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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yes, But At Least They Know Africa Is A Continent

I am no fan of Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments. For whatever reason, Americans take special glee in showing how insular, ignorant, and goofy their fellow Americans are when being asked questions of general knowledge.

"They know squat about geography!", cry these Americanos arrepentidos.

Yes, true enough.

Average Americans need to improve on their cultural knowledge. But if you think your average Frenchman on the street could point out Duluth or Tucson on the map, you've got another thing coming.

However, we just underwent one of the most intense campaign cycles ever. For 21 months, normal Americans could be overheard speaking about Obama, Hillary, McCain, Palin and their policy positions. It was actually rather refreshing -- reminding one of the interest Americans took in foreign policy, post-2001.

Obama supporters seemed especially keen on their choice. And since liberals are said to be more comfortable about intellectualism, than their conservative counterparts (not true, but humour them) you'd think those who elected him would know their guy well, right?

Howard Stern excluded, this little montage may surprise you.



Well, at least everyone knows the real important stuff -- Bristol Palin is preggers and Sarah is her mommy.

P.S.: I mentioned it above, but here is the infamous Howard Stern radio outtake, where a staff member went around asking New Yorkers questions about Obama.

My vote counts the same as theirs. Ain't democracy grand?



IN THE COMMENTS: Synova makes a fair-minded point.

Without a control group of McCain voters it doesn't say much about *relative* levels of knowledge.

Oh... I wouldn't have known who had to quit campaigning for plagiarizing a speech. Otherwise, I'd have got the answers to the questions I heard on the first video.

But I don't think I'm typical.

I think most bloggers don't think they're typical, and perhaps we are not. Having said that, my point was not really to make the McCain-Palin supporters seem like geniuses in comparison.

It just that it seems that Obama supporters / liberals pride themselves in being above-average in the intellectual department, even the rank-and-file rather than the college-educated or elites. Their reasons for voting for Barack Obama hinge on their more nuanced world view than the savage wee beastie Republicans.

If you hear them tell it, their reasons for voting for Barack Obama are manifold, and far more intelligent than the usual mantra I personally heard from them, "I want change". That's it, change? Yeah, I'd hear back.

As I once said on Althouse, the reasons why we vote for a candidate often sound hopelessly trivial to others. It's difficult to make our arguments sound full of depth, as it often is tied to perception, and yes, personal biases.

That's fine. I totally understand.

But then don't come back and pretend you are so much more superior as a voter, when people really don't know squat about candidates' records. It's hypocritical.

Labels: , ,

1 Comments:

  • That's interesting.

    Without a control group of McCain voters it doesn't say much about *relative* levels of knowledge.

    Oh... I wouldn't have known who had to quit campaigning for plagiarizing a speech. Otherwise, I'd have got the answers to the questions I heard on the first video.

    But I don't think I'm typical.

    By Blogger Synova, at Wed Nov 19, 12:12:00 am GMT-5  

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