9:00 am, January 20, 2017
I sit here in the semi-darkness, wind and rain falling outside. I have just completed reading a book on Theodore Roosevelt, a man who embodied everything I believed America was about; honesty, integrity, bravery and compassion. I am suddenly struck with the fact that beginning today Donald Trump will be my county’s leader and I cannot hold back the sense of despair and the rush of tears that follow.
“You can’t fix stupid!” This saying, earlier popularized by comedian, Ron White, seemed to make sense. Back then I thought it a funny remark, but believed you actually COULD fix stupid and that was through education. Then we got the 212th to 214th Congresses that culminated with the (sort of)) election of Donald Trump.
Previously I had considered “stupid” to be synonymous with “uneducated.” Obviously that was a poorly examined and unfounded belief and if I had taken the time to go back through history I could’ve noted that many of the pillars of science, society and politics were, in fact, “uneducated” in the sense they had no formal schooling. In contrast, the education level in Congress is relatively high where only 5% have less than a Bachelor’s Degree. So, I must also concede that “smart” and “educated” are two cats of a different color.
Therefore I must fall back on “Common Sense”, being the “basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things that is shared by nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly everyone without need for debate.” (Wikipedia) Like knowing enough not to put a sharp stick in your eye. The key here is “perceive, understand and judge”, three elements that sadly I find many elected officials and almost all Trump supporters sorely lack.
The problem is that the leadership of our country is moving rapidly towards an educated cadre of people with no common sense and a total unwillingness to even consider facts. Many of them are under the opinion that global warming is not occurring because “it’s raining,” believing that Anchorage gets more rain than Maui “because it’s colder.” They trust in opinion over fact and that, at least in their perspective, opinion is always the winner.
Welcome to a new era…as long as it lasts.