Interesting week and one that proves the point that fictional Forest Gump made: “Stupid is as stupid does.”
In Iowa, the “everything is about me” Presidential candidate Donald Trump demanded $5 million in charitable contributions as the price for him to appear in the final Republican presidential debate before this Monday’s Iowa primary caucus and then, when he didn’t get what he wanted, boycotted the event.
In Oregon, the standoff between a group of armed “militia” types who occupied a federal wildlife reserve in a protest for imprisonment of a ranching family that didn’t want their help and condemned their actions came to an overdue violent confrontation with law enforcement that left one of the leaders dead.
Trump’s increasingly grandstanding and megalomaniacal antics in an out-of-control Presidential primary season that he currently dominates is both incredible and stupid. A local Facebook poster this week claimed he would vote for Trump for President because “he says what we are thinking.”
Which, of course, only proves that too such voters simply aren’t thinking. Stupid is as stupid does.
Those who applaud others who wave their AR-15s and other assault style weapons around as part of a pattern of violent protests against laws and government actions are trying to make LaVoy Finicum a martyr when an Oregon state trooper shot and killed him after he drove away from a previous traffic stop, then plowed into a snowbank, narrowly missed another officer, and appeared to be surrendering before reaching for his loaded 9mm semi-automatic.
Finicum often told anyone who might be in earshot that he would rather die in a hail of gunfire than go to prison, where he belonged. He got his wish. Case closed. Stupid is as stupid does.
A renter of a house in Floyd County started a loud and raucous debate on Facebook when she bitched that her landlord was, somehow, at fault for not rushing over to clean her driveway after last weekend’s snow storm.
She says she might sue the landlord if her car is damaged when she has to pull out of the snow-packed driveway.
Really? It’s been more than 30 years, since Amy and I have rented but I don’t remember remember lease agreement saying it was the landlord’s responsibility to shovel snow if one rents a house. It might happen with multiple resident apartment complexes but not when you rent a single-occupancy house.
At no point in the argument did the renter say her lease provided snow cleaning of her driveway yet others rushed in to trash the landlord for not doing so.
Some years ago, Floyd County’s general court judge Ed Turner, who has since retired, noted that a bulk of the civil court cases that opened each session of his court room involved either a lawsuit over late rent or a dispute between neighbors.
“I think that in Floyd County, nobody pays their rent or gets along with their neighbors,” he said.
There was a time when that wasn’t true here. Residents helped neighbors with problems, renters paid on time and folks didn’t write bad checks. Now restaurants like El Charro, Floyd’s Mexican restaurant, have stopped accepting checks because so many bounced. Same for the Floyd Country Store.
Visit a session of General District Court at the Floyd County Courthouse and watch merchants seek convictions against those who pass bad paper with local businesses.
Forest Gump was right. Stupid abounds around us, both locally and even when it comes to our choices for President in this year’s elections.
In his book, Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter, Rick Shenkman, editor-in-chief of History News Network, concluded:
Most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.
Stupid is as stupid does. Case closed.