Dimwits in high places

By Lawrence Bailey

It’s a good thing for U.S. President George W. Bush that congressmen from California are frisky folk. I, for one, wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a fruit basket and elaborate thank you card from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were awaiting Gary Condit, urging him to keep up the good work.

Dubya is busy dismantling the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, attempting to defend the United States from their "countless" international foes. He’s busy backing out of the Kyoto Protocol and denying this global warming hodgepodge. He’s busy huffing and puffing away from the table at the United Nations World Congress Against Racism like a sulking six-year-old. Meanwhile, the lead story on every newscast and on the cover of every magazine is that of a dirty old man on Capitol Hill. That duped and deviant Democrat is providing Dubya with a smoke screen that would make Mysterio stand up and applaud.

While many would suggest that Condit share his presidential apples and oranges with Ted Turner and other media magnates for making him such an infamous celebrity, I say the fruits of Dubya’s gratitude are owed to the people of the great U.S. of A. The aversion of the masses to political awareness seems to be rivaled only by their adhesion to a schedule of weekly worship.

There’s a simple rule in American programming–give the plebeians what they want. The United States brilliantly exemplifies the "bread and circus" approach to opiating the masses. If a thrilling round table on electoral reform was more gripping than the Teen Choice Awards, it would air in prime time and the American public would no doubt be more informed. As it stands however, Britney’s breasts, Dawson’s doldrums and the latest Wayans brothers’ sitcom are more integral to daily existence south of the border than increasing stocks of weapons of mass destruction.

Perhaps the fact that people just don’t care stems from a history of isolationist foreign policy. After all, they live in the most powerful, most dominant state in contemporary society. Why concern themselves with Middle Eastern conflict or environmental degradation when Jerri of Survivor 2 fame is going to be on Leno?

In all honesty, ignorance is bliss and an affluent population isn’t the end of the world. If people are content in their minivans and cul-de-sacs, so be it. The problem arises when one of them ascends to the most prominent and most powerful position in the world. Joe Blow in Scottsdale, Arizona can withdraw from international affairs all he wants, but when a dim-witted Texan doing the same is running the show people should take notice. Maybe they’ll tune in after Blind Date.

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