Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Dollops of Idiocy

Dollop One: You keep telling yourself that it cannot possibly get worse. And then you come across reports like this. Then, with a sinking feeling, you conclude that yes, it can get a lot worse. It's my basic optimistic nature--despite what you might think--that causes me to keep hoping that there's actually a bottom to the abyss of ignorance in this country. But all the evidence indicates that the pit is bottomless. A Harris/Gallup poll released today reports that 37 percent of American respondents could not identify America on a map of America! Just let that number sink in for a moment. Almost four in ten Americans can be presented with the map above, and when asked to show where America is they indicate places like all those red dots. 40 percent! And yes, the title "America" was situated above the depiction as you see. And it also appeared in the color legend box where blue was identified America. How is this possible? I can't help but wonder where the hell these pollsters find such people? Then I'm chastened to recall that scientific polling ensures a completely representative demographic of respondents.

Well, at least 67 percent of us got this question right. Whew! -- But not so fast. Here's what happened on follow-up questions.

"Of the respondents actually capable of pinpointing America on the map of America, their accuracy decreased considerably with each additional query about the country. Asked for the name of the U.S. capital, those polled placed Washington, D.C., fifth behind “Minneapolis-St. Paul,” “Mount Rushmore,” “America City” and “Whitewater.” Further, when quizzed on when America declared independence from Great Britain to become a sovereign nation, more than two-thirds replied: “six thousand years ago, when God created humankind.”

Good God in heaven (which is somewhere around Duluth, one supposes)! What can you say . . . really? Arrrgghh! is about the only appropriate response.

Dollop Two: I honestly cannot imagine this abomination in any other state but Oklahoma. I guess it's the best thing all the disappointed McCain supporters here can think of to make themselves feel better. At the same time, it's a measure of the isolation Democrats feel here constantly. I attended a meeting of Obama supporters during the campaign, and the most constant theme I heard from everyone was: "Isn't it great to be in a room with all these Democrats?" Indeed. (And at the very least we're having a merrier political Christmas than all these Okies who voted red in November.)

Post a Comment