Time Of Year where we get to spend time with and give gifts to Dumb People (some of whom we REALLY DO LIKE outside of political differences), I just thought I’d remind you of something. When that perfectly delicious Holiday Dinner is about to be ruined (like it usually is) by that Dumb Person spouting off at the mouth the latest talking point after having WAY too much Merlot and being WAY more vociferous than usual, remember one very important thing:
They think YOU are a Dumb Person.
“Just imagine politics with its dumbbell element subtracted. There would be no Republican candidates. There would be no Democratic voters. The whole system would collapse.” – P.J. O’Rourke
“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” – Elbert Hubbard
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein