The midterms this election cycle have seemed more contentious and looney than usual. The lead-up by the media, which is always overwrought with coverage and ads, has felt more like a constant insufferable pummeling from an abusive priest warning us of fire and brimstone. The warnings from pundits and campaign ads of the world ending if we, as voters, don't make the right decision today. America, it would appear, is on the verge of imminent, if not certain, annihilation. Ebola and ISIL are right now, as you're reading this, rushing our unprotected borders to wipe us out and kill our babies, bunnies and puppies and "the other guy" is to blame. The other guy, if you vote for him, is not only personally responsible, but is intentionally and deliberately attempting to murder you by getting elected.
It's nothing new to feel like our intelligence is being questioned. There has always been a sense that we're being talked down to and that most of what is said is gibberish to placate and appease us without really saying anything of substance.
During a debate between Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell was asked about the Kynect site that is Kentucky's Obamacare delivery system. Here's what he had to say:
"Kentucky Kynect is a Web site. It was paid for by a $200-and-some-odd-million grant from the federal government. The Web site can continue. But in my view, the best interest of the country would be achieved by pulling out Obamacare, root and branch..."
Yeah, a website that has delivered health insurance to nearly half a million Kentuckians. McConnell likes the site just fine, but wants to get rid of Obamacare. He carefully threaded the needle with that line of questioning, but in essence he's using semantics and nuance in an assumption that we and the media are rubes. His "they can keep the website" comment is a little like me saying, "I'd like Switzerland just fine if it weren't for all the Swiss."
How about the campaign ad that's been going around in an attempt to get female voters? You know women, who only think about girly things like wedding dresses and stuff. The ad made the rounds and was customizable to allow each candidate to drop their name into the ready-made condescension soup.
How's that for relating to voters?
According to Politico, quoting DGA spokeswoman Sabrina Singh:
The Democratic Governors Association blasted the ads in a statement, calling them "further evidence" that the Republican candidates "still have no idea how to communicate with women voters."That's because it's not just their attitudes that are condescending and insulting, but because their policies - from deep cuts to education to opposition to equal pay for equal work, to mandatory ultrasounds and defunding Planned Parenthood - are deeply out-of-touch with the concerns of women and families."
Those are pretty tame examples of being treated like an idiot and having one's intelligence questioned. For the first time in my life time, I'm oddly pleased that some are just saying it.
Earlier last month, Bill O'Reilly of FOX said, "Many American citizens are simply dumb. They don't know anything. And when you don't know anything, you'll buy anything and propaganda rules."
Consummate hate bag Ann Coulter told Fox and Friends during an interview that Democratic pro-women voters are "bottom 51 percent in terms of IQ."
She went on to say:
"The Democrats don't care. If they can get the bottom 51 percent of voters in terms of knowledge and IQ, they're perfectly happy. I can fool 51 percent of the people, that's enough to win. And hopefully, we'll overcome that."
And then there's this little gem from The Five, during which Kimberly Guilfoyle says that younger women should "go back on Tinder or Match.com."
During some banter amongst the conservative members of the show spitting out right-wing talking points, trying to comically up-sell how "pro-women" Republicans really are, the video ends. Guilfoyle, who also recently said she wanted Vladimir Putin as our leader to get things "done right," decided to essentially call younger female voters dumb and incompetent. "The same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don't get it," she says.
Guilfoyle then goes on to say that younger women don't have the same "life experiences" like paying bills, the mortgage, or taking care of children that older women have. You know, because clearly you can't be an independent, intelligent woman unless you're saddled with debt and have a house full of kids.
Unfortunately most of the people who they are referring to aren't watching this crap, so there's no risk of anyone voting out of spite.
The people who are going to vote and possibly decide the outcome of the election are the ones we should be worried about. Here's a video courtesy of Bill Maher, in which one guy says, "Yeah, but I think I deserve food stamps. I have no unemployment," and yet he's against food stamps.
Sixty percent of the eligible voting population in this country is expected not to vote today. As French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville is often quoted as saying, "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve."
No matter what the outcome of the election though, whoever ends up in charge and whatever side gets the majority, they're going to have to do some things they haven't managed to do in over six years: govern and legislate.
On a final note, here's a little satire from The Young Turks for your viewing enjoyment:
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