As the Republican base’s voters get dumber, their resentment of people and institutions who are not dumb continues to grow.
A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.
That’s a 13-point change on the Republican side in just one year—and it happened after years of the number being fairly stable. Why? God only knows, but at this point it’s safe to write the whole thing off as a newly aggressive defense of idiocy. We seem to be living in a new golden age for stupidity, as is evidenced by the vapid, ignorant jagoff selected by Republicans as their preferred leader and king, and the Republican-voting public seems to have redoubled on their efforts to defend willful stupidity as a proper lifestyle choice.
Or maybe it’s because colleges have not-white people in them. Or maybe it’s because Ann Coulter tried to give a talk at one and someone was rude to her, and if there’s anything Fox News Republicanism can’t stand it’s people being rude to their frothing scenery chewers. Who the hell knows?
Republicans, by about eight-to-one (85% to 10%), say the news media has a negative effect. These views have changed little in the past few years.
Republicans have an entire news channel devoted toward defending their point of view and lambasting all others, and it’s still not enough to dull their paranoia that the “news media” is forever out to get them, personally, because reasons. That news media, always reporting stupid numbers that disagree with the numbers we want to believe. Those colleges, teaching people which numbers are bigger than other numbers. Oh, how we of the Movement hate them all.
Yes, yes. Now I’m going to be scolded for thinking poorly of the poor, ignorant rubes and hicks of the Republican base because calling mean-spirited, paranoid, racist, willfully-reality-ignoring faux-Christian authoritarian-minded ‘Merican jackasses such petty names is very very rude and will make them even more reluctant to see the error of their ignorance-peddling, paranoia-spouting, Jade-Helm-Walmart-tunnel conspiracy-theory-believing ways. Fine, whatever, get on with it.
But a Republican base that believes the first black president is probably a Kenyan because (insert Rush Limbaugh farting noises here) while being convinced that The Entire Worldwide Community Of Scientists is plotting against humanity and only the noble truth-tellers of Ma and Pa Oil Company can defeat them can go straight to hell, postage-paid. This is all while we watch them eagerly support presidential corruption and, just for good measure, foreign espionage efforts so long as Team Red tells them to there’s at least some merit in noting for the record that the majority of the party is as dumb as a box of rocks and twice as stubborn.
Is science telling you things you don’t want to hear? Declare science the enemy. Is the media reporting news that makes you feel bad inside? Declare the news to be invalid. Is college turning out people who are able to read charts and graphs and numbers on their own without Sean Hannity’s shouty explanations as to why Numbers are Bad? Burn them down. That way we will never have to hear bad news again, not now, not when Florida is underwater, not ever.
To be honest, we may have reached the peak of what human civilization can accomplish. There’s a case to be made that we’ll only be getting dumber from here.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.