The fact is that in any group of people, you're going to have a certain proportion who was just agonizingly stupid. While I know it's probably not true, I can't help but get the impression that this percentage is magnified on the internet. Sometimes it seems as if every decerebrated, slackjawed incompetent has an internet connection and the will to use it to make comments on political sites. While I loathe the stupid, nothing is worse than when they're on your 'side' in an argument. I'm glad that they're there to vote and all, but reading the crazy rantings behind their beliefs is more than I can bear. It sets up a severe case of cognitive dissonance that I'd just as soon avoid if possible. And it's for that reason that I visit liberal/hippie sites. I can be guaranteed then that the abject stupidity that I'm forced to repeatedly encounter exists in the form of my political enemies. I'm perfectly able to loathe their very existence and question how they've managed to survive so long without swallowing their own tongues without feeling conflicted about also wanting their vote/support.
While this works just fine with strangers, I run into problems when it comes to people I know. I would be shocked if there weren't a strong majority of liberals among my friends and associates. I don't find any problem with that and in fact, there's usually nothing I like more than debating political issues. The problem I have is when they feed off some of the same idiocy I see steaming out of liberal blogs and sites and actually seem to believe it. I often toss off one-liners that might not actually match what I really believe just because I find it entertaining and I think I can usually recognize this sort of thing in others. It's when they actually seem deadly serious that I start to get that uncomfortable twinge.
Take the recent Wisconsin supreme court justice election for instance. The basic background is that the unions and other liberals in the state wanted to change the makeup of the supreme court from a conservative majority and so they found a liberal challenger and used her as part of a proxy battle against the state's new republican governor. If they could get a dem majority onto the court, then the court would be more likely to strike down some new laws that the unions find odious. On the night of the election, the vote seemed close and as is the usual course the Associated Press solicited unofficial vote counts from the various counties as they came in. The AP tally showed at first a small lead for the incumbent but as the last counties reported it, the liberal challenger had a small lead of 200 someodd votes. At this point, all the numbers were unofficial and the official certification would happen for days yet. The next day one of the election officials for one of the counties discovered that the votes of an entire town had been left out of the numbers sent to the AP, registering a 0 vote total. The number was updated and after the results from the town were added, the challenger's small lead was blown out of the water and the incumbent was up by 7,500. That's when the insanity happened.
The liberal, hippie nutjobs went insane. Immediately they claimed that the new votes for fraudulent shrieking like howler monkeys and throwing shit around for all they were worth. The arguments they made for why the election had been 'stolen' were ludicrous at best. None of the facts mattered to these idiots. Not that the AP numbers had been unofficial, not that another newspaper had called the county on the night of the election and gotten the correct numbers, not that the updated numbers made more sense based on past voting history (especially compared to the idea that perhaps not a single person in a city of 40,000 people decided to vote), nothing.
I've never really believed when either side of the issue screams fraud and election stealing unless there's actually some concrete evidence to the fact. I do think that some basic precautions should be taken, for instance I find it beyond baffling that you have to show id to buy a pack of cigarettes but not to cast a ballot. Hell, you have to show a pass to borrow a book or id to enter a bar but yet the government just takes your word for it when it comes to participating in an election. It just shows you how twisted our priorities are. That said, what really drives me nuts is the abject hypocrisy of these morons. I'll bet none of these spastic mouthbreathers complained during the senate election in Wisconsin back in '08 when more votes turned up for Al Franken. Then, they were all for counting all the votes because it put their guy on top. This time the official tally is working against them compared to the unofficial and so they scream and rage and cry fraud. It's enough to make me want to vomit.
It's one thing when I see hippie strangers advance these tales of idiocy but it really bothers me when people I know do. I can't help but feel that they should know better and it really lowers my estimation of them. It's one thing to cheer your 'team' on and to advocate for them. I can even handle the idea of being disingenuous for the sake of pushing an agenda. You want to perpetuate propaganda, even if it might be false/misleading, just to try to convince the weak willed? It might not be nice or ethical but I can understand it. It's another thing when you actually believe the lies though. I just can't help but find that pathetic.
I knew someone in grad school who once told me that her greatest fear was that if she had kids, that one of them would be average or stupid. Anything else was tolerable but she was worried that she just couldn't handle not having a bright child. I can see where she's coming from because in cases like this, I find it hard not to be contemptuous. How much harder must it be when it's not simply someone you know or a friend but a person created from you. I guess if nothing else my sense of intellectual elitism is doing just fine and dandy. I still feel it's better than the alternatives though. I just can't accept such blatant stupidity. I can't help but expect better out of people.