Saturday, August 05, 2006


sim·ple·ton - A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.

Simpletons are destroying this world and they are taking everyone else with them. They’re everywhere. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting 3 or 4 of them.

You’ve seen them. They’re all around you, in every walk of life. Those people who are so lacking in even the most rudimentary critical thinking skills that they expect there to be a simple answer to everything.

They’re in the workplace. “My boss doesn’t like me.” “She only got that promotion because she had sex with him.” “He only got that job because he’s black.” They can’t take a critical look at their own performance and see how that may have prevented them from getting that promotion.

You’ve worked for them. “I don’t care if you think it’s stupid, wasteful or inefficient, it’s how we do it here. It’s our Policy. We’ve always done it that way. It’s how my boss wants it done, so that’s how you’re going to do it.”

You can find large concentrations of them at sporting events, particularly NASCAR tracks. “I’m just gonna sit here in the hot sun, drink ma beer, and watch them cars drive around in a circle.” No complicated rules, no strategy. Just cars driving in circles (well actually it’s an oval, but that’s geometry and that starts to get complicated, so we’ll just call it a circle).

The churches are rapidly filling up with them. Religions used to be complex, arcane belief systems full of ancient wisdom, introspection, meditation and speculation on life’s deepest mysteries. They gave rise to some of the greatest philosophers in history.

Not anymore. Too complicated. Requires too much thought. Hence the rise of Fundamentalism in religions all over the world. You no longer have to research complex problems to find an answer. You don’t have to look within yourself and search out your own flaws. You just crack open The Holy Book. The Bible. The Koran. The Torah. Complex problems no longer have complicated solutions. The solution is simple. Because God wills it. Do this. Don’t do that. These people are good. Those people are bad. Why? Because God says so. End of discussion. You disagree? Then you must die.

But worst of all, and most dangerous, they are in government. At the very highest levels. They look out at the world and all of the challenges we face and they decide what our policies should be. Do they see the world as it is? Can they look at the world objectively and see that while The United States has done much good in the world, we have also done a lot of harm? Are they capable of understanding that there are many people in the world who hate and despise us because of the damage that our policies and alliances have done to them? Do they understand that the way to keep people from hating you and wanting to kill you is to always strive to do good things for other people and to make more friends than enemies?

Unfortunately, The Simpleton lacks the faculties to analyze complicated problems and formulate a complex solution which moves everyone forward in a positive way. The Simpleton must reduce matters to simpler terms that they and the people who elected them can understand. “We’re the Good Guys; they’re the Bad Guys…The Evil Doers.” “They hate us because of our freedom.” “You’re either with us, or you’re against us.” “God bless America.” “Stay the course.”

The War on Terror is a war between simpletons. It cannot be won militarily. The only way that terrorism will stop is if the terrorists see that violent extremism is counter productive and that they can achieve justice and prosperity for themselves more efficiently through other means. Terrorism won’t be eradicated by killing all of the terrorists. That only creates more terrorists.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket because a nation of simpletons has elected a government filled with simpletons, just like them, to go out and declare war against other simpletons in the naive belief that killing them all will solve everything.

Is it any wonder that contrary to our National Mythology, all the world does not necessarily love us and want to be like us? They look at America and they do not see that “shining city on the hill”, they don’t see a “beacon of freedom and prosperity” that strives to be a force for good in the world, helping their friends and neighbors and fighting injustice wherever it lurks. No, they see the rich, hypocritical buffoons who will lie, cheat, steal and kill to get more and more of whatever they want, while trying to convince the world how wonderful they are.

The only friends we have left in the world are the countries who understand that they don’t have a choice. They don’t like us and want to be like us. They just want to sell us stuff and hope we don’t decide to kill them.

Such a lofty legacy. Really makes you proud to be an American.