It’s been an ugly couple of months, hasn’t it? The bad news kept piling up and, frankly, it started to get to me. I still can’t get my head around why it’s somehow ok for police officers to kill black people. I just can’t go deal with it right now. So, instead, I’m just going to focus on one tiny thing to get it out of my mind.
Remember when Ted Cruz said “net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet“? I can’t get that one out of my head. It stands out as one of the stupidest things to come out of a politician’s mouth…er…keyboard….in a year filled with worthy candidates. He gets bonus points because of the brevity, don’t you think? It’s not quite “The Golden Girls were Kristallnact for television” but it’s pretty damned stupid.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think Ted Cruz is a stupid man. I don’t think that at all. I don’t know him personally but he doesn’t strike me as a stupid man. Cruz’ tweet reminded me of the first Bush-Kerry debate. There was a question regarding America’s allies and our, let’s say “unpopular” excursion into Iraq. Bush’s response to the question was simply “You’re either for us or you’re against us.” Kerry replied by saying that it wasn’t that simple, that different nations had different political realities at home and, while they were our allies, they couldn’t always engage in every military action at the drop of a hat (and that’s very much a paraphrase). When asked if he wanted to rebut, Bush leaned towards the camera and said “You’re either for us, or you’re against us.”
Now, you might regard Bush’s statement as similar to what you might expect from someone whose brain had been replaced Doink-It. I know that’s how I reacted. But let’s be perfectly honest here: George W. Bush is not and was not a stupid man. He said profoundly stupid things because he believed that his supporters were profoundly stupid and that they would respond to his profoundly stupid statements.
You know what? He was right, and he won the election.
And as for Ted Cruz? It’s the same playbook. Ted Cruz is a not stupid. He’s just counting on 51% of American voters being stupid.