The low calibre of the United States’ educational system has consequences. Too many people can’t read, write or do simple arithmetic at a level adequate to function effectively in modern society. Even these undesirable consequences are secondary to the fact that many never really learned how to think. Today we see evidence of all of this in Alaska.
Lisa Murkowski is a Republican Senator from the state, or at least she is fighting to retain that status in a ballot-counting exercise reminiscent of the lunacy over “hanging ‘chads’” in a Florida ballot recount during the 2000 Presidential Elections.
During the primaries a Tea Party-backed candidate, Joe Miller won the Republican nomination in an upset over the incumbent Murkowski.
Undaunted as the standard bearer of pork purveyance, Lisa Murkowski decided to run as a “write-in” candidate. Miller meanwhile committed the unpardonable sin of challenging the extant Social Security system in his campaign. By rationally addressing a taboo subject, Miller seems to have mobilized Murkowski supporters.
A significant part of the electorate was familiar enough with four-letter words to remember how to spell “pork,” with which they associated the name “Murkowski,” a tribute she has earned in bringing home loot from the U.S. larder.
Many voters could not spell “Murkowski” let alone write legibly enough to satisfy officials making judgments over cursive versus printed letters in divining the “intent” of voters.
It is not just the voters who display collective ignorance in the electoral process. Party workers, government employees, media observers and lawyers are all making rationalistic errors in thinking. Apparently unaware that the arcane exercise in which they all participate is so banal as to make a mockery of voter enfranchisement, they blithely continue the unexamined process.
All are engaged in a counterproductive exercise to acquire some degree of political power. In the process they are part of the gang that can’t count straight. Worse, by participating in a fight to gain the privilege of looting the rest of the country, they are engaged in an immoral process.
©Copyright 2010 Edward Podritske