How Stupid Are We?

And by we, I mean thee. Obviously Ty, Roger, Yeiser, and I have a lot on the ball. Just kidding folks. A good interview with Rick Shenkmen, who lifts the hood and takes a look at ideas like “the Americans are smart voters” and “I believe the children are our future” and throws a few wrenches in there.

For the record, Shenkman says:

I’m not calling the American people stupid.  That would be as stupid as when politicians say the American people are smart.  You simply cannot meaningfully generalize about 300 million people.

That said, he has tons of meaningful ways of pointing out our stupidity.

Also, a link to his opinion piece from the Washington Post where he provides a more straight ahead debunking of “5 Myths About Those Civic-Minded, Deeply Informed Voters” (read Americans).

As we’re nearing election time, and two of your editors have called the election for Obama, it may be time to get a whiff of these smelling salts. And don’t forget to post your electoral prediction here.

3 Responses

  1. Is there some number of people about whom one can meaningfully generalize?

  2. That’s an excellent question… generalizing, at some point, always breaks down… but then again, it can be useful… deceptive but useful…

  3. I like Shenkmen’s point about diving deeper into issues to find the “truth.” Here is a quote i really liked from one of the links –

    ” …I was always preoccupied with myths—illusions that people have that conceal the real world from them, so instead of seeing the world as it is, they view the world through glasses that distort reality. Myths drive our politics because people who know little about politics are much more susceptible to myths than otherwise, and myths shape and warp their thinking. It’s very important when we’re listening to politicians to distinguish what’s real and what’s mythologized, and to assess what the politicians are saying.”

    Very interesting post.

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