There is this saying that I see from time to time which says, “You can’t fix stupid; not even with duct tape and a hammer.” It’s meant to be humorous, but if you want my honest opinion, there is a lot of truth to that statement. A couple nights ago someone at work asked me why I waste so much time studying and discussing history and politics. I think it was due to their belief that it is a ‘waste’ of time to study these subjects that led me to reply with, “To compensate for your ignorance.”
One of the definitions you will find for the word stupid states: having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense. And what is intelligence if it is not the acquirement of knowledge and skills? I think it is stupid to go through life thinking that your beliefs are absolutely correct, and that anyone with a differing belief is wrong…end of story.
I have been proven wrong numerous times, and I have changed my beliefs according to the facts presented me. I think it is the mark of a person’s character how open they are to ideas and beliefs which contradict their existing beliefs. I also think that there aren’t that many people who are willing to do that. I think that, for many people, their beliefs define them and give them purpose in life; and to question those beliefs is simply too traumatizing to their psyche.
I have a Tee Shirt that I frequently wear to work which states, “Of course your opinion matters. Just not to me.” I do not deal in opinions, I deal in facts, and I refuse to engage in discussions or debates with people whose beliefs are unsubstantiated by facts and evidence. If a person continues to hold a belief when the facts clearly prove that their position is faulty, then that is the living embodiment of stupidity; at least as far as I’m concerned.
I am perfectly willing to engage in discussions with people who provide facts to back up their positions; even if I disagree with those positions. I am also perfectly willing to change my beliefs if the person I am debating with provides enough evidence to convince me that my position is incorrect. However, I simply refuse to waste another moment of my time arguing with people who come unarmed to a debate and resort to calling me names like, sexist, racist, homophobic, or any of the other insults the weak minded and politically correct care to hurl at me.
A year or so ago someone at work told me that the Confederate Battle Flag was a racist symbol and that the North fought a righteous war to end the evil practice of human beings owning other human beings as slaves. That evening I printed out the following quotes and took them to work and handed them to the person who said this and told them to read them and then tell me that the Civil War was about ending slavery. I’ll provide the quotes, and then after you read them, tell you what transpired next.
On August 22, 1862 Abraham Lincoln penned a letter to the editor of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, in which he stated, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
Four years prior to that, while debating Steven Douglas for the presidency, Lincoln made the following comments to an audience at Charleston, Illinois, “While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Before you get all offended, as the person I gave these quotes to did, remember that these are Lincoln’s words and Lincoln’s thoughts, not mine. These are merely historical facts which we have not been taught in regards to the period known as the Civil War. However, because we have not been taught these things, we have grown up believing an alternate version of reality regarding why the Civil War was fought. Instead of people knowing that it was, in truth, a second war for independence from a tyrannical government, people have grown up believing that it was a war fought to end slavery.
The ending of slavery may have been a consequence of the Civil War, but it was NOT why it was fought. The Civil War was fought because the government of the United States refused to allow any state, or group of states to sever the ties which bound them to that government. Had Lincoln simply let them go in peace there would have been no war. If you cannot see that, then you prove that you are unwilling to accept the truth when it is presented to you. And if you ask me, that’s just plain stupid.
But this is not about the Civil War, it is about people’s refusal to accept facts that contradict their beliefs, and therefore is not limited to simply one instance or period of American history. It absolutely boggles my mind that anyone who considers themselves to be of any intelligence can continue to support our government in its current state. No matter how hard I try, I simply seem unable to get people to see that the government they continue to support has become tyrannical and oppressive. No matter how many quotes I provide from those who actually participated in establishing this form of government I have been unable to get people to accept that their government has exceeded the authority originally granted it.
As an example I would like to provide 3 quotes from James Madison, who is considered as the Father of the Constitution, which show how he felt in regards to the powers given government, and those which were reserved to the States.
In Federalist 45 Madison states, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
In a speech to the Ratification Assembly in Virginia, Madison states, “[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
Years after he had served as our nation’s fourth president, Madison wrote in a letter to James Robertson, “With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”
A thinking person would say, “Gee, it seems that the powers our government was supposed to exercise on our behalf are limited. I guess it would be prudent to go find out what they are so that they don’t abuse or overstep those powers.” But is that what happens? Hell no! People continue to vote along party lines because their opinion is that THEIR PARTY has the best vision for the future of America, and to hell with the constitutional limits upon government!
That’s what gets me the most about these Trump supporters who go around chanting, Make America Great Again; they don’t even realize what it was that made America great the first time.
If you really want to know what made America great it was the government off our backs and out of our wallets, or as Jefferson said in his Inaugural Address, “…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
The two party paradigm is a cancer that has been eating away at our free republic since political parties first became players in the political process back in the 1800 election. At first they were divided along the lines of whether to government would exercise only those powers specifically granted it by the Constitution and those who read between the lines and sought to exercise implied powers which greatly expanded the power held by government.
However, as time went by both parties sought to exercise unconstitutional powers; the only difference being who the exercise of those unconstitutional powers benefitted. The Democrats became the party of the working class, the underprivileged, and the social justice warriors. The Republicans became the party of Wall Street and big business. As more time progressed those lines became further blurred; with both parties now representing similar interests and neither of them representing a limited government the likes of which Jefferson promised.
Yet people support their party with the same vigor and enthusiasm they do their favorite football team; and they become angered when anyone seeks to obstruct their candidates from pushing forward their vision of what’s best for America.
I would hope y’all know how typically Republican states are considered to be red states while typically Democratic states are considered to be blue states. Well, this continued flip flopping between red and blue candidates isn’t going to solve anything; not when both parties seek to expand the power exercised by government itself; all for their specific party agenda.
If I were to put two pitchers of Kool Aid on the table, one red, one blue, and put two tablespoons of poison into one and one tablespoon of poison into the other; but not tell you which one had which, would you still drink from either? Why then do you continue to support red, (Republican) candidates or blue, (Democratic) candidates when neither party gives a rats ass about the limits the Constitution imposes upon them; and more importantly the liberty government was instituted to secure for the people?
Yet every election cycle I am assaulted by people who tell me that they are making informed decisions at the polls. I suppose they are if they think that disregarding the law which created government in the first place is what constitutes an informed decision. Otherwise, they are just proving they are insane. After all, didn’t Einstein say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results?
Understanding what went wrong with our system of government requires that you first know how it was supposed to operate. If you don’t that you are just wasting your time voting; for both parties will just keep moving us further and further away from the government outlined by the Constitution.
I have a baseball cap I had made up which has this graphic I had sewn into the fabric. When I wear it I often get funny looks from people; as if they either think I’m nuts, or they’re trying to figure out what it means. The graphic is as follows:
And what is informed if it isn’t being in possession of an abundance of facts? That’s why I study, so that I can become better informed; so that I am not led around by the nose by vain and aspiring men who seek to manipulate my emotions and passions, and then discard me and my rights once they get into office.
George Washington once warned of the dangers of factions, or political parties as we call them today. He told us that they would become “… become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Yet, because people refuse to think, because people refuse to consider opinions which differ from their existing beliefs, they continue to support their political party, and its agenda, because to do otherwise would require that they actually utilize that grey matter between their ears.
And if the unwillingness of some people to think weren’t bad enough, there are those who think that the study of politics, or paying any attention at all to what’s going on in our government is a total waste of time; preferring to spend hours glued to their TV’s, smartphones, or video games.
If you were to ask me to describe the typical mindset of the average voter today in a mathematical equation, I’d have to state it as follows:
Ignorance + Apathy + Complacency = Stupidity
And I’ve simply had enough arguing with stupid people. I should have listened to Mark Twain’s advice, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
Well I’m done arguing with stupid people. If someone wants to hold a political discussion with me, come armed with facts, or don’t bother coming; for if you come unarmed I will simply walk away. Ben Franklin once said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” That said, the typical American voter must be counted among the hardest working people on the planet…
March 8, 2017
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.