Here is a treat for all you Wonketteers: a video from the New Left Media, taken at a rally for Romney in Ohio. What is in store for you if you watch this video? Oh, nothing much, just a bunch of Real Americans claiming with all seriousness that Obama is a Muslim atheist communist who hates America and also went to a radical church for twenty years. OK fine, only one lady actually says that Obama is simultaneously an atheist, a communist, and a Muslim who went to a radical church for twenty years. But whatever, there’s another guy who says that Buddhists—yes, Buddhists—are taking over America, and a nice family who fears that four more years of Obama will lead to the incremental disappearance of religious freedoms. But wait, there’s ever so much more!
There’s Meatloaf! And the lady explaining that people vote for Obama only because they only want handouts! And there’s also the guy who loves the Romney plan but can’t name a single thing it does, and the man who feels a vote for Romney is a vote for getting America back, and the woman who believes that electing Romney will deal an effective blow to the surveillance state and the domestic drone program.
Now, we should warn you that if you watch this video, you might first be amused. Then you might be horrified. How did this HAPPEN, you might wonder. How can so many people sincerely believe such self-contradictory things? Why are these people voting against their interests? HOW CAN A PERSON BE MUSLIM AND ATHEIST AND GO TO CHURCH?
Well, perhaps the capacity to hold so many contradictory beliefs at once reflects the fact that the public school curriculum has become solely oriented around series of standardized tests, robbing a large portion of our citizenry (among other things) of the capacity for critical thinking skills. Or maybe it is because the internet has enabled people to exist in completely different social and political realities wherein they seek out and find only the type of information that will confirm their pre-existing worldviews. Or maybe it’s because local media has essentially collapsed and the mainstream media, interested less in delivering the news than in acting as faithful defenders of the status quo, is unable to effectively help the public to thoroughly vet the Republican nominee.
Who knows. In any case, watching this video makes us feel a bunch of negative emotions best salved by watching this other video of Alan Alda interviewing a parrot.