Don’t you find it interesting that whenever we experience an exceptionally cold day in the winter, Donald Trump is immediately tweeting some sarcastic remark inferring that there is no such thing as climate change? But when almost the entire nation is literally boiling for weeks and months at a time in the spring and summer, in heat that reaches as high as 100 degrees in places like Minnesota, you don’t hear a tweet out of him? I’m amazed that, that kind of hypocrisy goes completely unnoticed or seen as irrelevant by his supporters. No doubt, many of them see that kind of idiotic behavior on Trump’s part as merely his way of sticking it in the faces of the liberal environmentalists who campaigned against him. But given the stakes involved, you almost feel compelled to investigate and try to analyze what forces are at hand that are so strong as to allow his followers to be willing to ignore reality and empower stupidity.
I remember about fifteen years ago, I saw on HBO what I thought at the time was the worse movie I had ever seen and marveled that I was able to sit through the whole thing. The title of the movie was Idiocracy. The premise of the movie was that in the future, as a result of a century of doing nothing but watching TV and playing video games, the collective IQ of Americans had dropped to below 80. In that world, someone with average intelligence by today’s standard would be a genius. In retrospect, I may have felt compelled to watch that movie, which was a satire on American values, because as ridiculous as the premise was, I could see an element of truth in it, and that to lessor extent, could see may well be the future of our country. In many ways, the powers-that-be has been moving us in that direction since not long after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Big money and corporate interest’s master plan to dumb down the American populous began during the Nixon Administration. I was in dental school when I remember the Nixon White House publishing a statement in response to the anti-war demonstrations by college students, that it would take measures to curtail that activity by making it more difficult to finance a college education. At the time, to threaten quality education in American society was considered political heresy. After all, it was education that made us great and able to put a man on the moon. The Nixon rhetoric inferred that students were sent to school to learn the establish body of knowledge, and not to establish a platform for political dissent. It was a message that went over big with conservative Republicans in those days. He went on to put an end to the National Defense College Scholarship and Loan Program established during the Kennedy and Johnson years, and converted scholarships to loans for those currently participating in the program, myself included. That was the beginning of the slow erosion of the intelligence of America. In response to governmental demands to end racial segregation, the Republican Party began to align itself with white supremist elements to defy bussing orders to achieve racial balance. They were aided and assisted by what is still the most segregated institution in the country, the Christian Church. In defiance of integration orders, white middle class families were opting to send their children to Christian and other private schools. In the mean time, due to the decline in public school enrollment, funding for public education continued a steady decline, especially in inner city neighborhoods of predominantly black and Latino children. Without public standards, the quality of education in private schools declined, and in many cases, favored religious myths and legends over established scientific fact, promoting creationism over evolution for example. Public education quality continued to decline due to a combination of diminished funding and the deterioration of drug infested communities. The assault continued on every front. Efforts were made and continue to be made, to eliminate as many impoverished racial minorities from higher education as possible by ending so called affirmative action programs by colleges and universities. The end result was, we went from having the best public school education program in the world in 1970 to that of lessor quality than many Third World countries today. There are unquestionably some private elementary and high schools where the quality of education is impeccable, but those are reserved for the very wealthy, in some cases, costing more than an Ivy League college education. I assert that the quality of the majority of private and charter schools in the United States is less than the quality of the average public school prior to 1970.
So what does all this mean in practical terms? It means that as Americans we are literally becoming too stupid to know when to come out the rain. Most of us have no practical understanding of scientific method and the significance it plays in our everyday lives. We are almost completely ignorant of our history and its relationship to how we came to where we are as a nation. Few of us have enough practical education to fill the quality jobs that are available and we’d rather risk our lives shoveling coal or drilling for oil than learn the skills to perform those jobs. And most of us are completely ignorant as to how government works and the need for checks and balances to preserve the rule of law. Some argue that this has always been the case, especially in those parts of the country where white Americans hardly ever see an American of color. If that’s true, then you have to believe that what really have been affected by the destruction of public education, especially in our large metropolitan areas but in rural communities as well, are the opportunity for children to become more enlightened with a better understanding of the world they live in and the loss of credibility of education and the educated in the minds of the marginally educated and the illiterates of the country. There was a time when the average American had the good sense to know to respect conclusions of someone who has been formally educated in a given subject over someone who claims to have their knowledge by divine inspiration alone. Today, we empower intuition over intellect and hearsay over knowledge.
What this is going to cost us is our American way of life, as defined by whatever you think that means for you, other than your right to abuse another American. What makes it possible for us to enjoy the American way of life is the worldwide respect we once had, the alliances we built around that respect and our competitive edge in world trade by creating access to the world market by any business, regardless of size. Thanks to our giving over the reigns of control of our nation to wealthy oligarchs, we have chosen to give all that up. It won’t be long before our trading partners move on to form new alliances and new trading partners. What you have to understand is that once it’s gone, it’s very difficult to get it back and it may be gone forever, as was the case with Great Britain. Britain made itself irrelevant by creating policies that enabled its citizens to gain the greatest rewards for the lowest contribution on their part through the colonization of Third World countries. For the past 50 years, our economy has been based on a defacto imperialist policy that requires we extract raw materials and labor from Third World countries for little or nothing and process those materials into goods and services sold back to those countries at such a high premium that the average inhabitant can barely afford them. Consequently, they are perpetually impoverished. No wonder they want to migrate to a place where they can potentially own property and accumulate savings. Ironically, what you’re allowing to happen in the name of fair trade is the very thing that is going to place you solely at the mercy of whatever corporation that happens to employ most of your people. The demigods you are allowing to end the so called welfare programs, because they have you convinced that such programs only benefit African Americans and other minorities of color, will ironically place you in a permanent state of welfare. We minorities of color that have been with you for centuries have trying for all those years to tell you that the powers behind these social program changes think far less of you than they do of us. They understand that we know we are going to have to work like hell for any worthwhile achievement, welfare or no welfare. Your ambition on the other hand is to be one of them. You are seduced by the illusion of one of you out of millions seemingly reaching that level of success for a generation or two, and like a Las Vegas gambler, you think that it’s possible for all of you to be the big boss. You are just a means to an end for the Koch brothers and Melons of the world. Once all our trading partners are gone, and as small business owners our access to the world market is limited, we’ll have to settle for whatever crumbs the corporate giant in our area decides to throw us. You only have to look to Russia for an example of this. Putin is allowed free reign to plunder the Russian economy for his personal gain and to demand all the Russian people forfeit all of their civil rights, solely because he guarantees his people “3 hots and a cot”. To them, that’s a pretty good deal if you were almost starving 15 years ago. In the years ahead, the soon to be corporate monopolies intend to inflict so much economic pain on us that we’ll be glad to accept whatever they decide we should have, and there’ll be an end to any talk of going from rags to riches. The with the election of Trump, process has already begun.