The American Idiocracy
Just to get my credentials out of the way, I am a well educated, college trained journalist, with a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/Communications. I was formerly a newspaper reporter for a major daily newspaper. I am a published author, and I have written biographies and advertising copy and critical homepage information for a number of websites. I am currently ghost writing several books in collaboration with various professionals who will remain nameless. I think it’s important that I differentiate myself from the countless unqualified rubes who post trash on social media.
I really didn’t want to start a blog, but in today’s digital world, it seems that the educated voices are drowned out by an onslaught of factually incorrect, nonsensical noise from people are aren’t qualified to comment on anything in this complicated world.
I will be writing some of this blog from the perspective of the little known movie “Idiocracy”. If you haven’t seen it, please do, because it’s more relevant today than when it was released in 2006. It’s supposed to be a comedy about the world 500 years into the future, but in reality some of the things in the movie are already happening, and they are far from comical. The important point the movie makes is that people get more ignorant with time. I’m sure I’ll be referencing the movie in future articles, but for now I’m simply introducing myself and the concept of a dumber America.
I am politically an independent voter. My parents were staunch Democrats, and I grew up in an extremely poor household, but my political views vary widely between conservative and liberal values, depending on the issue. So my point is that my political leanings were not influenced by my parents to any great extent. What my parents did do, however, was to pound into me the value of an education, and how critical it is to be a superlative student and critical thinker. This is where my political beliefs are founded. I wish politicians would be subjected to independent IQ tests prior to announcing their candidacies, as I firmly believe the more intelligent the candidate, the more effectively they will lead.
Voters here on election day 2020 are barraged by information both factually correct and undeniably false. How Americans are supposed to filter all this garbage mystifies me. Only 1 in 4 Americans over 25 have a Bachelor’s Degree. In general, this leads me to know that the American electorate is generally ignorant. So how in the world are 75% of American voters supposed to make informed political choices and dissect the chaos of information that’s out there? I do blame social media platforms for providing a platform for morons. Although he was an atheist, an indefensible position of stupidity, author Umberto Eco said the following about social media: “Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community … but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.”
This is the hallmark of this blog. Americans used to rely on informed, educated voices, who were trained to be journalists, commentators and experts. We used to have objective voices like Walter Cronkite or Dan Rather to guide us and provide checks and balances to our elected leaders. Now we have Idiocracy…
And don’t think for a minute that American voters don’t base their political choices on social media. A recent poll of suburban women found that a majority of them got their political information from Facebook groups, and they never paid attention to any accredited political media outlets. Of the issues that were important to them: the war on Christmas, and protection of the suburbs. WOW.
As a journalist, and understanding how a college student is trained to deliver news objectively in print and broadcast, I know that “fake news”, or journalists deliberately presenting undeniably false stories, is an urban legend. If there are such journalists out there doing this, they represent a fractionally insignificant amount of news that gets out into the public dialogue on reliable media outlets. The colleagues that I’m intimately acquainted with would view deliberate disinformation as an abomination. Further, journalists who attempt to present fake news are quickly drummed out of their profession. I’ve seen it firsthand.
In conclusion, how does an uninformed, uneducated and ignorant electorate decide the future of our country with regards to the White House and Congress with sound judgment and critical thinking? My only answer, which I tell my children all the time, is “I weep for your future, and the future of generations to follow.”
Coming soon…Idiocracy in our language.