Loud Talk, Small Minds

In trying to understand how so many Americans adore people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh I have come to this critical understanding: Poorly educated, terribly informed, intellectually deficient and downright stupid people need idols. They feel angry, frustrated, ignored, cheated and disillusioned by so much going on in American society. They find the emotional, political and philosophical rants by talk show, loud mouth celebrities matching and justifying their feelings. Of course, those celebrities work hard to fan the flames of all that unhappiness and discontent, and also perpetuate ignorance and hate. They sell stupidity to gullible dummies, teaching them who to blame for their misery.

I am no conservative or liberal and I know I sound terribly condescending and will be viewed as an elitist by those dummies, not that they read much by those they do not idolize. However, I have spent considerable time following what these demon idols say and write to seriously investigate whether I might be missing something of value. But all I see are huge quantities of totally incorrect and distorted information, absolute nonsense, outright insanity, abuse of logic, exaggerations, toxic half truths, intentional disinformation, racism and bigotry, and extreme political views that have no connection to reality and offer no workable solutions to the nation’s complex problems. Slick sound-bite slogans push propaganda substitutes for verifiable facts.

How to understand how so many people can listen to such celebrities and not feel as nauseous as I and so many other Americans feel when listening to them? Clearly we must accept the disturbing fact that there are many millions of suffering Americans that are mental midgets, a sign of the dumbing-down of America. No surprise really when you remember there are millions of people wasting their money on gambling, lottery tickets, cons and scams, junk products and unhealthy foods, or unable to qualify for decent jobs because of a lack of knowledge and skills. Either they were born stupid (a harsh but true statistical reality) or the many ups and downs of life have robbed them of any critical thinking ability to see through the idiocy that these purveyors of poison peddle while making obscene millions of dollars.

Consider recent Pew Center Research poll results that showed 18 percent of Republicans do not know that the Democrats control the House of Representatives and 35 percent do not know who the Vice President is. Research has found Fox News butchers facts and its devotees are the most ignorant, and in recent years Republicans have overwhelmingly gone to Fox to get their news and information. Note: 80 percent who regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch Sean Hannity are conservative. I’m not saying that “No truth, just spin” should be the Fox motto, but it sure fits.

I can easily relate to the many people treated unfairly, unjustly and even brutally by the political and economic system. But those who have drifted over to the dark side of the right-wing, conservative arena and become addicted to the rhetoric of delusion have nothing in common with those that once made the United States a noble nation worthy of respect. Their idols talk a lot about the Founders and Constitution, but share none of the fine qualities of those that created our republic. They also pick and choose what parts of the Constitution to adore, mocking the rule of law.

As an independent, I too am extremely critical of the political and economic system and how the middle class has been purposefully harmed by a rich and powerful Upper Class that has turned the nation into a plutocracy serving the greed of individuals and corporations. I want revolution and true reforms. I condemn both major political parties and see elections as useless anachronisms.

I too feel disenfranchised, full of dissent and disgust with broken government, broken educational and health care systems, crumbling inadequate infrastructure, widespread corruption and dishonesty, and an economy dispensing inequality and injustice. Yet, try as I have, I cannot see any merit in what these powerful right-wing demigods dish out, all done to pump millions of dollars into their pockets and pump up their egos. They sell themselves as the defenders of the downtrodden and abused, but this is just a con game designed to keep millions of dollars coming to them and their fellow fat cats. When their supporters vote for Republicans they vote against their own economic interests, unless they are rich.

These false populists are fundamentally no different than the evil elite forces that this fraction of the population despises. Perversely, they have become a part of the ruling class they routinely condemn. They are the worst kind of idols, manipulating and soaking their audiences and admirers. They pitch poisonous, hateful and addicting fast food rhetoric, words as pleasing as salt, sugar and fat laden foods and as eagerly gulped down. This results in mental capacity becoming as clogged as the arteries in overweight and obese Americans.

What is evil? Right-wing hypocritical hucksters pitching messages of values, morals, freedom and patriotism crafted to sucker the least informed, emotionally stressed and unintelligent Americans for the sake of power and money. These idols live like royalty (for example, Limbaugh makes $60 million a year and Beck $35 million) while their loyal fans treasure fantasy expectations and block out information that would cause too much pain by piercing the delusions they have succumbed to. By putting their faith in false idols they become unknowing victims of the media corpocracy profiting from these idols.

What a culture, where so few can take advantage of so many and make fortunes doing it. The real goal of the demon idols is to further divide the nation, not fix it and make it better. Why? Because divisiveness is what sells and makes them big money. Shame on them. Those who worship them need more worthy heroes if they really love their country and want to make it better for all its citizens. The rest of us need to ignore the false idols and their followers, showing them no respect whatsoever, condemning them at every opportunity.

Joel S. Hirschhorn was a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association; he has authored five nonfiction books, including Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. Read other articles by Joel.

9 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on October 11th, 2010 at 7:59am #

    I am always wary of saying that people vote against their own interests. People always vote in accordance with what they perceive to be their own interests. If someone else says they voted against their own interests, what they really mean is that they voted against what the person making the statement thinks the people involved should have regarded as their interests. Would you allow someone to force you to accept something you considered to be contrary to your interests merely because that person believed that you had wrongly assessed those interests?

  2. hayate said on October 11th, 2010 at 12:02pm #

    These hate mongers are simply the nazis of our time. Same exact modus operandi the nazis initially used to gain a base. The fact that all of these hate mongers are zionist owned and run and that what these hate mongers are doing is psy-ops. It’s actually very sophisticated psy-ops, though one wouldn’t know it from what comes out of the hate mongers mouths. They find what people are insecure about, then twist that to their use. With americans, such psy-ops are easy because americans are insecure people, bred for generations to be hostile to anyone outside their small local group as a way of crowd control by the ruling oligarchs.

    Besides tapping into the acculturated xenophobia americans are trained from birth in, there is also another factor these hate mongers prey upon. The american sense of greed. The people of the usa are a greedy lot, by and large. It was greed which brought most of their ancestors to america. The american motto is “greed is good”. Tapping into that is relatively easy and has been a staple of american politics and social control from the beginning. The zionist run hate mongers have expoited that facet of american people to the max.

  3. Don Hawkins said on October 11th, 2010 at 2:03pm #

    Yes we can keep putting massive amounts of gas into the atmosphere while a few of the idols tell us drill baby drill frack baby frack shop until you drop. Over fish the oceans to zero burn the forests buy just one share of stock and have fun doing it buy gold it shines listen to your leaders the message is so clear well maybe not clear more like transparent very transparent.

    But all I see are huge quantities of totally incorrect and distorted information, absolute nonsense, outright insanity, abuse of logic, exaggerations, toxic half truths, intentional disinformation, racism and bigotry, and extreme political views that have no connection to reality and offer no workable solutions to the nation’s complex problems. Slick sound-bite slogans push propaganda substitutes for verifiable facts. Joel

    Joel that was about 99.9% correct but there’s still the other .01% past and present I like this man and yes there are others many I read on DV.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
    Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
    English novelist (1812 – 1870)

  4. Don Hawkins said on October 11th, 2010 at 2:16pm #

    For Texans, the 20th century did not begin on January 1, 1901, as it did for everyone else. It began nine days later, on Jan. 10, when, spurting drilling pipe, mud, gas and oil, the Lucas No. 1 well blew in at Spindletop near Beaumont. The gusher spewed oil more than 100 feet into the air until it was capped nine days later. With that dramatic fanfare, Texas’ economy was wrenched from its rural, agricultural roots and flung headlong into the petroleum and industrial age. The Texas State Historical Association

    And the rest is history and so Dickens didn’t see the great advances that this very day we are all living in, with in harmony. Well not exactly harmony and unless we see an enormous effort and part of that effort is to slow down the rest will be history alright.

  5. Don Hawkins said on October 12th, 2010 at 4:08am #

    Sent this to the media this morning where as we all know the greatest minds in human history can be seen giving us all great wisdom and knowledge well might leave out a couple of part’s it’s just better that way.

    What’s up,

    This whole mortgage part the way the game was played while flying beer in from far away places enjoying a nice cigar and let’s read a bit of history;

    Before the creation of cultured pearls in the early 1900s, natural pearls were so rare and expensive that they were reserved almost exclusively for the noble and very rich. A jewelry item that today’s working women might take for granted, a 16-inch strand of perhaps 50 pearls, often costs between $500 and $5,000. At the height of the Roman Empire, when pearl fever reached its peak, the historian Suetonius wrote that the Roman general Vitellius financed an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings. Nova

    Anyway could we call this little game a tad bit corrupt not a good word well Orwell showed us the way when a word is not a good word kind of unthink. So this mortgage part now what is the easiest way to flush it down the drain the white house said they don’t like this part so how much juice is there on the third planet from the Sun? I found some more history that you all just might find interesting then again maybe not. Heck read a little and then rate it.

    Over the centuries, these privileges have been nurtured, entrenched, and expanded. You can get some idea of this corporate favoritism when you realize that no American corporation was indicted — let alone convicted — for murder until 1978. Criminal law is really a sidelight, though. The place where corporations enjoy their biggest advantage is tax law. During the height of the Reagan era, 50 of the largest business corporations in America avoided paying any federal income tax. In many ways, modern corporations are analogous to the aristocracy of the ancien regime. Bruce Brown

    Read on;


    “I’ve never seen hail in New York,” said Katherine Haver, a 31-year-old Brooklyn resident. “I know now thunderstorms come with a twist in Brooklyn, at least recently.”
    There have been five instances of hail, not including this one, in Kings County in the past 25 years, according to historical data of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NYT
    There’s a bit more than hail coming to the Northeast.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 12th, 2010 at 4:30am #

    The situation is identitical in Australia. I began to be bemused and alarmed when, as a teenager at a privateschool (one of the elite in Sydney, if not the very highest level) I realised that most of the teachers and students were stupid, ignorant, arrogant and vicious.Bullying, by teachers and students, was rife. Hatred, particularly ideological, class,misogynistic, homophobic and racial (and of other elite schools)was rampant. Greed was the religion, and any notion of human solidarity simply laughable. Notionally ‘Christian’ in reality it was antipathy to others that held sway, particularly those unlike oneself.
    That was many moons ago, when there still existed in Australia a ‘social democratic’ tendency to see politics as a means to craft a just and equitable society. That is all long gone, destroyed by fanatical political and class enmity and by a long sell-out to money power by the ‘social democrats’. The single greatest influence in this social atavism and regression has, in my opinion, been the Rightwing media, the Murdoch apparatus in particular, which has relentlessly brainwashed the dullards for decades. Contrary to Michael Kenny’s assertion,people clearly vote against their own, and their children’s interests, if they have been lied to and manipulated from birth.It is not just media brainwashing either. We must never underestimate the effect of advertising, that ruthlessly inculcates the capitalist ethos of greed and envy through deliberate psychological manipulation.
    The values of the economic pathocracy-greed, hatred and contempt for others,unscrupulous behaviour in pursuit of gain etc-have been projected onto society and onto masses of stupid,ignorant and increasingly vicious people who do not possess the means, and never will, to live the capitalist dream. They are force-fed violent entertainment and the ethos of civilizational wars of genocide against various untermenschen-today the Moslems, tomorrow the Chinese-and they are growing ever more dangerous. Anthropogenic climate change denial is a crucial example, where the Dunning-Kruger mob,who probably never went to high-school science classes,or didn’t comprehend the information, have been easily and enthusiastically led astray by liars peddling the most banal untruths. They are now reaching the stage of not just rejecting all the science which they cannot understand, but also believing that scientists across the world have engaged in a gigantic conspiracy to take away their beloved material assets,the most precious things in their empty lives, they having no moral,intellectual or spiritual wealth whatsoever to their name. They have now moved onto the next, inevitable, stage, where scientists are being harassed and threatened for the pursuit of knowledge.
    The decision of the Right to consolidate their power by dumbing-down the masses and manipulating their fear, hatred and paranoia, has worked, so far. But countries ruled by lynch-mobs of enraged morons and ignoramuses must meet an unhappy end, and I foresee just such an eventuality, for both the USA and Australia (and the UK) and soon. It will be a thoroughly merited nemesis for countries where greed, violence and inhumanity have become the means by which the elites lord it over the rest.

  7. Don Hawkins said on October 12th, 2010 at 4:52am #

    Then this one.
    Have we learned nothing,

    You all seem to like short term thinking so let’s just think in terms of say 150 years a nano second and cap and trade will not work pretty much a nobrainer much to complex and yet a plan that will work is never and I mean never heard.

    It becomes clear that needed actions will happen only if the public, somehow, becomes forcefully involved. One way that citizens can help is by blocking coal plants, tar sands, and mining the last drops of fossil fuels from public and pristine lands and the deep ocean.
    However, fossil fuel addiction can be solved only when we recognize an economic law as certain as the law of gravity: as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy they will be used. Solution therefore requires a rising fee on oil, gas and coal – a carbon fee collected from fossil fuel companies at the domestic mine or port of entry. All funds collected should be distributed to the public on a per capita basis to allow lifestyle adjustments and spur clean energy innovations. As the fee rises, fossil fuels will be phased out, replaced by carbon-free energy and efficiency.
    A carbon fee is the only realistic path to global action. China and India will not accept caps, but they need a carbon fee to spur clean energy and avoid fossil fuel addiction.
    Governments today, instead, talk of “cap-and-trade-with-offsets”, a system rigged by big banks and fossil fuel interests. Cap-and-trade invites corruption. Worse, it is ineffectual, assuring continued fossil fuel addiction to the last drop and environmental catastrophe.
    Stabilizing climate is a moral issue, a matter of intergenerational justice. Young people, and older people who support the young and the other species on the planet, must unite in demanding an effective approach that preserves our planet. James Hansen

    Is there a super computer that block’s human minds from thinking and if so who the hell is in charge of the programming?


  8. Don Hawkins said on October 12th, 2010 at 5:59am #

    I just couldn’t help myself.


    “It’s full scale war”.

    And so far how will this play out you know just on the off chance, not well. I guess like Lovelock wrote enjoy the next few years and does appear a few are doing just that and is playing out in some rather strange way’s don’t you think. I liked Pat Boone in Beverly Hills for a tea party it was perfect.


  9. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 12th, 2010 at 6:50am #

    Ah, Don, they’re at it again in dear old Oz. Notwithstanding the evidence of ecological crisis all about us, the record deluges, the record heat of the last Northern summer, the steady increase in the intensity of the hydrological cycle etc, the destructors seem incapable of learning anything.
    The plan to remove some of the water extracted from our major (if puny by global standards) river, the Murray-Darling, and return it to the river for environmental purposes, has unleashed a storm of protest from the usual suspects on the Right. The standard extreme selfishness of vested economic interests, in this case irrigators, is on full display. The river’s flow has been ‘over-allocated’ to an extreme degree, which became glaringly apparent during the recent fifteen year drought. This is supposedly finished due to recent, and scarily extreme, deluges over the north and the interior. That this welcome respite is probably just a mere blip on a steady downward march to dessication is, of course, dismissed as ‘warmist alarmism’. The irrigators, most huge, industrial conglomerates, were allocated water at give-away prices by political parties who enjoyed the generosity of the same business players, in return, in campaign ‘contributions’. The same old ‘corruption’ played out in broad daylight, but studiously ignored by the media pathocracy.
    The funniest, the most banally suicidal of all the whinges of the Rightists is the lament that ‘the environment is being put before the economy’, as if there will be any economy,or any Homo avaricens, if the environment is ravaged. They cannot change their behaviour, hence will not, no matter what.What is also plain is that the Right is more and more emphasising the role of ‘over-population’ in the ecological crisis, as a scapegoat for all our problems. The contribution of excessive over-consumption by rich individuals and countries is ignored,or ferociously denied, with the usual sophistry, casuistry and mendacity.I’m more convinced than ever that they are preparing for a gigantic cull,possibly by Malthusian means, of billions of hated and feared ‘useless eaters’.