I'm very pressed for time today, so bear with me.
You have probably already seen this story from a week or two ago about David Jungerman, the brilliant Missouri farmer who put up a billboard on his property stating "Are you a Producer or Parasite? Democrats – Party of the Parasites." Thirty seconds of public records searching later, it was revealed that Mr. Jungerman has received well over $1,000,000 in farm subsidy checks since 1995. Cue the sad trombone.
Crop subsidies are different, he said. When crop prices dip below a certain point, the federal government makes up the difference with a subsidy payment.
“That’s just my money coming back to me,” Jungerman, 72, said Monday. “I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite."
Ah. Well now it is clear that you are not a hypocrite.
Assuming you've heard this story already, your assignment for today is to read the comments from the KC Star (the nearest major media outlet, and thus the one giving this story the most time).
It's obvious that this story has snark value on its face – Ha ha, here's another totally hypocritical old teabagger – but just look at the number of people defending him and the intense intellectual contortions in which they must engage to do so (unsuccessfully). Yes, the number of people criticizing him outnumbers those defending him. But the idea that anyone would fail to understand why this person is an idiot is troubling, let alone 30 to 40 percent of the comments.
This, to use an overused phrase, is what is wrong with America. The country, not to mention Congress, is just riddled with people like this. Anything the government does that benefits me is necessary and right. Anything the government does that does not benefit me is pork, waste, unconstitutional, and/or cause to hoard firearms and threaten armed revolution. The logic really is that simple, which is to say it really is that stupid. That, in 25 words or one picture of an idiot from Missouri, is what ails us. There is no way for our politics to make sense if any non-negligible portion of the voting public holds beliefs this contradictory and flat-out stupid.
(BONUS: "He’s a staunch believer in personal responsibility. In 1990, he and his daughter confronted four teens they caught fishing in a pond on their Raytown land. The boys called them names and threatened them, Jungerman said, and one spit on Jungerman’s daughter. Jungerman pulled a snub-nosed .38-caliber and held them until police arrived." Awesome!)