Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The silver lining: ignorance


So I had this post I was working on, a visual celebration of Bush’s defeat, and all you people had to do was defeat Bush. But nooooo, you couldn’t even meet me half-way.

Do you think if I had mentioned that I was working on a visual celebration of Bush’s defeat, the American voters would have defeated him so they could see it? And now they never will.

There is one positive lesson to take from all this: the American people are really really really mind-bogglingly pig-ignorant. Stick with me on this. In 2002-3, when Chimpy’s approval ratings were up there with chocolate, puppy dogs and blow jobs, many of my friends were depressed, and so was I. I was beginning to lose the faith of the progressive in the educability and basic goodness of people, that is, the faith that if only they knew all the stuff I knew, their political views would be, if not identical to mine, at least much more like mine. You may call that condescension, I prefer to think of it as believing that people aren’t such big assholes as they might appear.

Anyway, at this point I started seeing polls that demonstrated (again) the prodigious ignorance behind much of Bush’s support, and I began to feel better. Americans weren’t callous bullies, they thought that Saddam and Osama were bestest buddies and that WMDs had been found in Iraq--hell, one poll showed 1/4 saying that WMDs had been used against American troops. They’re confused by (and mostly unaware of) foreign detestation of American foreign policy and of Bush himself because they have no idea of the impact that foreign policy has. They don’t know how many countries the US maintains military bases in, how many governments it has casually overthrown or undermined, the dictatorships and kleptocracies it’s supported, or understand that the reason the US gets the blame for Israel’s actions is that it provides weapons, funding and protection which allows Israel to act with impunity. US trade actions that almost no one know about here decimate the economies of whole countries--remember the banana wars? of course you don’t. Americans probably know that the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, but do they know about the coup attempt it backed in Venezuela, the coup it participated in in Haiti, etc?

So cheer up and try to believe that Americans aren’t really as awful as this election would suggest, they’re just ignorant. And ignorance can be removed.

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