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Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries » Reflections on Elections

Apathy and Ignorance

Gazing on - pondering - the mess that is the United States the curious bystander is left with but one comment.


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When it comes to politics the people in the US don't have a clue. When it comes to social issues the people of the US live in a backwater. When it comes to politics the people of the US are a danger to the world.

Today Digg are featuring an article claiming the people of the US are not repeat not ignorant when it comes to politics. The main argument for their ignorance has been their choice of George W Bush in the 2004 general election. The argument being proposed now is that it's more a question of apathy as only 54% of US voters took part in that election.

Sometimes statistics don't lie. If 54% participated in the election and if George W Bush more or less won honestly that means 27% of the voters in the US are full blown idiots. Sometimes statistics don't lie.

But it's more than that. It's more than that because apathy in this context is also a sign of ignorance. And when it comes to understanding issues the voters in the US are more ill equipped to choose than perhaps any other people in the western world.



Socially the US is a backwater. The prevailing attitudes towards women are where attitudes elsewhere were fifty years ago. Even today there's a strong sentiment that even Hillary Clinton shouldn't be opening her mouth, shouldn't be engaging in politics, absolutely should not be running for high political office, and should be staying at home ironing shirts. Her rallies have been interrupted by maniacs with posters and t-shirts shouting 'iron my shirt' and worse. That doesn't exactly appear to be an enlightened populace.

Money is the big arbiter when it comes to US politics. Over half a billion dollars will be spent on this election campaign on both sides. That money could have been used to shelter the homeless, feed the poor, and heal the sick. It's a lot of money - but it's not your ordinary people on the street throwing this money away. It's a sign of how corrupt the US political scene is.

The great contributors are private interests. They're the energy companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the health companies, the subprime predators, and so forth. Over the past thirty years the weak semblance of social justice in the US has been systematically eroded by the right. The cities of the north are destroyed, most of the people living there having no idea what aesthetic beauty is. Working people get two weeks holiday per year if they're lucky. Families devote an obscene amount of their income to paying for health insurance - and keeping cash on hand for when the health insurance companies stick it to them and they end up having to pay on their own anyway. And in no country does medicine cost so much.

The powers that be - the predators - continue to rake in the dough and the people they're suckering continue to support them. Why support fools if they insist on being fools? People in the US effectively pay $1 billion per year to hold back the hands of the clock and keep them in a health care backwater. That's how much the health care predators spend per year on lobbying. They get the money from their 'customers' through artificially inflated prices on medicine and cutting corners on health insurance.

But don't count on the people in the US understanding this. The people in the US understand very little. There are various theories why but they matter more in the long run. What's important is they don't understand - and thereby are possibly ignorant - and even more important is that they don't want to understand either - the apathy. And once again it's obvious to any impartial bystander that at least in this case apathy equates to ignorance.



One can't conduct a serious fruitful discussion of social issues in the US anyway. Hillary Clinton has attempted to do this and many of her supporters have taken the time to listen and hopefully grasp but those people's voices are drowned out in the cacophony of the pre-adolescent screams from both sides of the battle line.

Trying to analyse and understand the incredible vitriol directed at Hillary gives further insight into how sick the situation is but only a few vague theories as to why it's there. Checking this link should do it.

Part of it's because men in the US simply don't like outspoken women; part of it's because they cringe at the mention of socialism and the scary idea someone's going to close their precious churches; and part of it's because people in the US just like to behave this way.

akdude47, infidelcastrogtx, retardedbaboon, tkzec, ryankg, DaddyXinTex, Nuva007, MattLB19, Snerdlee, aadoga7, malickfan, lastexitny, yaya52, missjetta123 - mark those names. They represent the cream of the crop of US civilisation.

You might find more of you're husband jizz and interns panties under that rug... I hope shes dies
Under the rug? Smelly old rotten cigars and Billy Bob's spunk.
shes a real cunt.
FAKE ASS BITCH.

That's how you discuss important political issues in the US.

All along in this childish campaign the women supporting Hillary have taken their knocks, licked the wounds inflicted by the merciless Obama supporters, and countered with cogent - but way too wordy - arguments. They've consistently missed the boat David Axelrod set sail in years ago. Axelrod knows people in the US don't think and possibly don't know how to think. No one looks into the issues, does any of the research on their own. All they do is shout expletives back and forth. But the relatively civilised Hillary supporters have been quiet and somewhat dignified about this. Until now.

And now as the Democrat convention approaches, as the primary tally is almost complete, people on both sides are looking ahead. The Obama people, confident they have the nomination and the general election in their pocket despite their candidate not yet showing he can win more than one important state (his own) for the electoral college, are speculating who will be on the ticket and what states have to be won and how they are to be won.

At the same time the Hillary supporters, confident common sense and reason will prevail - after all it's an historically close nomination race and their candidate has the key swing states in her pants suit pocket - are instead looking ahead to how they will win against John McCain.

And suddenly it's like it must have been for the animals on Napoleon's farm. They look from the one to the other and back again and after a while they can't see the difference anymore.

Suddenly there's an open discussion about dirty tricks; about how to go about undermining confidence in John McCain; about how to hijack public opinion and build trends away from McCain's party; none of it has an iota to do with the issues at hand.



Long ago Hillary Clinton held 'townhall meetings' where people were allowed to put questions to her point blank. She's a great orator and has an incredible grasp and quick recall of facts. Not once in this excruciatingly long campaign has anyone a single time challenged any of her facts. And this is unusual. Really and truly: it's as if suddenly no one cares about the facts anymore. It's all about hope and change and feel good nonsense. It's about leadership but not representation. It's about a cloudy promise to upend the entire Washington DC bureaucratic colossus. No one cares about issues.

Play out the race card; get infuriated at a single word; call for heads to roll for a single remark that may just may be interpreted in a weird and twisted way. It's been happening on both sides and it's bizarre.

Surprisingly John McCain seems to be talking issues. As much as he can. John McCain is an honest man. Obviously. One might not agree with his take on politics but if he says he's in favour of a policy you can almost guarantee he really is. And what's more: he believes in discussion. If you disagree with John and tell him so he will listen; if you have a good argument you might convince him to change his mind.

Hillary knows what she wants and she's outside party lines and has always been. Obama doesn't know what he wants because he's not that interested in it and because he's not allowed to say anything anyway. He has to be both for and against all issues because that's what David Axelrod told him to do. And David Axelrod told him to do this because Karl Rove does things like that and everyone knows Karl Rove can get anyone elected to any office.

Gazing on - pondering - the mess that is the United States the curious bystander is left with but one comment.

Not in my backyard. Everyone from Elton John to the former Swedish prime minister Ingvar Carlsson has pointed out how much the general election in the US affects people in the rest of the world. And after all: we're a world community.

You might think the ignorant apathetic people of the US would take their responsibility more seriously. You'd be hoping for too much. General election, Super Bowl - what's the difference?

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