Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stupid is as stupid does

Imagine you are a contestant on Let's Make a Deal. You have to choose between door number 1 and door number 2.

Behind door number 1 is a prize that will make you wealthier, healthier, safer and wiser. 

Behind door number 2 is a kick in the balls.

Which one would you pick?

Take your time, I know this is a toughie. I mean, it must be because so many people seem to prefer what's behind door number 2, despite constant protestations that they do not, in fact, enjoy getting kicked in the balls.

Who are these crazy, nut-kick loving kooks?

They are the poor and middle class Americans who continue to vote for Republican candidates despite the Chris Christie sized pile of evidence that shows Democrats would better serve their interests.

Election after election, they continue to say no to increased job security, more opportunities for advancement, solid health coverage, on-the-job training, money for their kids' education, women's health programs and roads and bridges that allow them to get to work safely.

Why would any sane person do this?

Perhaps they just hate gays and Mexicans and are willing to sacrifice their own well-being to ensure their hatred will always have a home.

Perhaps they are uber-religious and believe that suffering on this planet will pay off for them in the afterlife.

Perhaps they are just idiots.

Or, perhaps, they have been fed a steady diet of Republican misinformation over the last 30 years, designed to confuse the shit out of people.

Here's how that usually works. Step one—lie about everything, often. Say something enough, no matter how stupid, and people will believe you. It's like ugly kid who gets told he's beautiful his whole life so he ends up thinking he's a fucking stud when he reaches adulthood. He may face rejection at every bar for the next 20 years, but he will consistently assume it's because the girl is crazy, not because he looks like Quasimodo after a two-week meth binge.

Step two—tell people that government is the source of all evil. This is where the true genius lies, because it tugs at Americans' colonial heartstrings and paints the Democrats—who will always support government action more than Republicans—as the perpetual enemy.

Democrats will never win over the racists, the homophobes or the super religious. But they have a shot at everyone else. They just need to figure out a story that can combat the "government is evil, lying is awesome" strategy of the Republicans.

Perhaps they could start by giving people the facts. Over and over and over again. It may not be as fun as lying your ass off, but it's such a wacky idea it just might work.

Just be patient. Politicians aren't really used to telling the truth so let's give them some time to get the hang of it.

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