Stupid, Angry Americans Want To Be Free

You’ve all read Lilla’s article, right?

Darleen cribs the best parts, but I missed the discussion last night.

Many Americans, a vocal and varied segment of the public at large, have now convinced themselves that educated elites—politicians, bureaucrats, reporters, but also doctors, scientists, even schoolteachers—are controlling our lives. And they want them to stop. They say they are tired of being told what counts as news or what they should think about global warming; tired of being told what their children should be taught, how much of their paychecks they get to keep, whether to insure themselves, which medicines they can have, where they can build their homes, which guns they can buy, when they have to wear seatbelts and helmets, whether they can talk on the phone while driving, which foods they can eat, how much soda they can drink…the list is long.

The problem, according to Lilla, is that these stupid folks want to make their OWN decisions. They have, in Lilla’s own words, “an astonishing – and unwarranted- confidence in the self.”

What are we mad about? Well, being unsophisticated proles, we’re upset about abstract ideas such as “the government.” We’re not upset about the layers upon layers of taxes, or government waste. Nope. Just, “the government.”

But I’m sure Lilla’s isn’t battling absurd straw-men. No, that can’t be happening:

But as the libertarian spirit has spread to other areas of our lives, along with distrust of elites generally, the damage has mounted. Take health care. Less than half of us say that we have “great confidence” in the medical establishment today, and the proportion of those who have “hardly any” has doubled since the early Seventies.12 There are plenty of things wrong with the way medicine is practiced in the United States, but it does not follow from this that anybody can cure himself. Nonetheless, a growing number of us have become our own doctors and pharmacists, aided by Internet search engines that substitute for refereed medical journals, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.


Who is all to blame for this? Fox News and radio talk show hosts- DEMAGOGUES. Of course.

The media counterestablishment of the right gives them that. It offers an ersatz system of direct representation in which an increasingly segmented audience absorbs what it wants from its trusted sources, embellishes it in their own voices on blogs and websites and chatrooms, then hears their views echoed back as “news.” While this system doesn’t threaten our system of representative democracy, it certainly makes it harder for it to function well and regain the public’s trust.

Which, of course, is what Obama just SAID yesterday. Folks aren’t getting their information from the proper sources. People need to be properly educated so they can sift through all the information. Of course, if they are educated, and sift, and still disagree with you, the answer is just to call them stupid, redneck tea-baggers.

When the new Jacobins turn on their televisions they do not tune in to the PBS News Hour or C-Span to hear economists and congressmen debate the effectiveness of financial regulations or health care reform. They look for shows that laud their common sense, then recite to them the libertarian credo that Fox emblazons on its home page nearly every day: YOU DECIDE.

We don’t? Oh, right. The conservative in Lilla’s head doesn’t.

Today’s conservatives prefer the company of anti-intellectuals who know how to exploit nonintellectuals, as Sarah Palin does so masterfully.16 The dumbing-down they have long lamented in our schools they are now bringing to our politics, and they will drag everyone and everything along with them. As David Frum, one of the remaining lucid conservatives

WAIT. STOP. What did he say ? Ba haaa haaa haaa … oh … my…

Now an angry group of Americans wants to be freer still—free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don’t talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn’t).

No article would be complete without calling those who don’t support the president “racist.”

Look, folks. The government is here to help you. “Stuff” is just too difficult for your tiny minds to comprehend. You prolly didn’t even go to an elite university (duh, or you wouldn’t be questioning), so you just need to calm the fuck down. Stop listening to folks (DEMAGOGUES) who tell you it is possible to get by with fewer politicians, experts, and government agencies running your life; folks who are only looking out for YOU. Your health, wealth, and well being. I’m sure they made a ton of sacrifices in order to serve their nation in this capacity, so instead of being critical, you should be grateful. Public service is NOBLE.

There now. Isn’t there a reality tv show on now? Someone should be along soon to give you your daily dose of Soma.

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2 Comments on “Stupid, Angry Americans Want To Be Free”

  1. Steve B Says:

    It’s really rather disturbing how readily these types of blowhards want to paint anyone who questions the all-benificent Government as people who are angry, uneducated rabble who just might be dangerous.

    Anyone who is that willing to take whatever the Government may hand them with doe-eyed naivete is a people easily controlled.

    Of course, I can’t help but recall the utter lack of such trust and eagerness by these same people during the Bush administration. Apparently, government is only a good thing when THEY are in charge.

    When They question the government,it’s speaking the truth to power. When We do it, it’s frothing extremism fraught with racism and portentous violence.

    Or something.

  2. The best part is that the answer lurks reight before the noses of the expertocracy.

    We did just fine without them making all our decisions for us. It isn’t we who need them; it is them who need us, because without the pockets to pick, and the wealth to redistribute, they would have to find a job that society actually needs rather than declaring themselves parasites and mooching off of useful people.

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