Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Rise of the Gullibillies

Today's hard Right draws an astonishing amount of electoral support from people who are simply too damned dumb to realize they're voting against their self-interest.   This is especially true of the United States where the Red States, the heartland of Republican support, tend to have the poorest social outcomes - lifespan, health issues/obesity, education/illiteracy, poverty, violence and imprisonment, teen/unwed pregnancy, divorce, domestic abuse - the whole gamut.  It's the Republican Red States that also garner the most from the federal government while contributing the least to federal coffers.

These are the people most likely to believe the crap spoonfed them by the Tea Party Republicans, FOX News and the Rush Dimbulbs of open-mouth radio.  Barack Obama is a Muslim from Kenya.  He's a soshullist (whatever that might be but, for sure, bad).   And that global warming bullshit?  Well that's a hoax, part of a plot to impose a god-hatin world government.

I instinctively recoil when I meet people like these who just know what's true and untrue, who just know what's right and what's wrong - based on absolutely nothing beyond, perhaps, what they just heard on some talk radio show.

I've been trying to coin a term for these people that's not too pejorative and I've finally settled on - Gullibillies.    It seems an apt term for those who can't stop swallowing the crap that's being spoonfed them and are too dim to realize that it's toxic.  The tragic part is how they're being manipulated into supporting some truly horrible things.

Chuck Thompson, in his book, Better Off Without 'Em, makes several reasoned arguments for why both the Red States and the Blue States would be better off if the South was allowed to secede.

Thompson writes of the megachurch culture that has taken hold in the South and the role it plays in fostering the continuation of segregation.   Segregation is anchored in the pews and pulpits.   There are black megachurches and white megachurches and, on Sunday mornings, blacks gather to worship with blacks and whites meet to worship with whites.   That doesn't sound like the basis for segregation, does it?  It does when you discover that these churches also operate their own schools.   If you're from the white megachurch, it's perfectly acceptable for your kids to go to the church's white schools and, because it's based on the church, the school isn't required to integrate.   The only kids who have to integrate are those whose parents can't afford to send them to the church school.

It's pretty easy to succumb and turn into a full-fledged Gullibilly when one political party and its propaganda organ is woven so tightly into your religious, educational and cultural life.