I’ll Take “Civic Ignorance” for $1000, Alex.

Like, I assume, countless local newspapers, my local fishwrap has a regular “Sunday Viewpoints” feature where they ask local citizens their opinion on a currently hot topic and print their answers along with their mugshot a nice, always flattering picture.  In addition, the Altoona Mirror also runs whatever question they happen to be asking this week as a web poll and use this opportunity to print those incredibly scientific results as well.  I am unsure if the Mirror posts the Sunday Viewpoint feature online, and if they do by some chance it will almost certainly be behind a paywall, so I took the liberty of snapping a museum worthy picture of this Sunday’s question so you know the feature isn’t the same as the “no-go zones” in Paris.

0727150909-00So in case you are reading this on your phone, or unable to tell just because of the incredible quality of my picture, this week’s question was “What do you think about the Iranian nuclear treaty?”  The results of the web poll are worthy of a massive face-palm, yet wholly unsurprising; this part of Pennsylvania isn’t called “Pennsyltucky” for its progressive political stances.  A full 49% of the respondents chose “The world will pay for this mistake,” a fact that is even more mind-blowing when you notice “It increases Iran’s power and destabilizes the Middle East ” was also available as an option.  (An option that apparently didn’t fully convey the sense of outrage so many people were being told to feel by Fox News and the GOP feeling.)  Anyway, here are the full results of this oh so scientific poll:

  • The world will pay for this mistake: 49%
  • It increases Iran’s…………Middle East: 15%
  • It won’t make any difference: 13%
  • It’s a fair deal for all involved: 13%
  • It delays Iran’s nuclear ambitions: 9%

“The world will pay for this mistake.”  Or, in the eloquent words of one Beth Sanders of Altoona:

“I think we made a deal with the devil, and I think Obama should be impeached over it.”

Holy shit, impeachment? You mean the Iranian deal has reached blowjob level?  Oh, never mind, that was back in the Clinton days when it took a blowjob to get impeached.  The current GOP would impeach Obama for breathing through his nose like a socialist\communist\ nazi\ satanist\ atheist\ muslim\french\elitist\professor\liberal in his ivory tower instead of through the mouth like good, God-fearing ‘Merikkkans if they could get away with it.  Taking Satanic deals and impeachment proceedings off the table, perhaps one Joe Falger, also of Altoona, sums up the feelings of my home area the best:

“I think we’re getting screwed in the deal.”

Thank you, Joe, and thank you as well, Beth, for sharing your opinions and thoughts on the pressing issues of the day.  In fact, thanks to all of you who took the time to answer the poll question on the Mirror’s web page.  It is enlightening to know what you all think.

Know what I think?

I think that not one of you, not Beth, not Joe, and not the 49% who insist that this is a mistake that the world will regret, have any concept of what is actually in the deal we signed with Iran.  I understand that this “man on the street” feature is not designed with this in mind, but if I was the journalist tasked with asking people this question I would not be able to resist a follow up.  “Oh, you think this is a deal with the devil?  And Obama should be impeached over it?  Well, can you tell me one, for lack of time and space, of your no doubt countless problems with the treaty?”  Oh, you think we are getting screwed in this deal?  Well, in your opinion then, what part of the treaty do you feel bends us over the table the most?”  I would bet a significant amount of cold, hard cash that any answers to the follow up would consist of blank stares, “ums,” and attempts to get out of admitting that they do not have one iota of factual information regarding the treaty.  They are against the treaty with Iran because Fox News, or whatever conservative media outlet they get their information from told them they are against the treaty, and that is good enough for them, just like “Obamacare” was perfectly fine when it was a Republican policy idea or when Mitt Romney was putting it in practice in Massachusetts, yet nothing but socialism, death panels, and the end of liberty and freedom when Obama elected to use this Republican policy to get some health reform passed.

Yes, I suppose that everyone has the right to their own opinion, but that doesn’t mean I (or anyone else for that matter) am required to respect your ignorant opinion, or even pay the slightest attention to it.  Your ignorant opinion on a subject you are ignorant on doesn’t deserve a soapbox or a megaphone to magnify it to the masses.  Informed opinions, even those I disagree with, deserve respect.  Ignorant opinions deserve to be ignored.

Look, I understand.  It is a complicated world, and with so much going on everyday it is very hard to stay well informed.  It is so much easier to just tune into Fox News or open up The Daily Kos and have other people tell you what you think.  The problem is that we live in a democracy (okay, a representative democracy for the pedantic amongst us) and a democracy depends on an informed electorate.  It may be your right to vote, but it is your duty to educate yourself on the issues and candidates, and when we allow all our information to come from an obviously partisan source, we betray the nation so many of us claim to love with all of our hearts.

And I apologize if it seems like I am picking on you (if you happened to google up your name and found this post), but anyone who would say the treaty with Iran was “A deal with the devil” worthy of impeachment is obviously parroting back words they heard elsewhere.

Sigh.  Why did racists have to use literacy tests to discriminate against black voters in the past?  Because a full half of the ideas I come up with to help fix our dying democracy include some form of civics test in order to vote, and I completely understand why that would never fly.

Alright, I have carpets to scrub.  If I get done quickly, I may be back with a few more posts a bit later.  Oh, by the way.  I’m back.

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