"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dare to be stupid
Via Roy Edroso at Alicublog with are treated to the utterly unironic call to arms for conservatives not to be intimidated by smarter, more educated people than themselves. This tendency toward Forrest Gumpism is hardly surprising given that the current crop of nativist conservatives are the direct intellectual descendants of the "Know-nothings" and the current administration's motto, despite Bush's intention to be the "edumacation president", is the most hostile to science, reason and fancy book-learning since, well...possibly Andrew Jackson, but at least Old Hickory, for all his faults, recognized the danger posed by corporations.

From Alicublog, first quoting then analyzing Lee Harris' original paean to thickheadedness:

In a world that absurdly overrates the advantage of sheer brain power, no one wants to be seen as a member in good standing of the stupid party. Yet stupidity has been and will always remain the best defense mechanism against the ordinary conman and the intellectual dreamer, just as Odysseus found that stuffing cotton in his ears was his best defense against beguiling but fatal song of the sirens.

That's the close; the rest doesn't illuminate it much. Smart people will attempt to "pull the wool over the eyes of the rest of us," and though "the intellectual conservative of our day excels in good arguments," he must not use them to defend propositions such as (to use Harris' own example) resistance to gay marriage, because he might get out-argued by the smart alecks.

When the leading candidates for the party's presidential nomination all publicly state that they don't believe in evolution, can there really be any doubt that John Stuart Mill was right in calling conservatives the Stupid Party?


David Webb said...

I thought Harris was just being clever until he wrote:

"The stupid conservative, on the other hand, does not look for a higher authority than tradition itself. He is prepared to rest his case simply on traditional authority alone, without seeking to appeal to logic, or reason, or empirical data. For what reason gives, reason can take away."

Oh, I see. As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be ever after. What a simple life plan that would be. If I were stupid.

I endorse stupid conservatives everywhere in their race to the bottom. Go team! Go you plucky underachievers! Go home and watch the tele!

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