America is soon to adopt a new acronym to replace USA. The new, easily remembered replacement will be LCD. The "dumbing down of America" is both the cause and the effect of our eventual destruction if we let it.
Sadly, though the citizens did not cause its own dumbing down; the corporatists, in an attempt to separate the intelligencia from the support of the people, has conditioned us to accept the best of the worst, a "lowest common denominator (LCD)" approach, like everything else in modern society. It is the source of the causes of our electing actors and idiots as Presidents, because they are as "ordinary as us", as opposed to celebrating brilliance. All of this is a consciousness that stupid people are more easily led, like rats into the sea following the pied piper.
If a basketball player has skills, we celebrate him; he scores more points; evidence of his superiority. Many never consider that the largest part of this is the superiority of his mind. They wrongly attribute this to his physical prowess, but somehow the tallest, most muscular player is not the highest scorer.
It appears many Americans would rather have a President with whom they could drink a beer and from whom they could hear a good joke, than to have one who knows how to improve their lives. It is not Mr. Bush's fault he is by far the least intelligent President to be elected in recent history. He is a product of the citizens and the devious puppet-masters who surround him. I am sure Mr. Bush is smarter than the average grocery store manager, but couldn't we have had higher expectations of the the requirements to become the "decider" for the world's only military superpower?
Regarding politics and even business, somehow it never occurs to many Americans that intelligence and logical persuasion are characteristics of an executive or lawyer that any of us would want to hire if we fully expect to win our cases, make more money and/or stay out of jail, yet somehow that has a taint when considering our number one legal and business minds in America. We have watched so many movies where emotionality won out over pure logical intelligence and truth, that we think demagoguery is the modern dogma of success. It never occurs to them, companies and the country should be run by the most intelligent, and that intelligence should feed our effective persuasion rather than weaponry and a loud mouth.
Then we wonder why the rest of the world laughs at us in the world frontier of policy and action. We have recently fallen from number one to number seven in a particularly important category:
U.S. falls from first to seventh place in global information technology ranking (Article)This is a factor that will quickly translate into a poor economy for the USA/LCD. Somehow we have let anti-intellectual businesspersons convince us that there is a paramount value that something being profit driven/capitalistic is automatically going to make it superior. Now, by calling them "anti-intellectual" I am not saying they, themselves, are "stupid"; they just believe that keeping us that way will make them more money.
This may very well be true, in the short run, for those who became successful through inheritance instead of better ideas and hard work. The less intelligent the US is, the more we will celebrate the lazy, stupid sons of their fathers rise to the top as if they are royalty.
For example, it never occurs to many people that insurance companies are driven by profit, therefore the least likely to make decisions based on giving the best product for the lowest price. Their job is to spend the least by any means and to provide the very least. This is why America has the worst yet most expensive medical care among industrial nations. Some people will defend to the death, the right of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to make more money while providing less and less services to consumers.
After all, "profit is the measure of success" right? If I am CEO and I make a higher profit this year, you might assume I am the better businessman than the CEO who has a longterm plan for maximized profits. We have come to believe that making a million dollars overnight is preferable to making a billion over a period of ten years. Some couldn't tell you that 1- million is a thousand times lower than 1-billion. I can easily increase the profit of any company by selling off its most valuable assets all in one year while laying off its most experienced and highly paid middle managers. But this "instant results mentality" is killing America.
This is exactly how this super-corporation called America is being run today. We are allowing our executives to run up debt so they can pay themselves more and appease the impatient stockholders with a better standard of living, even if their actions will inevitably kill the goose that laid the golden egg, and I don't mean the company itself; I mean the consumers that support its growth.
Some may think it is a "conspiracy" but that would require greater intelligence than these overnight successes actually have. No, it is the system itself that has been ignored and abused. Anti-trust laws encourage the long-term health of a system; they are now intended to destroy profits but to guarantee that profits go to companies that make a better mousetrap instead of playing accounting games through mergers and acquisitions.
At he moment, America suffers from the bloat of having been number one for so long that it became a monopoly. Now, it acts like one; stifling innovation and shooting messengers of bad news. It has become the greatest incentivizer of saying "yes" to the boss and "no" to the employees, and refusing change. The worker or the citizen, in this case, has the greatest motive to steal from the supply room, and to blame failure on others. There is no reason for self-improvement, as that would just draw attention and make him a target of petty office politics, as it is much easier to shoot down ideas than to have them or promote them. Destruction is much easier than creation and invention.
In fact, to some, it would make the most sense to let things fall apart so they may more easily steal from the company as it falters. Using Katrina and New Orleans as a perfect example, despite the destruction of the city costing the larger corporation a huge fortune in the long run, it has made many companies a small fortune through the contracts of rebuilding it. So, the incentive was to let the levies fail knowing that reconstruction contracts would be very profitable to a few companies while costing the larger consumer base a huge loss.
It is time America become aware that it has a mental deficit, so that it may first choose to improve itself. You cannot possibly solve a problem until you see it "as a problem". We have to lay down our egos and admit we have become stupid, not looking for blame but realizing the cause of our current failure as a nation. Denial will do no good; it will only make things worse. If we realize there is such a problem, when is it appropriate to solve it? I have always heard, "NOW" was a good time.
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America
The Dumbing Down of America
Dumbing Down American Readers