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After absorbing what can only be described as a 90-minute dispassionate recitation of written words delivered in robotic fashion from an alleged leader of the Free World who could not feign either interest or understanding of the words force fed him through the magic of a teleprompter I have arrived at my own verdict: namely, the SOTU was a monumental victory for stupidity. Stupidity is not necessarily measured in Intelligence Quotients, Ivy League educations, or the amount of wealth accumulated, rather it is more or less the inability to avail oneself of the body of intelligence, facts, and expert and professional judgements available to make decisions that affect others. In the case of the President it is the inability or refusal to make decisions based upon an assessment of options that form a complete review of the issue at hand. In this respect, the President is stupid.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Forget party labels, ideological predispositions, economic theories, class, race, religion, and geographical identification, whether it be north, south, east and west or rural, urban or suburban, the problem facing America and by all indications other parts of the world as well is plain and simple stupidity. The consequences of stupidity are wide ranging and serious and threaten our very survival as a species.

Intellectual laziness, greed, anger, fear, scapegoating, arrogance, ignorance, intolerance, and looking to the certainty of the past rather than the uncertainty of the future are the hallmarks which essentially mark the era in which the world finds itself presently. The willingness to stubbornly seek out and reward politicians who gleefully feed such glutinous destruction while feathering their own proverbial nests presents future generations with the unenviable and gargantuan task of trying to steady a course that is virtually guaranteed to haunt them.

Leading the charge into the vast dystopian universe is a Nitwit-in-Chief whose Faustian bargain is predicated on the hedge that all hell will break loose most likely after his time is up on Earth.

Leading the charge into the vast dystopian universe is a Nitwit-in-Chief whose Faustian bargain is predicated on the hedge that all hell will break loose most likely after his time is up on Earth. There is a school of thought that posits in a democratic society people get what they pay for, therefore if stupidity is the desired option so be it. However, making a mockery of democratic process irreversibly skews this proposition. This is particularly pronounced in light of gerrymandered voting districts, aggressive voter suppression efforts, the Electoral College, which is the vestige of capitulation to pro-slavery sentiment, a campaign finance structure totally held hostage to dark money, and an education system that has long ago abandoned history, arts, culture, ethics and most importantly civics.

The system is rigged in favor of the wealthy, and I don’t mean rich, I mean wealthy. Chris Rock summed it up best when he argued that Shaquille O’Neal was rich while the man that signed his paycheck was WEALTHY. Fossil fuel companies, big Pharmaceutical companies, Agribusiness, Wall Street, big banks, and the private health care system are all examples where wealth in a pay-to-play political system conspires to push legislative and administrative changes that continue to eviscerate the middle class, expand the working class and indigents in society and further isolate and consolidate wealth in the upper one percent.

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Of course the case for stupidity is reinforced by the cold hard facts that no amount of wealth will protect those living behind gated walls from the destructive forces unleashed by a deteriorating climate and destruction of a planetary scheme conducive to human existence. In fact, in a curiously counterintuitive way those who prolong their existence may end up being more severely punished than those who succumb initially. But still stupidity reigns.

Stupidity is the inability to comprehend the difference between weather and climate. Stupidity is the refusal to think strategically, or for that matter think at all. Stupidity is being incapable of discerning the ultimate costs of short-term planning from the benefits of long-term planning. Stupidity is thinking that we can bully our way into a more peaceful world by engaging in a destructive arms race. Stupidity is attempting to wall ourselves off from the rest of the world by creating an island of wealth that will neither withstand a nuclear first strike nor the ravages of climate change. Stupidity is thinking that the American people will continue to accept the growing income inequality within our own borders. Stupidity is inviting conflict among ethnic groups at a time when demographic shifts in society inexorably will result in a majority minority country. Stupidity is promoting conflict in spite of the inevitable doctrine of mutually assured destruction.

The current administration is built upon and premises their policies upon stupidity. Trump is just purely and simply a stupid man. Those who brag most about their intellectual abilities are most intellectually challenged. Those who brag about their physical prowess do so to hide their weakness, I mean look at the man, he talks like a gangster yet is an obese country club pretender ferried around the course in a golf cart. Real tough guy! Those who brag about their sexual prowess, well we don’t need to go there, even if the President started that conversation in a bus with Billy Bush.

The President’s performance before the world is validation of his stupidity. Love letters to the man who just last year he referred to as Little Kim, the continuing infatuation and flirtation with Putin, the lies built upon lies built upon lies, the consolidation of his power while Republicans refuse to step up to the plate to stop this idiot, all indicate that stupidity is governing the day and threatening the future.

I do not know if the Democratic wave this past November is enough to stave off a catastrophe. It certainly is promising but the hard facts are that Republicans are going to have to help avoid the serious damage that is staring us in the face. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does.” Today we find ourselves in the grip of stupidity and time is not on our side.


Lance Simmens