I'm reading yet another cheery book, one that gives me all kinds of hope for the country. By Charles P. Pierce, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. It's really funny. It's really scary. It's really sad.
It's all over, brothers and sisters. The cultural wars have ended, and the idiots have won.
The three great premises of Idiot America.
1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
Tell me this doesn't ring completely true . . . and you thought they might be a joke.
One quote, this from one Pastor Mummert, a church leader in Dover, PA, who led the "intelligent design" forces and supported the school board there when they tried to replace the textbook being used with a text supporting ID. The conflict between the school board and the people of the town who weren't idiots ended up in U.S. district court. The famous case, heard by a Republican judge appointed by Bush, dealt a stinging blow to the ID forces (score one for the non-idiots).
Here's what the good pastor said: "It seems to me that the educated segment of society that reads the books and gets the new ideas, and that's the basis of the cultural wars we have going on now."
And on another occasion: "We're being attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture."
Mull that a moment. This is a community leader in America.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I remind myself of what's out there? Would it not be better not to dwell on this?