Listening to the Republican presidential candidates is enough to make one wonder what is in the water. Their policies and attitudes are so far removed from reality, to say nothing of the public welfare, that it is baffling that they think one of them can be elected on such a platform. Perhaps they know the American voter better than I (which wouldn’t be difficult) but, if so, we’re in a world of hurt.
At this point, of course, they are playing to those usually referred to as the base, or more accurately to the extreme right, which is believed to control nomination. Judging from audience reaction at the debates — cheering executions, mocking the unemployed — that is a sorry bunch. One of the candidates has, however inadvertently, provided us with an apt description of his party and, consequently, of our situation. At first, Herman Cain seemed to be on board only for comic relief, but now he is, according to recent polls, in first or second place. Therefore, let us take him seriously when he says "Stupid people are ruining America.” So they are. He had different people in mind than I do, but in his backward way, he’s right on target.
One obvious manifestation of stupidity is the determination to repeat mistakes, such as cutting spending during a recession or expecting tax cuts to erase deficits. Of course, such policies flow from reactionary ideology, but an ideology wedded to policies which demonstrably don’t work can’t be described as other than stupid.
The rest of Cain’s formula: “But the good news is we can outvote them." Let’s hope so.