Over two years ago, I wrote an article titled “We’re No Longer A Democracy, We’re An Idiocracy.” That story was penned in the face of a government shutdown, engineered by current presidential candidate Ted Cruz. The federal government shut down on October 1st, and it lasted about two weeks.
After that fiasco, American voters should have learned that the GOP was playing political games, but they turned around and gave Republicans a majority in the United States Senate. This put climate change denier Ted Cruz in charge of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness.
That is a prime example of lawmakers being in positions of authority over subjects they have no clue about, or utterly deny for personal and political gain. Take for example the case of the Arizona lawmaker who believes our world is only 6,000 years old, and she also believes in wacky conspiracy stories like the ones promoted by the likes of Alex Jones or David Icke.
Donald Trump’s popularity in the Republican polls isn’t a fluke, it is the culmination of years of liberal apathy when it comes to voting, and the dumbing down of America through an educational system that doesn’t emphasize critical thinking. The easy access to social media via smartphones and the easy dissemination of misinformation by anyone who can create a blog or make a post claiming that President Obama is a Muslim has further exacerbated this problem.
I witness this firsthand on a daily basis here in Louisiana with uninformed people constantly blaming liberals and everyone other than themselves for their problems. If you want to verify this for yourself, just go to local news stations like KLFY on Facebook and read the comments. I’ll warn you ahead of time, they’re a cesspool of ignorance and bigotry that celebrates Donald Trump and his hateful rhetoric.
The same lack of concern for facts can be said for a lot of “liberal” Facebook groups to which I sometimes share satirical articles from websites like The Red Shtick, only to find that most people think these funny stories are factual. It isn’t just people failing to grasp satire for what it is, there is a profitable market for both liberal and conservative-slanted websites to knowingly disseminate false or misleading stories that they know their followers will click and share – without ever applying any sort of critical thinking or fact-checking.
This is evidenced in polls where almost a third of Louisiana Republicans blamed President Obama for the response to Hurricane Katrina. 80 percent of people also supported “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” and another study from Public Policy Polling found that 30 percent of Republicans supported bombing the fictional city of Agrabah.
Whether it is Rush Limbaugh or any media blowhard, there is an insatiable demand for stories from sources that reinforce people’s personal biases, the facts be damned. The folks that read these websites and share their articles aren’t concerned with the truth, they simply want to be assured that they are right and let the world know about it.
The collective stupidity on both sides of the political aisle isn’t only sad, it is deeply troubling for a country that faces as many issues as we do. If we do not demand facts instead of misinformation, we are doomed to make “Idiocracy” a documentary instead of a comedy.
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