Re-stigmatize Stupidity Before We Forget the Meaning of Stigma

There have always been too many stupid people but at least in the past they were not proud of their stupidity. Nowadays intelligent people of both genders must efface themselves, not just women. And that means things have gone too far!

It is hard to argue against the numerous liberation movements that have slowly removed the stigmas unfairly ascribed to racial and ethnic minorities, women, fat people, and men who like men for whatever insane reason. This is good. Liberation movements may seem threatening to most people when they begin to rise, but history has shown again and again that all successful liberations only lead to a more tranquil, couch-locked status quo in the long run.

Unfortunately, the 250-year wave of liberation and egalitarian awakening has been negligently extended to those who insist on being stupid. Gay Pride, OK, but Bimbo Pride, no way. Ditto for Jerk Pride, except those two terms are “over-redundant.”

Stupid people—to wit, jerks, bimbos, dullards and empty-heads—do not deserve the benefits of liberation and egalitarian tolerance. Actually, we need more intolerance for the able-minded stupid. Those without mental development issues should have to explain any lack of development. Not knowing something should be like not having money or the right clothes—doors get slammed in your face. People laugh.

We should not persecute the stupid, mind you, as long as they display the proper modesty about their limitations. Its when stupid people start advocating for stupidity, when they claim that knowledge and learning are a detriment, and that everything they need to know they learned in kindergarten—well, that is a form of nihilism that no culture can accommodate. Civil society is more threatened by the gorillas and bimbos of the Jersey shore than any radicals or terrorists.

Which leads to the issue of literacy testing in a democracy, something most intelligent people find repugnant because they’re so intelligent and fair-minded they can’t stand the thought of discriminating, even against the stupid people who hate them for their intelligence. They’re that good.

Fine. Noblesse oblige.

But there is a better way: the issue ballot!

In addition to listing the presidential candidates, the ballot is full of binary issue choices and no clue as to which candidate supports which issues—that can only be found out by following the news in advance of the election. Polling places would be clean of any information for last-minute studiers.

Presidential candidates that win elections but lose on issues would thereafter lose their veto power on any stand-alone bill on that particular issue; they would retain veto rights on all other issues as normal. This would allow popular issues opposed by equally popular presidents to be jammed down his or her popular throat.

Or we could tweek it differently, the point is that stupid people would be confused as hell and their votes would get nullified by their “christmas tree” approach to filling in the bubbles.

And thus could we begin to fortify the precious stigma against stupidity that we are on the verge of losing.

(c) 2012, Alan Brech


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