Thursday, February 2, 2017

Let's Wage War on Stupidity


2016 saw stupidity's victory over rational thought. A coddled billionaire with a first-grader's vocabulary and a laundry list worth of evil on his resume defeated a far more qualified opponent using demagoguery, alternative facts, and good old fashioned American racism, not to mention our outdated Electoral system. Just a couple weeks into his term, his Presidency has been disgraced by bigotry, nepotism, and an assault on the very foundations of our democratic society. So what does the future hold for America? Do you see a boot stamping on a human face? Because there's something killing us besides diabetes and 24 hour entertainment. It's the mass prevalence of idiocy among your fellow citizens.

We have always had a little leeway with free speech. You're entitled to your opinion, no matter how irrational it may be. If you want to believe that the whole of geology is a lie, and dinosaurs never existed, well, that's like your prerogative, man. There is a difference, however, between having opinions and waging active war on the truth. This is where we are with the Republican Party in 2017. It is not the party of Barry Goldwater. It's the party of Breitbart News. It's not the party of conservative values. It's the party of white privilege, millionaires, and systemic corruption. It's not even the party of Richard Nixon. It's the party of drooling internet trolls and hate speech.

It's the party of Donald Trump, and everything he represents.

The question is "how much do you care?" When facts become subjective, is there no response by people who care about the actual truth? If we care about the future, what can we do?

The answer is: stop tolerating stupidity.

If someone tells you that global warming is a Chinese conspiracy, let them know they're an idiot. If they act indignant (and they will), tell them that they are part of the problem. If they want to know the truth (they probably won't), then let them know it. Now I'm not saying that you, me, and anyone else listening suddenly become the sole arbiters of the truth. What I'm saying is that we can't afford to tolerate stupidity. We won't survive it. Civil rights won't survive it. The environment won't survive it. The human race won't survive it. Science and rationality are all we have in this world. It's what dragged humanity up from the ashes of ignorance. It is what separates us from the animals. It's what took us from the earth and into the vastness of space. It's the only hope for the future. And what good are science and rationality without observation based data? No one owns the truth. The truth exists independent of you or I. It doesn't matter what Donald Trump says. You know he's an idiot. I know he's a liar. We all know that what he stands for is an embrace of double-speak and double-think.

It is your duty to the future to combat the liars and their lies. That might mean calling your Congressman to voice your opinion. That might mean donating to the ACLU or the Union of Concerned Scientists. That might mean taking part in a rally or contributing to a protest in some capacity.

The next time someone tells you that Evolution is just a theory, tell them they're just a moron. You're probably not going to convert them with rational thought, but it's your job to make sure their braying is lost in a chorus of voices shouting them down. You can't resist without doing something. This is the only way we're going to get through the next four years.

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