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January 5, 2004
Seattle P-I: Stupid Is as Stupid Does

What a relief to quit writing about the Strib! Fortunately, as I wrote last week, I've discovered an even bigger example of the Tinfoil-Hat Brigade in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As I saw on Blogs for Bush today, their Opinion section continues to attract the oddities. Today's exercise in Looneyvision comes to us via the P-I from guest columnist Neal Starkman, who claims to have discovered the reason George Bush remains popular with the electorate:

The answer, I'm afraid, is the factor that dare not speak its name. It's the factor that no one talks about. The pollsters don't ask it, the media don't report it, the voters don't discuss it. I, however, will blare out its name so that at last people can address the issue and perhaps adopt strategies to overcome it. It's the "Stupid factor," the S factor: Some people -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- are just not very bright.

Starkman reaches this conclusion by determining that people of normal intelligence couldn't possibly be satisfied with George Bush's approach to the economy (which grew 8.2% in the last quarter, the best in 20 years), or the fact that he freed almost 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq by deposing two of the worst dictatorships in the world at a minimal cost of life, or in how he has refused to appease terrorists and the dictatorships that produce them. In fact, he carps about the loss of freedom that the Patriot Act has meant for Americans, and then suggests the following solutions for the excessive stupidity that he's discovered in America:

I don't have a solution to this problem. To claim I did would belie my previous arguments. But I do have some modest suggestions that might provide a start for discussion: an intelligence test to earn the right to vote; a three-significantly-stupid-behaviors-and-you're-out law; fines for politicians who pander to the lowest common denominator and deportation of media representatives who perpetuate such actions.

I have a better solution: taking education out of the hands of the unions that have used schools for everything but learning over the past 50 years, passing school voucher programs to inject competition into primary education, and thereby empowering parents to take charge of their children's education, instead of being subjected to various diktats from the academia elite. Said elite and union power structure, of course, consists mainly of leftists on university campuses and their intellectual progeny.

Stupid people can be easily identified, says Starkman:

You know these people; they're all around you (they're not you, else you would not be reading this article this far). They're the ones who keep the puerile shows on TV, who appear as regular recipients of the Darwin Awards, who raise our insurance rates by doing dumb things, who generally make life much more miserable for all of us than it ought to be. Sad to say, they comprise a substantial minority -- perhaps even a majority -- of the populace.

If Starkman is too dense to understand that the Darwin Awards are 90% urban legend material, then I think we've found at least one member of the Stupid Society already.

UPDATE: The Swanky Conservative gives this a thorough fisking, too. (via Zygote Design)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 5, 2004 12:30 PM

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