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  • "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

    how the internet has changed the world: this blog written by an Englishman was sent to me by a Swede living in Canada!

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/10 ... ignorance/

  • #2
    Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

    Originally posted by gh
    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/10/28/the-triumph-of-ignorance/
    Thinly veiled endorsement of Obama, Harvard Law Review President (i.e., intellectual).

    Brits (Euros in general) love to tell us how insular and ignorant we are, but it has been my extensive experience overseas that they know as little about us as we them. I love Brits, which is why I toured their fair isle last summer, but I sure knew a whole helluva lot more about them than they knew about us!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

      Originally posted by Marlow
      Brits (Euros in general) love to tell us how insular and ignorant we are, but it has been my extensive experience overseas that they know as little about us as we them. I love Brits, which is why I toured their fair isle last summer, but I sure knew a whole helluva lot more about them than they knew about us!
      You and most of the posters on this board may know more about Europeans than the average European knows about us, but I'll bet the average American is even more ignorant about Europe, than the average European is about America. However, I do feel that we get a bum rap about the low percentage of Americans who hold passports and are multilingual. If all of our states became sovereign countries with their own language, we'd all hold passports and be multilingual as well. Furthermore, since the European Union has made passports unnecessary for travel in Western Europe, I'm guessing the percentage of European passport ownership will drop in the future.

      By the way, this was posted on another thread, but Bill Maher says basically the same thing in this video.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

        Originally posted by Marlow
        Originally posted by gh
        http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/10/28/the-triumph-of-ignorance/
        Thinly veiled endorsement of Obama, Harvard Law Review President (i.e., intellectual).

        Brits (Euros in general) love to tell us how insular and ignorant we are, but it has been my extensive experience overseas that they know as little about us as we them. I love Brits, which is why I toured their fair isle last summer, but I sure knew a whole helluva lot more about them than they knew about us!
        Marlow, that is a surprisingly defensive comment from you. That is one writer's opinion only, but if you can't see the elements of truth therein, I think you're missing something. Rather than see it as a "thinly veiled endorsement of Obama", perhaps consider it is an open endorsement of intelligent decision making in the political process.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

          Originally posted by rasb
          consider it is an open endorsement of intelligent decision making in the political process.
          Indeed, good point (Maher's also). It's hard for me not to get defensive, when virtually every conversation I engaged in with intelligent Brits ended up being an excoriation of US politics! Glass houses and all that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

            Originally posted by Marlow
            Originally posted by rasb
            consider it is an open endorsement of intelligent decision making in the political process.
            Indeed, good point (Maher's also). It's hard for me not to get defensive, when virtually every conversation I engaged in with intelligent Brits ended up being an excoriation of US politics! Glass houses and all that.
            Last time we had this conversation you were lambasting the royal family. I assume you know they are irrelevant with respect to politics in the UK? :wink:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

              Originally posted by jazzcyclist
              Furthermore, since the European Union has made passports unnecessary for travel in Western Europe, I'm guessing the percentage of European passport ownership will drop in the future.
              No it hasn't??? :?

              I agree that the whole Americans are stupid and don't have passports thing is hugely overplayed although unfortunately there is a certain truth to it.

              For example George Monbiot is absolutely correct in his point about the demonisation of intellect. There is no way that people as ill informed as Sarah Palin or George Bush could get anywhere near to elected office in the UK. Intelligence is seen as an asset here whereas the opposite seems to be the case in America. The one exception is of course Boris Johnson whose blithering idiot schtick disguises that fact that he's actually really rather clever but seems to enjoy the attention acting like a dimwit brings. I don't think Sarah Palin's lack of smarts is and act.

              As for being insular a few years ago i drove across America from L.A. to New York going through all of the southern states - New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee etc - I could not believe the amount of people who when we explained what we were doing looked at us in complete bewilderment and asked "Why?". They were astonished to meet people from Britain who were interested in seeing America. We met one ma n in his 50's lived about 20 miles outside of Dallas but had never been. In fact he's never been out of the state???

              It's not that Americans are stupid but a good deal of them can be deeply incurious about the world aroud them and therefore suspicious of anyone who does have an interest in the outside world. It is somehow portrayed as being 'elitist' and even 'Un American'. Unfortunately this kind of thinking goes all the way up to the very top

              .................................................. .................................................. ..........................................

              Edited to include the words "is hugely overplayed" in the first sentence thus correcting my original sentence which said something completely different ops:

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

                Originally posted by Daisy
                Last time we had this conversation you were lambasting the royal family. I assume you know they are irrelevant with respect to politics in the UK? :wink:
                Correction - I did NOT lambaste the royal family - I said I could, but of course I'm far too classy to do that! :roll: Their irrelevance to politics is irrelevant. They are an extremely nonsensical influence on Brit culture (in the same way we fawn over Hollywood stars, who at least got to be stars for some discernable reason, other than their genetics - no, I take that back; the Paris Hiltons of the world are only famous because of their daddies (and mummies) too. :twisted: )

                How troll of me! 8-)

                Originally posted by Flumpy
                It's not that Americans are stupid but a good deal of them can be deeply incurious about the world aroud them and therefore suspicious of anyone who does have an interest in the outside world. It is somehow portrayed as being 'elitist' and even 'Un American'. Unfortunately this kind of thinking goes all the way up to the very top
                Another familiar Brit opinion. Our country is an extremely large, diverse and complex land. We don't have time to ponder the way of life of youse guys! :wink:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  How troll of me! 8-)
                  As they say, like shooting fish in a barrel. :wink:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I admit, it’s a bit difficult to hear such criticism from a foreigner, even when I largely agree with it. It’s an effect that always comes to mind whenever I hear any American publicly criticizing some aspect of another nation’s society. Right or wrong, it’s unlikely to go over very well in that society.

                    Nevertheless, rejecting pretense isn’t the same thing as embracing ignorance, but it’s disturbing to see how many people fail to recognize the distinction. And while I’m entirely sure that there are lots of people in other countries who are similarly challenged, not all societies have the “populist” history that we have.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think that Palin or Bush could ever become Head of State if we had a parliamentary system like the UK does. Not only does our system reward demagoguery, but it places a higher premium on a politician's stage presence and charisma than their knowledge and intellect. We're just lucky the Obama has both of these qualities in abundance.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

                        Originally posted by Daisy
                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        How troll of me! 8-)
                        As they say, like shooting fish in a barrel. :wink:
                        And as they say in Alaska: like shooting wolves from a helicopter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

                          Originally posted by Marlow
                          Originally posted by gh
                          http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/10/28/the-triumph-of-ignorance/
                          Thinly veiled endorsement of Obama, Harvard Law Review President (i.e., intellectual).

                          Brits (Euros in general) love to tell us how insular and ignorant we are, but it has been my extensive experience overseas that they know as little about us as we them. I love Brits, which is why I toured their fair isle last summer, but I sure knew a whole helluva lot more about them than they knew about us!
                          Hey...don't forget us Canadians...it's in our DNA to have our hackles raised by Americans and most subjects American...especially politics and reality TV. Wassup with youse guys anyway... you've turned a political race into the Hatfield v McCoy fued!!

                          Anyhow, back to my igloo.

                          cman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: "Why Morons Succeed In U.S. Politics"

                            Originally posted by Flumpy
                            ....
                            As for being insular a few years ago i drove across America from L.A. to New York going through all of the southern states - New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee etc - I could not believe the amount of people who when we explained what we were doing looked at us in complete bewilderment and asked "Why?". They were astonished to meet people from Britain who were interested in seeing America. We met one ma n in his 50's lived about 20 miles outside of Dallas but had never been. In fact he's never been out of the state???....
                            Beware of the broad brush; as i noted in a thread a couple of months back, while touring St. Paul's Cathedral in November of '06 we talked to a delightful docent who was a guy in his late '70s. He asked us what else we had seen, and when we said we had just come from London Bridge his response was, "You know, I've never been there; will have to some day."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And, as I noted elsewhere, my wife and I saw more of Britain in 2 weeks, from Dover to John O'Groats (top of Scotland) to Wales than the vast majority of natives we spoke to.

                              Comment

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