What’s the Best Choice?

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Let’s play a game. It’s called: what’s the best choice? It’s really easy. I’ll give you a list of choices and you choose the best one. OK, here it goes…

Given the following options, what would you choose:

A) $1

B) $5

C) $10

D) $20

Option D, right? OK, let’s try another—given the following options, what would you choose:

A) Getting kicked in the groin.

B) Getting kicked on the shin.

C) Not getting kicked at all.

D) Getting kicked in the head.

I know, I know—too easy: C. How about this—given the following options, who would you choose to lead your upcoming wilderness expedition:

A) Someone with no experience whatsoever who makes vague promises and is openly mean to people they dislike.

B) Someone with some experience who sabotaged previous expeditions and is despised across the board by their colleagues.

C) Someone with very little experience who finds any excuse not to show up for work and uses the company credit card to take their family on vacation.

D) Someone with considerable experience who has led many successful expeditions but is disliked by many in the industry due to a decades long concerted effort to discredit their leadership capabilities.

E) Someone with considerable experience—a little overzealous at times—but consistently expresses their desire for everyone to have a great wilderness experience.

Based on my description, my guess is most people would choose E—but who knows, some might go with D. I guess the question then, given the options, is why would anyone choose A, B, or C?

No one, if presented those options on paper. But put them on television, slap a party label on their back, attack them with negative advertising, allow the media to stir their witches brew of hyperbole, misinformation, bias, and fear… and suddenly, who the hell knows?

Because if you didn’t catch it earlier, I was describing the leading Presidential candidates in both parties:

A) Donald Trump

B) Ted Cruz

C) Marco Rubio

D) Hillary Clinton

E) Bernie Sanders

So what’s the point—that we’re fucked? That Americans are stupid?

To the first question, hopefully not. To the second, an unequivocal yes—anyone who votes Republican.

Hey wait, that’s incredibly biased and partisan!

Actually, it’s not. That was the whole point of our little choosing game. No one would take $1 when they could get $20, and we wouldn’t call them biased or partisan for making that choice. We’d call them smart. Logical. Reasonable. And we’d say the same of the person who chose not to get kicked in the groin, or went with experience when choosing a wilderness guide.

But what we’re all finding out as this primary season unwinds is that today’s Republican voters aren’t motivated by logic or reason. It’s not a candidate’s position on the issues that matters–it’s chutzpah, balls (or ovaries), their “testicular fortitude.” That doesn’t mean that Republicans don’t care about issues—they do—but when it comes to who they want to be our next President, there’s a disconnect. Perceived leadership or strength, forgive the pun, trumps a candidate’s sensibilities.

Indeed, a recent NY Magazine story on GOP primary voters found that nearly all of them were more, “motivated by mood than policy.” The piece goes on to showcase over a hundred or more GOP voters from New Hampshire or Iowa—all white (the authors note that they sought out minorities but simply didn’t find any at the events they attended)—capturing their views and who they support.

It was both depressing and shocking to read. First off, the theme that ran through all these voters’ explanations was strength, leadership, conviction. Second, political correctness is a major issue for these people; they’re tired of being called racist, even as they openly resent Americans of color and support Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country. Third, when they do speak about the issues, they’re wildly misinformed; for instance, echoing the notion that Obamacare’s a disaster (it’s not), that there’s some kind of war on police (2015 was the safest year to be a policeman yet), that we’re not vetting Syrian refugees (we are), that Social Security is going away (wrong), etc. Finally, they’re terribly, horribly afraid—and not of one particular thing, but seemingly, anything and everything: Muslims, terrorism, Obamacare, student loans, the national debt, etc.

Or more succinctly: “the keys are 1) fear 2) hatred 3) greed and 4) a need to be led.” (Do yourself a favor and read this article–fantastic!)

I don’t doubt that they’re all generally good and decent, but being this appallingly misinformed and afraid of things that aren’t really happening doesn’t happen to smart people.

Consider the following statement by Republican primary voter Rick Adams, “Climate is a factor, too, of course. If 99 percent of the scientists believe that climate change is going on, I think I’m probably going to have to agree with them.” And then, in the next sentence: “Rubio is my No. 1 choice.”

So according to Mr. Adams, climate change is real, but he’s still going to vote for a Republican, and his number one choice is Rubio, who’s repeatedly denied the science of climate change. Dumb.

Or take Ashley Zabriskie, who says, “I’ve also always been pretty concerned with the economy. I have loans, and leaving college … I’m nervous about that. And there’s so much overspending by the government.” Again, voting Republican, despite the fact they’ve repeatedly blocked bills to allow students to refinance their student loans at lower rates and that every GOP Presidential Candidate has pledged to expand the military and cut taxes for the rich, which is as sure a way to explode the debt and deficit as there is. Dumb.

How about one more? Republican primary voter Merchon Anderson, who says, of interactions with her mixed race daughter: “She believes that the Democrats have been doing so much more for the black culture. She keeps believing that the Republicans are the ones that are blocking this and I’m like, ‘No. They’re not.’ ” Yes, because as we all know, Republicans would never block legislation, prevent court vacancies from being filled, shutdown the government, or do anything of that sort. And hey, just because FOX News, right wing radio, and conservative politicians line up behind the white police officer EVERY SINGLE TIME there’s a controversial killing of a black person, doesn’t mean anything, nor does the fact that not a single GOP Presidential Candidate has ventured to utter the words, “black lives matter.” Dumb.

So, so dumb. Sorry, but that’s the truth. They’re dumb. When it comes to politics, Republican voters are dumb. Go back to option one in our choosing game—it’s like someone choosing the $1 or $5 because even though they recognize that $20 is more money, they’ve always had an affinity for Washington or Lincoln.

Problem is, we’re not simply talking about honest philosophical preferences or small deviations in government policy. We’re talking about whether our nation and/or planet will exist as we know it in 40 or 50 years.

Yes, it’s that drastic. I was struck by an op-ed the other day written by one Jared Diamond (the famous author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and professor of geography at UCLA). Professor Diamond’s central argument is that when societies have collapsed historically, there are common factors at play; problems those societies either ignored or dealt with too late to remain viable. Specifically: “the damage that people have inflicted on their environment; climate change; enemies; changes in friendly trading partners; and the society’s political economic and social responses to these shifts.” In particular, Diamond points out that “a society contains a built-in blueprint for failure if the elite insulates itself from the consequences of its actions.”

The irony? The article was published on New Years Day 11 years ago in 2005, shortly before George W. Bush began his disastrous second term as POTUS. If there was some honest doubt about the nature of climate change then, or to what extent our elite were insulated from challenges faced by ordinary people, I suppose that can be forgiven.

But today there’s no doubt. Climate change is real. And the lives of the rich and powerful are more privileged than most of us can possibly imagine—so spectacularly wealthy that our elites can spend tens or hundreds of millions to elect politicians of their choice; people sympathetic to the plight of the fantastically well-to-do.

So while we’re literally facing our society’s collapse, Republican voters are supporting candidates that don’t give a shit about climate change or wealth inequality, and in fact want to enact polices that would make both worse—a lot worse.

I honestly don’t know what great point I was going to make about all this. It probably won’t do any good to tell Republicans they’re a bunch of fucking idiots, and we all know what happens when we talk to them about the issues: reality = the liberal media. But here’s a really easy way to explain why no one in their right mind should vote Republican:

  • Climate change is the most important issue of our time, and Republicans don’t think it’s real.
  • Republicans think rich people should have even more power than they do now.
  • When’s the last time the Republican Party enacted a major piece of legislation that helped ordinary Americans? It hasn’t happened in at least 30 years.

If you like what we’re doing here at ChuckingRocks.com, please help us out by making a donation. Every dollar counts. If you can’t make a donation at this time, the other way you can help us is to spread the word–so please, like, share, email, tweet, and/or retweet our posts. Remember to follow us on twitter @chuckingrocks or email us: chuckingrocks.com@gmail.com.

About The Author: Jay Scott


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