MY TURN-“In order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place,” Cleese elaborates, “which means — and this is terribly funny — that if you are absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it.”
With that, he gives us an extremely brief introduction to the Dunning–Kruger effect, “a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate” owing to “a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude” (and, by the same token, of “highly skilled individuals to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others”). -- John Cleese
In a nutshell — stupid people simply don’t know how stupid they really are! And if anyone doubts this — just take a look at the orange asshat and the administration currently in the White House.
I have to say that this statement has become increasingly clear as I talk to conservatives around the country. While each is a bit different, they do seem to share a banner stream of commonalities: they are adamant about being “Christian,” while not practicing much of the basis of the religion (aka — they cherry pick), their version of Christianity envelopes only topics that they can relate to or empathize with in their own lives; and they have a strange hyper-nationalistic attitude about flag, God and country and blind patriotism. Talking to them is an exercise in futility that always includes a variety of idiocies.
When given a series of bullet point facts that even the most dolt-ridden sixth grader could connect the dots, they say “prove it.” Facts and fact checkers mean little to them as they are too stupid to realize that the propaganda they are brainwashing themselves with is making them even more stupid.
This is not an elitist view, it is just something that the conservative agenda has perpetuated. Their leaders know that in order to maintain control of the masses, they need to do what every good authoritarian regime has done: control what the people believe is “true” and reject anything that smacks of question. They cannot approach critical thinking processes because to do so would question everything that they have based their lives on.
The few conservatives that I have spoken with that show the slightest bit of empathy is typically surrounded around only topics that have affected their own lives. This can encompass health situations and therefore they acknowledge that all people should have healthcare or such subjects as easing restrictions on bankruptcy due to their own financial problems. It returns to the ideology that conservatives will only accept things when they have a direct effect on them.
There is also a strange film covering their hand-picked version of history. They prefer the cleansed version of America where there is no mention of the horrors in treatment of Native Americans, Black Americans or any other minorities. They see the “founding fathers” as a group of benevolent and wise men instead of the argumentative and anti-religious intellects that they were.
When We Think of Conservative Women, We See People that Choose to be Doormats
Let’s face facts. Phyllis Schlafly has been the face of the wacko conservative women for decades. Her belief that women are second class citizens, should have no say over their education, life, birth control or even the ability to have equal rights has placed her in the psychological analysis alongside those with low self-esteem and possible Stockholm Syndrome.
There is a strange condition in the U.S. that seems to dictate that when a woman marries, she is supposed to adopt the ideologies and belief systems of her husband. While this absolutely might make living a whole lot easier, it also smacks of subservience. This is especially true when the male in the family believes in the dominance of a single working situation (himself). When you add such beliefs as prejudice and extreme religion, you end up with a very close “Handmaid’s Tale” condition. Oh, these women will be the first to speak out and deny it, but actions speak louder than words. They remain in the home, tied to the kitchen, cooking and cleaning, without the benefit of additional education or enlightened attitudes. They happily embrace their secondary place in society.
The mere fact that these conservative women support a platform that is blatantly anti-female, boggles the minds of people around the globe. They expect this from third world countries, where women have yet to achieve even the smallest of equalities, but not in the U.S.
We don’t really get a true inclination of what is going on in their lives until we are exposed to the personal moments when these women lose their husbands. Death and grief are incredibly difficult to get through, but in the situations where the women had no real identity other than the man that made the decisions, we see something that is unnatural: a loss of self and a sense of self-loathing. They truly don’t see a purpose in life without their spouse. It is shockingly revealing. Kind of like the woman that has never been required to put gas in her own car, pay a bill, understand how taxes are paid, or what it requires to repair something. These are alien concepts and many of these women have transitioned from being young and living with their parents directly to being married. They had no in-between growth time and always had someone else to rely on.
Blind Patriotism is an Oxymoron
Another idiotic concept is the blind patriotism thing. Conservatives will be completely upset because someone doesn’t stand for the National Anthem and yet support those that wear images of the flag as underwear. They lack even the most basic understanding of the fact that the founders wanted us to show our patriotism by questioning the government. To conservatives, protest exemplifies disrespect for everyone that fought and died for our country. They ignore that protest is part of our history:
The Boston Tea Party, suffragettes, civil rights, women’s rights, the Vietnam War, Native American rights, protecting the planet…all protests that changes both political and personal opinions.
“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” --Thomas Jefferson
There is quote after quote from those that created the initial Democratic experiment, warning everyone of losing themselves in the flurry of ideologies that support the lack of questioning. Those that have served have served to maintain the rights that we have which include the ability to steer the country through protest.
When a country demeans and degrades even some of its citizens, the symbols that represent that country no longer receive respect. It is up to the individual people to stand up and demand that equality is shared by all. Otherwise, you are simply honoring the hate and evil.
Another strange note on the topic of flags and religion is that so many Americans seem to blend God and country together. They are completely oblivious to the fact that the word “God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until the 1950’s. This was an added touch during the McCarthy “Red Scare” to reinforce blind patriotism.
People in other countries suffer their own slings and arrows, specifically when it comes to religious dogma. However, there is a key item that we have to remember that differentiates the United States from them:
We are the only country that was founded on an “idea” and this concept included the freedom of all religions. No other country was founded on this principle, and when conservatives try to force their religion and beliefs of patriotism on the rest, they are walking down the path that fascist regimes have tread.
OK — So I Included Pumpkin Because Really — it IS an Obsession
There is no doubting that a majority of the world and some of the U.S. cringes when fall arrives. We know that this is a time that brings out every damn product that can have pumpkin added to it. I included this topic because it is a typical example of the idiocies of the American people and why the rest of the world is confused by the obsession.
I suppose pumpkin sits alongside of reality television shows and cheerleaders; both of which are also not understood by the global community. Some may say that these are distinctly “American”, but when on the outside looking in, it often appears as if there are some major dysfunctions that are simply not being addressed.
I Embrace Being a Bleeding Heart Liberal
The most ridiculous part of conservatives attacking liberals for the belief system is that conservatives themselves are benefiting from all the hard work, toil, protest and educational endeavors that we have put forth throughout the years. From Child Labor laws to public education and even protecting the planet, we liberals have done the work while conservatives seem to want to refer to “liberal” as if it’s dirty word.
All I can say is “bring it on.” I proudly carry the title liberal, and all of us know that we want to be on the correct side of history.
“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” ― John F. Kennedy, “Profiles in Courage”
(S. Novi is a journalist that worked in the media and continues to seek out truth and integrity. A liberal and one that is suspicious of cults and empty promises. She is a member of Medium and a CityWatch contributor.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.