Recently I said in a public post on Facebook that I was appalled that so many Americans had voted for the Romney/Ryan ticket in the presidential election, and I blamed it on a high level of ignorance and stupidity in the country. I got called out by a friend for not being more tolerant of those with different thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
I AM appalled at the number of people who voted for Romney, and simply cannot understand how so many people could possibly believe him and the GOP arguments for his election. So I think it's necessary to explain in more detail my position:
I have friends and family members who are Republicans, and they are by and large good people, well intentioned folk who believe that, by voting for Republicans, they are doing what's best for the country, for our state and community. They are wrong, of course, but they are not bad people. In fact, in some particular cases on the local level, they may be right. Some Republican candidates for office are better qualified than their Democratic opponents. The Democratic Party has no monopoly on the truth, and in some areas of the nation is as corrupt and empty as the Republican Party.
However, on the national level, and in this most recent election most spectacularly, the Republican option was a disaster. For someone to support the Romney/Ryan ticket, you have to have been either: 1. Ignorant of what Romney/Ryan really planned to do if elected; 2. Naive and gullible enough to believe their lies; 3. Selfish enough to vote only your own pocketbook, if you're rich; 4. Just plain stupid; or 5. Evil.
There is evil in the world. Karl Rove and certain right-wing talk show hosts and cable news anchors are perfect examples of this. There also are good people in the world, those who honestly believe in conservative ideals and remain democratic by nature. David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, is a good example. But mostly, those who support the GOP in its current extremist right-wing incarnation, and most of those who voted for Romney/Ryan in the last election, are gullible and naive, poorly informed, uneducated, ignorant, or just plain stupid.
To recognize and say this -- to note an extreme level of ignorance and stupidity in America -- is not to disparage our country. It is to recognize a sad reality, a huge lack of information and failure of education. America can do better. We must do better. We must educate our citizens. We must inform them better. And we must find ways in our political election process not to mis-inform them, mislead them, make them more ignorant. That is what most of the advertising is designed to do in the campaign process: To convince ignorant and ill-informed people to do what is NOT in their best interests. The system is corrupt, and Americans are suffering the consequences.