Is America An Idiotocracy?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
To quickly answer the question above, one has only to point to the obvious -- the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States.
I took a few minutes to look up the term "idiotocracy." Turns out Alexander Pope gets the credit for "inventing" this particular term to reference a form of politics or political philosophy. Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He postulated the following: "Forms of government, let fools contend. The best is that best administered."(Emphasis mine)
Since so many commentators have taken license with the meaning of idiotocracy, I shall not restrain myself.
For those not familiar with the US Constitution allow me to point out, and proudly, that it allows Americans to be stupid and idiotic. And, as history records, we have taken full advantage of that privilege/right -- and with gusto! And, time and again we have paid the price.
I became enthralled with history as child, especially history of western civilization. I still am. To understand America, one must understand America's ancestry. There is no better place to begin than with northern Europe.
In America Yours Truly is known as a "Southerner." I was born and reared in the "South." That's important, because the southern states were settled by people of Celtic ancestry for a time -- almost exclusively.
The Celts were famous, or infamous, for their willingness to fight at the drop of a hat and, at the same time, their love of freedom was and remains legendary. One has only to inquire of the Romans concerning both Celtic attributes -- if the Romans were still around, that is.
The northern states of America were settled by Europeans from the north of Europe -- countries like Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden, etc. And there was a great influx, later, by people from southern Europe such as Italy and Greece.
That area we call the Mid-West (Turns out it is NOT the Mid-West, but it is too late to change it now!) was, for the most part, settled by Americans who were pretty much PO'd with the rest of us on the eastern seaboard and decided to cross the Appalachian Mountains in search of sanctuary -- and land. They found the land. Sanctuary? Well, not so much. They were not particularly adventuresome. They were looking for land they could call their own and some peace and quiet. They paid dearly for both.
It is my contention that the West was settled by people who were, in fact, seeking a new home, many having been made destitute by The War Between the States. Amongst the settlers of the west were opportunist, fortune seekers, ex-military types, and some who were just plain ornery. Most of them, however, just needed a second chance. They were, unquestionably, an eclectic bunch of people.
The difference between Americans on the eastern seaboard and the western seaboard is, well, legendary.
One must remember that here, on the eastern seaboard of the United States, the thirteen original colonies (later states) were, before forming the federal government, thirteen separate and sovereign countries.
One of the reasons, I believe, The War Between the States is so misunderstood today is because we don't know America's history.
Before the so-called Civil War in America, a man's allegiance was to his "state." The federal government had been created by those separate states, or countries, to act as an agent of the states, not the other way around. So a man did not feel compelled to support the union. He DID, however, feel bound to support his state, which WAS his country. Contrary to much of today's historical records, and the entertainment industry, the idea of the United States as a "country" did not take hold until well after Reconstruction.
When you understand how folks felt about their states in the 1860's, you can understand why, for instance, Robert E. Lee turned down Lincoln's offer to command the Union Army and instead chose to fight with/for his state/country -- Virginia. It sheds a totally different light on the reasons for that unnecessary war.
The southern people never felt bound to the United States. So far as they were concerned, the federal government was a "hireling" from which they could separate themselves whenever they chose. There was nothing within the constitution they had signed onto that said they could not.
Even today, the southern people of America still feel a degree of allegiance to their state and region that is not shared by other regions of America for their states and it remains uncomfortable for the federal government.
I say all the above in an attempt to help non-Americans (as well as a good portion of modern Americans, too) get a grasp of what motivates Americans to do the stupid and idiotic things we do.
See, we're not bound by our history as so much of the world is. If fact, few Americans even know their history. Americans dont feel the need to explore their past in order to plot and navigate their future. We operate on the "Bumblebee Theory." which says -- the Bumblebee is aerodynamically unable to fly. However, the Bumblebee doesn't know it, so he just goes ahead and flies, anyway."
America is, in many way, un-tethered to its past. That might be good for innovation, but it precludes us from learning the lessons of the past and how to apply those lessons to today and, indeed, on into the future. We are at an advantage -- and a disadvantage -- at the same time.
We are eclectic, and unpredictable. Like a blindfolded giant we tend to stagger one way and then the other. We make mistakes. Then we recover -- and then make the same mistake again.
Some say our most recent national blunder was the election of Barack Obama as President. The electorate was drunk on the idea of electing the nation's first black President. It did not matter that we were electing a socialist with definite Marxist tendencies. We needed to make a statement to the world that racism in America was over. It was a fantasy, but, as I said, the electorate was intoxicated.
It was a mistake of biblical proportions. Not only is America paying the price for this tragic error, the entire world has been adversely affected.
No, we are not a nation of idiots, but collectively we can certainly act as if we were.
A "sober" electorate will strive to reverse the mistake we made in 2008 come this November. There is no certainty, on either side about the outcome of the election. But one thing IS certain -- it will take generations to heal and generations to repair the damage done to our nation -- and the world.
No, we're not idiots -- just Americans.
J. D. Longstreet