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Is being dumb such a bad thing?

Question #3:  What’s wrong with Mitt Romney
Question #4:  What’s wrong with the Republicans
Question #5:  Whats wrong with America?

What’s wrong with Mitt Romney? The republicans don’t seem to like him very much and since everyone agrees that he is the most likely chance for a Republican White House next year, isn’t it strange they don’t like him more?  True he seems, even looks, like a phony who has been on every possible side of every issue but so what? Isn’t that almost the definition of a politician? It was certainly true of John McCain who the Republican’s embraced four years ago. And McCain has endorsed Romney. Isn’t that proving the point?

Or is the real question what’s wrong with the Republican Party? Well, for starters, it has come out and there is film available on YouTube proving this, that Romney speaks French. Yes that’s right. When with the Olympic committee in Salt Lake City he gave a speech in French.  Just the idea of a President of the United States speaking a foreign language might strike some Republicans as –well, elitist. The accent was a bit heavy and the syntax resembled a bad translation but he was SPEAKING FRENCH DAMN IT!! Republicans hate the French. They do not do whatever we tell them like a good ally should and they insist that France matters which implies that something other than the US matters.

Here’s a question: Why do Republicans keep thinking that they can nail Obama for being an out of touch elitists for going to Hawaii but not for going to Martha’s Vineyard.? Is it that they cannot grasp the idea of someone actually being from Hawaii, that he is simply going home for a visit? Or is it that the people who would be receptive to such attacks are judged to have some idea of where Hawaii is but know nothing of the far more elitist Martha’s Vineyard?

But how did Romney attack him? He compared it to Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” attitude. So he really is a Francophile? This is not acceptable in the Republican Party. Certainly making references to French history is inacceptable.  In his defense, he is showing his ignorance, always a good tactic in the Grand Old Party. Marie Antoinette actually never said, “Let them eat cake.”

What troubles me most about the Republicans (okay, heads a really long list) is that they want to exalt ignorance.  Obama , a black man raised by a single mother is constantly attacked as an elite because he is well educated. Romney, Bush and quite a few other Republicans also have Ivy League backgrounds to answer for. George W. Bush knew how to play it, perfecting his role as a bumpkin despite coming from a wealthy well-connected family and holding degrees from both Yale and Harvard. He kept quiet about his passion for reading a large quantity of books (including at least one by me???)  Romney has not been as successful in explaining away his education. But neither has Obama.

For authenticity the Republicans offer Michelle Bachman (although why are her first names Michele Marie?) who thought the American Revolution began in New Hampshire, Herb Cain (remember him) who thought foreign policy was too complicated to retain in his head, and Rick Perry who did not know how many judges sat on the Supreme Court.

Isn’t this love of ignorance the great flaw in American democracy?  In 1820, another suspiciously well educated politician, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion,  the remedy is not to take it from them , but to inform their discretion by education.”

Anyone who has been a political pollster, as I was in 1976, knows that most Americans base their vote on irrational conjectures, petty prejudices, and irrelevant trivia. When we look on a democratic process that is more entertaining than liberating, more farce than deliberation, can we not identify the problem in our failed educational system? Is this not the root of our problem. Educated people do not admire ignorance..


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