….John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —
John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?
Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.
John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?
People think of Mark Twain as a kindly uncle with a twinkle in his eye. Actually, Twain’s humor–especially in his later life–had a dark underbelly. “The Mysterious Stranger” and “Letters from the Earth” mercilessly skewered religion. But even the relatively light “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has such moments. For example, Huck describes the pigs who go into the local church during the week to get cool: “If you notice, most folks don’t go to church only when they’ve got to; but a hog is different.” (101)
“Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.'”
“I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.” (Watch George Carlin rant about voting.)
The news reports after Carlin’s death, though, focused on how much people loved Carlin’s riff on seven words you can’t say on television. Maybe that’s because the public was ready to hear that message and much less ready to hear what he thought about religion and politics. Darrin Bell, the writer of Candorville, thinks so (follow the links to large, easy to read versions of these two strips):
He means we deserve Claire and Barack folding on FISA? Yes. I listened to newsmen on Diane Rehm’s Friday News Roundup recently talking about Obama caving on that issue. They calmly explained that he had figured the political calculus and done himself some good by being seen as a moderate. No one so much as mentioned the Constitutional damage being done. The discussion was all and only about the numbers. Obama isn’t voting for new citizens. He’s dealing with the selfish, ignorant ones he’s been given.