Fantastic piece on the anti-intellectualism running rampant in this country. There are some serious “blink, blink” moments in here.
[…] And in Dover, Pennsylvania, during one of these many controversies, a pastor named Ray Mummert delivers the line that both ends our tour and, in every real sense, sums it up:
“We’ve been attacked,” he says, “by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”
[…] In its final week, a great American city drowned and then turned irrevocably into a Hieronymus osch painting in real time and on television, and with complete impunity, the president of the United States wandered the landscape and talked like a blithering nitwit.
First, he compared the violence surrounding the writing of an impromptu theocratic constitution in Baghdad to the events surrounding the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Undaunted, he later compared the war he’d launched in Iraq to World War II. And then he compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt. One more public appearance and we might have learned that Custer was killed by Hezbollah.
Finally, we saw the apotheosis of the end of expertise, when New Orleans was virtually obliterated as a functional habitat for human beings, and the country discovered that the primary responsibility for dealing with the calamity lay with a man who’d been dismissed as an incompetent from his previous job as the director of a luxury-show-horse organization.
And the president went on television and said that nobody could have anticipated the collapse of the unfortunate city’s levees. In God’s sweet name, engineers anticipated it. Politicians anticipated it. The poor bastards in the Ninth Ward certainly anticipated it. Hell, four generations of folksingers anticipated it.[…]
Idiot America took it as a bad actor merely bungling his lines. Nonsense is a no-lose proposition. For Idiot America is a place where people choose to live. It is a place that is built consciously and deliberately, one choice at a time, made or (most often) unmade. A place where we’re all like that statue of Adam now, reclining in a peaceful garden of our own creation, brainless and dickless, and falling down on the job of naming the monsters for what they are, dozing away in an Eden that, every day, looks less and less like paradise.
Esquire: Greetings From Idiot America
By Charles P. Pierce