Some four years ago, Bobby Jindal, the then governor of Louisiana and Republican presidential hopeful, warned that the GOP was in danger of becoming ‘the party of stupid’. Sadly that ship has now sailed.
Many Republicans still stick by Trump’s original assertion that COVID-19 is a hoax. Many also believe that global warming is a hoax. Some insist, contrary to all evidence, that temperatures are not rising, that glaciers are not melting, and that ocean levels are not rising. It becomes even more bizarre when one considers the absurd conspiracies that many of them are willing to embrace.
For example, 44% of Republicans believe the ridiculous notion that Bill Gates is plotting to use a COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people! An even more ludicrous conspiracy is that the world is run by a cabal of Satan worshiping, child pornographers operating out of pizza parlors! Yet the Republican congressional candidates across the country, including at least one in Oregon, have embraced this and other crazy notions. It is sad, but also scary, to witness the demise of a party that in times gone by at least aspired to stand for decency and truthfulness.
One has to admire the genius that it has taken for one man, Trump, to remake an old and venerable party in his own image. It was no mean feat. But he has one final challenge ahead. Can he make an entire nation ‘the country of stupid’? The world has watched in utter amazement as the president boldly claims that wind turbines cause cancer or that injecting people with bleach is an idea worthy of medical research. A doctor that he admires, Stella Immanuel, believes that alien DNA is being used in medical treatments and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from becoming religious. Our friends shake their heads sadly that a once smart nation is being reduced to this level of stupidity. Our enemies smirk gleefully as we damage ourselves in ways that they could not have hoped to do themselves.
The coming election is about many issues, but one of them is clear. Will Trump finally succeed in making America ‘the country of stupid’, or will we halt our current downwards spiral into the world of lies and conspiracies and instead pursue policies based on facts and science? In a time of crisis stupidity is fatal. America, with 4% of the world’s population has 25% of its COVID-19 deaths. This is the price of stupidity—thousands of preventable deaths. This coming election is our last chance to save our country from rampant stupidity.