Our cantina sees a parade of stupidity every single day. There's never a shortage. Quite the opposite: every day, I face the dilemma of having far too much stupid to cover. You'd be appalled at the sheer volume of fuckwittery that ends up on my cutting room floor.
This is why democracy scares the living shit out of me sometimes.
That's been brought home to me recently by Hillary Clinton's stellar example of political pandering. She's a smart woman. She's an incredibly sharp politician. So what does that say for the electorate when she has to play a big dumb doofus in order to win votes away from Barak Obama?
The depressing thing is, I predict it'll work. People will look at her gas tax holiday bullshit and lose what little capacity for rational thought they still have. "Ooo, gas will be 18 cents cheaper!"
But truth doesn't penetrate enough skulls.
It bounces right off the shield of righteous numbskullery that allows people to believe that praying at the pump will magically lower prices.
Ricochets off of the good old American determination not to think.
Lies bruised, battered and bleeding.
This country has developed a suicidal adoration of idiocy. Scientists used to be celebrated as heroes. Now they're denigrated and dismissed. Science can't offer certainty, so it gets booted. Astrology is in. The "low information voter" rules.
And democracy becomes not the tyranny of the majority, but the tyranny of the willfully misinformed.
What does it say about our capacity to govern ourselves when politicians spout such inanity in order to appeal to voters? When smart policy decisions are penalized and "a pony for the people" promises are lapped up? When we base our voting decisions on who has the best (but not expensive, heaven forfend) hair? When personality trumps perspicacity?
And yet... and yet... There's a glimmer of hope.
It's just possible that the stupid has gone too far.
Americans, you see, have pride. And pride gets deeply offended when the government expects you to be a raging idiot.
The Bush Administration has treated this country like a collection of drooling imbeciles, and I'm starting to see some signs of discontent.
Bush's support is the kiss of death when it comes to political success these days. Republicon seats are falling to Democrats in solid red districts.
One of Hillary Clinton's supporters actually said, "I do feel pandered to when you talk about suspending the gas tax... Call me crazy but I actually listen to economists because I think they know what they've studied."
Ye gods. A glimmer.
Did I fear democracy too soon? Is it possible that Americans will stop seeing "elite" as an epithet and actually demand their President have greater brain capacity than a capuchon monkey?
Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. Like Dana Scully, I'm afraid to believe.
I'm terrified that the glimmer will blow out, and I'll have to fall back on my original plans of taking over a desert island and starting an encephalocracy with my favorite bloggers.
If this election goes to the dumb, my darlings, I think it'll be our sign to give democracy a miss. Who's for coconuts?