BOUNDLESS

This video, courtesy loyal reader Evan, floored me.

I am generally wary of mash-up videos of this type, as they are obviously edited to achieve hilarity and prove one's point. Take those Jay Leno "Jaywalking" segments, for example. They are often the basis for broad conclusions about how stupid we are. But they probably ask 100 people and edit it down to the three dumbest responses. We all know this, right? That might be what is going on in the Palin video. Or maybe there wasn't a lot of editing required.

We really should be well past the point at which the stupidity of Sarah Palin devotees can surprise us. And I do expect damn close to nothing from them. But when the person conducting the interviews asks them to name a policy or issue position they find appealing in Palin, they stare at him like he asked them to do Chinese algebra. Perhaps they are imitating their idol's response to difficult questions like "Name a Supreme Court case" or "What newspapers do you read?" For christ's sake, how hard would it be for these people to say "She's pro-life!" or "Tax cuts!" in response to such a basic question?

I shouldn't be surprised but I am. Can people really get this excited about a political figure without knowing a single thing about her? It would seem that one would not waste time going to Teabagging rallies without being able to say something – anything – beyond "I'm mad" and "Duh president is a Negro and it's makin' me crazy." To devote one's time to the Palin/Beck/Teabagging universe without having even the bare minimum of political awareness would be like me spending time and money to see Twilight movies.

I'll say one thing for these mouthbreathers: their anger respects no ideology and knows no loyalty. It doesn't take long for them to turn on Palin, does it? It is almost as if they are shocked to learn that Palin does not in fact give a flying fuck about them beyond taking their money and bolstering her ego with their presence.

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38 Responses to “BOUNDLESS”

  1. Hann1bal Says:

    At the beginning, I was amused at their blithe confidence that Sarah Palin would win easily if she ran for President.

    And then I listened to more.

    And more.

    And more.

    And I remembered why I hated the campaign: those videos of the "real 'Mericans" from outside McCain/Palin rallies. The ones that made me genuinely afraid for the future of this nation.

    GAHHHHHHHHHHH. The STUPIDZ, they burnz like fire!

    This is why I'm not looking forward to 2012. Fortunately, that will be my senior year, so I'll plead "thesis"/moving/job finding and ignore all the hoo-hah that I fully expect will surround it.

  2. Nate Says:

    I hate to say it, but this phenomenon isn't restricted to teabagging/birthers/Palin afficionados, even if it prevalent in this crowd. I'm quite confidant that a sizable minority of Obama's supporters would be similarly ill-equipped to answer the most elementary policy questions.

    I still think people shouldn't be allowed to vote until they pass a literacy and political awareness test. Evidently, that's not legal. But it should be.

  3. Barbed Wire Says:

    Can't speak to it being a mash-up but the same guy(s) did similar interviews at one of the tea baggings… and it was just as hilarious.

    "Hilarious" as in nauseating, scary, stultifying.

    I'm here in Dubya's 'hometown' and hear nothing but this same kinda crap day in, day out, which leaves me fearful for the future of mankind. But it keeps me coming back to GaT just to be reassured that I'm not alone… though I'm feeling more and more like some radio telescope searching outer space.

    You – I – can't talk to these people, they're not interested in discussing anything, they have stock answers (a la Beck, Lush Rimbaugh, et al) to everything and if you disagree with their "facts," it's merely proof you've been brainwashed.

    Scary stupid.

  4. Prudence Says:

    Cult of personality, that's all this is. These people just project their fears and inadequacies onto "socialist/Marxist/baby-eater/Kenyan President Obama and desperately believe Mrs Palin will save them from being the irrelevant, ignorant twits they deep down know they are. The only thing Mrs Palin has any interest in is being elected, and she'll do and say anything to make it happen., but won't know what the fuck to do once there. She's basically dumber, less well-read, version of Bibi Netanyahu in an expensive pair of heels.

  5. comrade x Says:

    The brain cell deficient only care about electing a president as stupid as they are. Having a fellow dolt in the white house makes them feel secure. After all, people who actually have brains and talent are scary.

  6. Dennis-SGMM Says:

    Palin's followers don't need to know their civics to believe in her any more than they need to know theology to believe in Jesus. The word salad that comprises Palin's utterances on anything of substance leaves them with the feeling that she's for what they're for and against what they're against. That's more than enough for them. She has given them an Other to blame for everything that's wrong with their lives. High-school-age daughter knocked up despite a good Christian upbringing? Blame the liberals. Son just told you he's gay? Blame the liberals. About to lose your house because you took out a second mortgage to buy that new ski boat, a pickup to pull it, and one of everything at WalMart? Blame the liberals. She reassures them that there is no need to question any of their choices or beliefs because they're already wise and perfect – it's just that the smarty-pants libs are keeping them down. What many of us see as her vagueness and lack of substance is for them a tabula rasa on which they can write their aspirations for a perfect nation, under God of course, run by people just like them. And so when she's criticized that only validates her in their eyes: the critics are afraid of her (And their) commonsense and wisdom.

    Palin is going to do a lot of damage before it's over.

  7. Kulkuri Says:

    Sadly, I have to agree with comrade x. Saw a quote awhile back, "Republicans act as dumb as possible because they think their base is even dumber."

  8. dbsmall Says:

    I hate Sarah Palin's celebrity and the fact that she's propped up as a presidential candidate. And I think one has to be either stupid or blinded by ideology to support her.

    That said, I think you could go to a lot of rallies for *credible* candidates (both on the left and right), ask similarly basic questions, and get equally inane answers.

    In Palin's case, her "supporters" have really latched on to some strong "anti-" themes…They hate taxes, spending, abortion, political correctness, socialism…hate them strongly, even if they don't know what they are, how they're used, what's legal, what the current state is, etc.

    But I bet you could find a set of raging adoration for President Obama, in which people couldn't even identify his plan to reform healthcare. (or define, for example, what is meant by "public option").

    Here is my concern: Videos like this empower the ill-informed…they can communally feel victimized. And they can feel part of a group. And they become less afraid to speak up, when the best path for the ill-informed and weak-reasoning is often to listen, instead. I have a feeling the 2012 election is going to be sickening, in its widespread, proud advertisement of ignorance.

  9. johnnyboy Says:

    Kulkuri, their base IS dumber. So much so that when people ( like the genius Palinite in the Steelers jacket ) start attempting to form sentences about their belief systems and politics, it becomes so abundantly clear that I want to pack a few things and run screaming to Canada.

    I feel a lot of shame about our citizenry when I see things like this video. I try to tell myself "That's just Columbus, OH talking, the rest of the country isn't like this" but deep down I know it's yet more virulently ignorant elsewhere… say, southern tier, for instance).

  10. John Says:

    To be fair, this is not unique to Palin's camp. As much as I fear the prospect of anyone supporting her, I must also acknowledge that there were quite a few videos of this same thing on the Obama side back during the election, where people could say Hope and Change but couldn't really define anything about Obama. Turnabout is fair play, but it's deceptive on both sides.

    That said, this is an exemplar of what our nation has devolved into. That one response from the old guy in the red jacket pretty much sums up modern American politics: "On the spur of the moment, I can't tell you, I just know I believe it, I've heard it over and over."

    It's depressing because the Fox sheep talk about the "mainstream media", and the MSNBC sheep talk about "Faux News", and both sides don't actually know a goddamn thing, but they believe it because they've been told over and over and over. It's brainwashing, for the modern age. There are so many people — the majority of people that vote, I would feel comfortable wagering — that don't actually know anything about the candidates they're voting for. They don't do any research. They just turn on the TV, watch an hour or two of brainwashing for their candidate, and call it a day.

    And that's the real reason we're no longer an exceptional country. The palinites think it's because of "socialism", a word they can barely define and almost certainly not correctly. But the real reason is because we've taken the most incredible gift any populace could have, the right to choose who leads them… and we've crumpled it and thrown it in the trashcan because it's too much work to use properly.

  11. JohnR Says:

    "Palin's followers don't need to know their civics to believe in her any more than they need to know theology to believe in Jesus."

    I think if you replace "theology" with "the Bible", your statement would be equally true. Who needs knowledge when you've got belief?

  12. J. Dryden Says:

    While I certainly don't think that race is the only issue that divides the quality of ignorance between Palin supporters and Obama supporters, I have to suspect (and conclude based on the conversations I've had with my neighbors) that a lot of Obama's 'know-nothing' supporters actually have a decent justification for their support: "He's black, I'm black (or non-white in the case of Latinos/Asians/whathaveyous)–I support him on the basis that his election empowers me." (Most of those I talked with, I should also say, were able to add "Plus he's a Democrat, he wants us out of Iraq, he keeps talking about a tax cut that would effect my wage-earning ass, and he's able to string two sentences together without prison-raping the English language.")

    Their answers, in short, reflected the symbolism of Obama as well as an instinctive understanding that to come from nowhere and to have succeeded in the face of the intolerance of his society, he had to have something going on under the hood. Granted, such reasoning doesn't equal a sound understanding of his policies or his track-record at fulfilling his promises, which, yes, ought to be the basis of electing anyone. (Hell, by the logic they used, they have to think that Clarence Thomas must be totally awesome.)

    But awkward though their reasoning often was, I found it justifiable and, teased out a bit, coherent. This has not often been the case with Palin supporters. Mind you, I think that conservative women have as much right as Obama's minority supporters to adore her as a rare, *rare* representative of their demographic in elected office; say what you will about Palin, she got herself elected to an executive office, which Noonan, Coulter, Ingraham, and Schlafly could never do.

    Is their admiration simply a racist reaction to Obama's presence in the Oval Office? In part. Is it because, like Reagan, she offers a consistently beaming face of optimism-slash-resentment at The Other? Sure, that too. Do they love her because Rush and Beck tell them to? Oh my yes. Their motives are diverse and run deep. Granted, they come from an inarticulate place of self-excusing anger at their lot in life, which usually requires them to ignore how good they've got it compared to their neighbors.

    But I think Dennis is onto something: in the aggrieved tones of vague losses of freedom (which never ever flies in America–white people just don't get to bitch about disenfranchisement, sorry, but we *don't*), in the sense that her ignorance doesn't count because she isn't ignorant about anything that's worth knowing–there seems to be a willful tautology: "I like her because I like her. She is admirable because I admire her, and all she has to do to justify my admiration is exist." The admiration comes, in short, from the same place as their belief in God–not as a result of spiritual reflection, exploration, internal struggle and self-education, but from a desperate need to believe in something just to get through another brutally unpleasant day.

  13. J. Dryden Says:

    I just realized that in referring to Obama's success over racism, I used the phrase "under the hood." Please forgive me; I swear, my thoughts were purely automotive in nature…

  14. Pan Sapiens Says:

    I found nothing at all funny about this video, only a reminder that, as a species – perhaps since the invention of civilization – we have an amazing capacity to pick the shittiest leaders available. As the Russians say, "Whether salt water or fresh, shit floats to the top".

  15. jazzbumpa Says:

    The stupidity of their base is awe-inspiring. Read anything by Jonah Goldberg or Michelle Malkin, and imagine what kind of audience is moved by what they have to say.

    They have no knowledge, no curiosity, and no critical thinking skills. It's no accident that the right wing is composed of religious fundamentalists. They bring their faith to bear on everything, instead of reason. Ditto libertarians, in a different way. Their faith is in the mythical "free" market.

    We are SO fucked!
    JzB

  16. Andrew Says:

    (which never ever flies in America–white people just don't get to bitch about disenfranchisement, sorry, but we *don't*)

    Because white people aren't systemically disenfranchised in America?

  17. comrade x Says:

    Pans Sapiens: O.K., if you don't want to read a cynical commie rant, please skip.
    Do we really get to pick our leaders? The candidate from either party is elected in the primaries from a field of douchebags who are either allies of the ruling class or members of it. Sure you get candidates who actually make a stand outside of the party line, but how long did Kucinich or Ron Paul last in a presidential election?
    There aren't any seperate parties in the U.S.A.- not in any real ideological sense ( not when it comes to the economy and foreign policy- whether through a fist or open hand, the goal is domination of foreign markets) just two factions fighting over the spoils of empire.

  18. Dennis-SGMM Says:

    Because white people aren't systemically disenfranchised in America?
    I'd say that when Congress does the bidding of the corporations, the military-industrial complex, and Wall Street rather than acting for the common good then, yes, we're all disenfranchised.

  19. Andrew Says:

    I'm a white person who lives in a state whose two US Senators represent over 30 million people between them. Wyoming's two US Senators represent fewer than 500,000 people between them. Compared to the white voters of any state other than California, I am disenfranchised in the US Senate. I don't bitch a lot about it (after all, it's not Myanmar), but it's inescapably true.

  20. Parthenon Says:

    I happened to walk past the movie theatre around the time of the new Twilight movie premiere, and I couldn't help but note the similiar crowd behavior.

  21. John Says:

    Except that your state has more members of the house of representatives than Wyoming, where it makes up for the senators. That's, you know, the entire point of our two-house system: One house to have representation based on population so the larger states have more say, and one house to have flat representation regardless of population so the smaller states have more say per capita.

  22. Graham Says:

    Two things occur to me, watching this video:

    1. That these people are literate, motivated and informed enough to attend a book signing, and hence cannot be the dumbest people in America. There must be layers of stupidity below this.

    2. That these people have exactly the level of education the military-industrial complex wants them to have: they can read and write enough not to screw up the chicken-boning machine and THATS ALL.

    Scary.

  23. karen marie Says:

    But, Dennis-SGMM, while what you say is true about what's going in in re corporate control of government, "white" people aren't being disenfranchised on the basis of their race but on the basis of their social and/or financial class, which also includes "non-white" people. So, yeah, white people don't get to bitch about being disenfranchised as a racial group because it's a bullshit claim.

  24. Andrew Says:

    And of course it's true for voters of every other color as well.

  25. Da Moose Says:

    Not sure why Americans continue to give their leaders a pass when it comes to possessing appropriate qualifications to run the government. I work in the computer industry. If one were to apply this type of ignorance to my workplace, it would be like hiring someone who knows how to do a google search to manage a data center. Such an employment hiring practice of this type would never occur. Or, it would be like if you took your car to a "mechanic" who said that he could fix it because he too owns a car. Would you still trust him to fix your car just cause he owns one? Probably not, so not sure why you would trust someone like Palin to run your government.

  26. Pan Sapiens Says:

    tovarisch x: …. forget it… obviously my comment was lost in translation

  27. ladiesbane Says:

    I'm related to a lot of Palin supporters who think I'm insane for supporting a member of the Chicago political machine. It pains me to add that most Obama supporters I know are only marginally better at discussing issues and positions, both his and their own, in any comprehensive way.

    For both groups, the key issue is trust. I am not qualified to evaluate most professionals in a meaningful fashion. I hire tax preparers, doctors, and attorneys based mostly on word of mouth referrals, a lack of known malfeasance (which I do check), and what I can glean from their histories.

    Branding and marketing are most of what influences voters, but even if we abolished speeches and visuals, we would have ignorant people reading each candidate's platform with a little cloud of question marks overhead. Democracy can't work when such a large fraction of the public are uninformed, uninterested in facts, and invested in emotions over logic. (Or frankly stupid.)

  28. waldo Says:

    The average American voter is as dumb as a dung beetle? You mean the average American voter who elected GWB — TWICE ? Nooooo! Say it isn't true!
    Palin /Taitz/Beck in '12. Also.

  29. Andrew Says:

    I'd say that when Congress does the bidding of the corporations, the military-industrial complex, and Wall Street rather than acting for the common good then, yes, we're all disenfranchised.

    Yes, but you aren't disenfranchised because you're white. That's the difference.

  30. Prudence Says:

    Andrew and my fellow GnT readers,

    A small point, but one which is dear to my heart– please do not call Burma "Myanmar", the name the generals have foisted upon the country since seizing power. It's akin to calling Cambodia "Kampuchea" circa 1979. Most of my Burmese family live in exile, and those who have remained in Burma cannot leave and are under constant threat of arrest, torture and imprisonment, like everyone who isn't in with the SLORC junta. It may sound petty, but I am against any and all legitimacy for those evil bastards.

    Thank you.

  31. Aslan Maskhadov Says:

    When exposed as morons, these people start whining that the "crafty" liberal media tricked them. Check this nonsense out:

    http://redwhiteandconservative.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/the-day-i-met-sarah-palin-and-the-liberal-media/

    I was floored by this.

  32. Aslan Maskhadov Says:

    Ok being in Russia means I am not on the cutting edge of US entertainment news, but what the fuck is up with "Twilight"? I have seen some Russian ads for it but I feel I am being left out of a joke here.

  33. Desargues Says:

    Prudence, I'm with you. I never call it 'Myanmar.' My wife loves Burma, and we plan to go visit soon. If things don't work out here for us, we're thinking of maybe opening up a B&B for tourists in Burma (with an omelet restaurant, to boot). I figure if we don't get in Than Shwe's face politically, he'll leave us furriners alone.

  34. Aslan Maskhadov Says:

    Ok I just returned from Encyclopedia Dramatica after some research and I now understand the unmitigated horror that is Twilight, the entertainment equivalent for teenage suburban girls and most likely, pedophiles. The whole Harry Potter craze was bad enough- shit like this makes me wish that the world WOULD end in 2012, if not sooner. I actually feel that looking up that information killed off more braincells than my last drinking binge.

  35. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    That's Steelers fan dude is fucking hammered!

  36. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Those Buckeyes fans are just flat out dumbfuck stupid. Did those shitforbrains motherfuckers actually graduate from OSU?

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