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Monday, January 05, 2004

Seattle P-I: Stupid Is as Stupid Does

What a relief to quit writing about the Strib! Fortunately, as I wrote last week, I've discovered an even bigger example of the Tinfoil-Hat Brigade in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As I saw on Blogs for Bush today, their Opinion section continues to attract the oddities. Today's exercise in Looneyvision comes to us via the P-I from guest columnist Neal Starkman, who claims to have discovered the reason George Bush remains popular with the electorate:

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.

Starkman reaches this conclusion by determining that people of normal intelligence couldn't possibly be satisfied with George Bush's approach to the economy (which grew 8.2% in the last quarter, the best in 20 years), or the fact that he freed almost 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq by deposing two of the worst dictatorships in the world at a minimal cost of life, or in how he has refused to appease terrorists and the dictatorships that produce them. In fact, he carps about the loss of freedom that the Patriot Act has meant for Americans, and then suggests the following solutions for the excessive stupidity that he's discovered in America:

I don't have a solution to this problem. To claim I did would belie my previous arguments. But I do have some modest suggestions that might provide a start for discussion: an intelligence test to earn the right to vote; a three-significantly-stupid-behaviors-and-you're-out law; fines for politicians who pander to the lowest common denominator and deportation of media representatives who perpetuate such actions.

I have a better solution: taking education out of the hands of the unions that have used schools for everything but learning over the past 50 years, passing school voucher programs to inject competition into primary education, and thereby empowering parents to take charge of their children's education, instead of being subjected to various diktats from the academia elite. Said elite and union power structure, of course, consists mainly of leftists on university campuses and their intellectual progeny.

Stupid people can be easily identified, says Starkman:

You know these people; they're all around you (they're not you, else you would not be reading this article this far). They're the ones who keep the puerile shows on TV, who appear as regular recipients of the Darwin Awards, who raise our insurance rates by doing dumb things, who generally make life much more miserable for all of us than it ought to be. Sad to say, they comprise a substantial minority -- perhaps even a majority -- of the populace.

If Starkman is too dense to understand that the Darwin Awards are 90% urban legend material, then I think we've found at least one member of the Stupid Society already.

UPDATE: The Swanky Conservative gives this a thorough fisking, too. (via Zygote Design)

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12:30 PM in Media Watch | Permalink

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» Me Like Bush, Me Stoopid from PunditFilter
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online points out a charming piece that seeks to explain the secret to George Bush's popularity. UPDATE: Tim Blair and Captain's Quarters comment as well.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 5, 2004 1:09:17 PM

» I'm with Stupid from Zygote-Design
elgato's got a nice lenghty rant regarding the opinion column in the Seattle Post Intelligencer by Neal Starkman in which he says Bush's popularity is the result of dim bulbs. elgato takes some swipes at newspaper opinion writers but I'll... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 5, 2004 3:35:32 PM

» THE FISKIN'S GREAT TODAY from Patterico's Pontifications
If you would enjoy a good fisking of a piece that says "Bush is popular because voters are stupid" -- you've got two choices, matey: the Captain or the Shark.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 5, 2004 7:56:39 PM

» Me Like Bush, Me Stoopid from PunditFilter
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online points out a charming piece that seeks to explain the secret to George Bush's popularity. Update: Tim Blair, Captain's Quarters, and Pat Ramsey comment as well.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 5, 2004 9:46:27 PM

» THE FISKIN'S GREAT TODAY from Patterico's Pontifications
If you would enjoy a good fisking of a piece that says "Bush is popular because voters are stupid" -- you've got two choices, matey: the Captain or the Shark. My advice: read 'em both. UPDATE: Zombyboy's name doesn't fit... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 6, 2004 1:50:39 AM

» Submitted for Your Approval from Watcher of Weasels
First off...  any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here, and here.  Die spambots, die!  And now...  here are all the links submitted by members of the Watcher's Council for this week's vote. Council links:No One T... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 6, 2004 10:18:56 PM

Comments

There's another "Stupid Factor" indicator, and that is of a person who would comment on the "Stupid Factor" in other people and yet have all their contact info easily available for others to use (Thanks QwestDex!):

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Starkman, Neal
(206) 281-1153
3641 23rd Ave W
SEATTLE,WA 98199-2345

Drop Mr. Starkman a line telling him what you think!

Posted by: Brad S at Jan 5, 2004 2:04:18 PM

I don't know if "Swanky Conservative" covered this point, but what of the obviously anti-Democratic, oligarchic element to these views of Starkman? It's not just that he's dissatisfied with education, it's that he wants to bar access to the election booth to those he considers sub-standard. It may be true; Starkman may be a genius compared to most Americans. Still, who is Starkman to define those who should be granted access to the polls when no less of a genius than Lincoln determined that all adults should have such access?

Posted by: TPB, Esq. at Jan 5, 2004 7:05:48 PM

I am surprised he didn't call it the "SS" factor. That would fix right in with the train of thought coming from the Looney Left these days.

Posted by: ordi at Jan 6, 2004 5:21:39 AM