It's increasingly obvious, for example, that none of the so-called theories can explain President Bush's popularity, such as it is. Even at this date in his presidency, after all that has happened, the president's popularity hovers at around 50 percent -- an astonishingly high figure, I believe, given the state of people's lives now as opposed to four years ago.
What can explain his popularity? Can that many people be enamored of what he has accomplished in Iraq? Of how he has fortified our constitutional freedoms with the USA Patriot Act? Of how he has bolstered our economy? Of how he has protected our environment? Perhaps they've been impressed with the president's personal integrity and the articulation of his grand vision for America?
Is that likely?
Um, how about yes?
Granted, there are certain subsections of the American polity that have substantially benefited from this presidency. Millionaires and charismatic Christians have accrued either material or spiritual fortification from Bush's administration. But surely these two groups are a small minority of the population. What, then, can account for so many people being so supportive of the president?
The answer, I'm afraid, is the factor that dare not speak its name. It's the factor that no one talks about. The pollsters don't ask it, the media don't report it, the voters don't discuss it.
I, however, will blare out its name so that at last people can address the issue and perhaps adopt strategies to overcome it.
It's the "Stupid factor," the S factor: Some people -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- are just not very bright.
Gee, since I'm not rich, and I'm not Pat Robertson, that must make me SCHTOOPID!
It's not merely that some people are insufficiently intelligent to grasp the nuances of foreign policy, of constitutional law, of macroeconomics or of the variegated interplay of humans and the environment. These aren't the people I'm referring to. The people I'm referring to cannot understand the phenomenon of cause and effect. They're perplexed by issues comprising more than two sides. They don't have the wherewithal to expand the sources of their information. And above all -- far above all -- they don't think.
Whoah, there buddy. You're going all Frenchy on me. "You stupeed, sillee Amer-ee-can cowboyz cannot posseebly grasp zee nuancees of foreen policee...."
All of the liberal people I know don't bother to try to see the point of view of those of us that are more conservative. They don't take into consideration our religious beliefs, our life experiences, our personalities, or our education. They just jump to the conclusion that if you are conservative and/or Republican, you must be a)evil or b)schtoopid because they don't see how a reasonable person could believe different things (unless you're a terrorist trying to kill us, then it's understandable). Talk about black and white thinking. I have many friends that are liberal and I don't believe that they are evil or stupid. They just have different points of view. Sometimes I think their ideas are dead wrong, but I don't stop being their friend because of it. Come on people, grow up already!
Update: Read iowahawk's hilarious parody of this article here.