Before I came to Huntsville I didn't have a lot of time for the news via the web. Since moving here I've had plenty of time. I look at THE Times, THE Post, MSNBC, CNN, sometimes even Fox, and the HuffPost just about daily. I know what I'm talking about here.
You know how it used to be: you'd get a half-dozen letters to the editor on the OpEd page of any newspaper in the country, and those would usually be evenly divided on an issue or just single shots at an issue. And some poor wretch had to sit in his smoke-clogged cubicle and edit them for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the like.
It don't work that way electronically. You get sometimes thousands, usually hundreds, often scores of commenters on any article whatever. And they are not edited, nuh-uh, nossiree, Bob.
Used to be, in the days of newspapers and electric media, that I was disappointed in my people, based solely on reading--or listening to--the news. I'm no longer disappointed. I have fallen into utter contempt for the vast majority of my people. Their unedited posts reveal not only bad grammar, no punctuation/capitalization and bad spelling, but that they are brainwashed or ignorant (it's hard to be both), stupid and venal. And the dumber they are, the meaner they are. Most of these people are poor white Republicans who have swallowed the RightWing bromide that they might become rich any day now; all they need to do is work harder, God love 'em. These are the folks who are 'taking their country back' from that 'condescending,' 'arrogant,' 'narcissistic' 'man-child' in the White House. They don't care about spending or debts or 'houses in fiscal order' or taxes or anything; they just want that You-Know-What and his big-ass wife and that party run by Jezebel gone. And soon.
I've found that most of the letters to the Times are very well-written and well thought out, whether I agree with them or not. As are those written into the HuffPost, usually. But all other letters to all other outlets are truly something to behold, courtesy rules notwithstanding. And I gotta tell ya: in general, and by quite a margin, those on the Left spell, punctuate, and obviously think better than the represented Conservatives, who most often resort to name-calling ('Odumbo') and in many other ways just play with their own feces. Liberals are smarter than Conservatives, is what I'm saying; and conservatives don't have an original idea in their heads; they're quoting the same talking points that they hear from the air-heads on Fox or in DittoHeadLand. They're unquestioning--and obedient--as all get out, which of course is what the Lords of the coming, Renewed Middle Ages want: nice little serfs who know their place in the scheme of things.
Dredge up H.L. Mencken, P.T. Barnum, Bill Maher, George Carlin and Elmer Gantry on the state of the American soul and brain if you want. You could probably add a few of your own by now, too.
Among other things, the DebtCeiling Debacle revealed, though, that it isn't really the economy that's in trouble, it's the state of the collective American frontal cortex. By and large, this country is f****** stupid.