Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Note: This Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed), adapted for the blog format, was published in The Lawrence County Advocate on May 23, 2012, in response to an Op-Ed published on May 16, 2012, in the same publication. I recommend referencing the original article before reading the post.

See http://www.lawrencecountyadvocate.net/editionviewer/default.aspx?Edition=4ade969e-7712-48a0-bc13-ee65fe2e3876.

An Op-Ed writer in our local newspaper does not mince words when she declares war on “stupid” or progressives. As an unapologetic liberal, it is quite humorous to be called stupid after so many years of being referred to as an intellectual elite.  I do so wish folks would make up their minds about progressives.  It’s obvious that people throw one or the other moniker for political reasons, but it is high time for a lesson in demographics for those who either don’t get it or who pretend not to do so. Gallup numbers reveal that President Obama’s percentages of favorability are lower for high school graduates than college and post-college.  In other words, Obama’s popularity is greater for those with higher education. I daresay, these folks hardly resonate stupidity.1

As far as the European-style socialistic utopia the author laments, her comments, while clever, reflect a real lack of insight.  According to E.J. Dionne, “Right now it’s conservatives who want to follow the Western European path of austerity that voters in France and Greece rejected last week.  The Obama administration, by contrast, has chosen a distinctly American path that kept austerity at bay.  As a result, the American economy has climbed out of the Great Recession more quickly than most of Europe.2

If conservatives do not wish for women and gay people to feel they are warred against, then state Republican House & Senate members should stop pushing social laws that aim at them.  It makes me absolutely no difference in my life if gay people marry; their legal bond has no affect on me.  But it is important to them for legal as well as personal reasons.  Without laws defending their legal status, they could not (contrary to the author’s flippant statement) be accommodated with “reasonable things like hospital visitation rights” and Social Security survivor benefits for spouses, for example.

All gay people are not liberal, in spite of the words in the op-ed.  I know many who espouse the same conservative values as any other in the GOP.  And progressives won’t “social right” themselves out of existence. Plenty of progressives are having babies just like conservatives.  I would think that with the dying off of the older generation, conservatives would have the dwindling numbers.  In 2008, 66 percent of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama, with a 16 percent gap among voters 29 and younger voting for Obama over Republican challenger John McCain.3

One might suggest, too, that if there is to be a congressional panel to discuss female contraception, the GOP includes women next time.  The charade that we witnessed did, in fact, seem like a war on women.  Shame on all those men who weighed in and prevented females from speaking.  These men have their supplies of Viagra and vasectomies paid for by their insurance.  What hypocrisy.

And finally, this “sinking ship” was not Obama’s making.  Most of us who sat on our hands so as not to write to editors of newspapers to declare the last president stupid remember.  The economy was at the darkest precipice since the Great Depression following the failed economic policies of the previous administration and Republican Congress.  For anyone who has studied economics, the fix is not quick or painless, so calling Obama’s timing a failure (or “sinking ship”) smacks of hasty judgment for political gain, particularly with the rising economic indicators that we see monthly. My question is why in heaven’s name didn’t the GOP masses rise up and protest the outrageous spending, tax cuts, DEBT, & unbridled Wall Street practices that got us here?  I remember only silence and defense of George W. Bush.

Yes, the planets did align when Barack Obama was elected.  I am proud to have voted for the first black president, and an intellectual at that.  The country recognizes that he could’ve gotten much more accomplished by now had the Republicans not decided to block every action in order to beat him in the next election.  They admitted this publicly on Fox News.  They were not worried about job losses or recession, only defeating Obama.4

I hope conservatives do follow the advice of the op-ed columnist and sit this one out.  From the grumbling on the Right, I am certain many will.

Finally, I will close with a quote from Forrest Gump.  “Stupid is as stupid does, ma’am.”

1 http://www.gallup.com/poll/28360/examining-barack-obamas-strong-appeal-highly-educated-americans.aspx

2 http://www.nationalmemo.com/obamas-american-exceptionalism/

3 http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/gop-super-pac-aims-educate-youth-vote-florida

4 http://www.mediaite.com/tv/sen-mcconnell-making-obama-a-one-term-president-is-my-single-most-important-political-goal/

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