You Know the Difference Between Genius and Stupidity?

EinsteinSometimes I wonder why pollsters ask the American people about anything.  What’s the point?  I mean, would Gallup ask someone from Uzbekistan if he thinks Mickey Mantle was a better centerfielder than Willie Mays? Would the NBC/Wall Street Journal polling outfit ask the average man on the street in Kabul if he prefers Canali or Hugo Boss?  So why would a pollster ask Americans about almost anything not having to do with Dancing with the Stars?

If you think I’m channeling H.L. Mencken, who believed you’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, give yourself a gold star.

Still, we poll Americans on just about everything — even though a lot of folks don’t know much about anything.

Take several recent Rasmussen polls.  In one, only 29 percent of likely voters said incumbent members of the House and Senate should be re-elected.  That sounds smart, given that we now have more respect for bank robbers than politicians.  Except come November, just about everybody in Congress will be re-elected – by these same people who told Rasmussen that that they wanted to kick the bums out.

This is from Politico after the 2012 elections:  “Despite rock-bottom congressional approval ratings, voters reelected their incumbents at near-banana-republic levels in 2012.”  And what were those “near banana republic levels”?  Try 90 percent.  That’s right, 9 out of 10 members of the House and Senate who sought re-election were re-elected.

So the Rasmussen poll tells us nothing because the people Rasmussen polled are either duplicitous or don’t know what the word “incumbent” means.

Then there was the question about taxes.  A whopping 69 percent of the Americans polled said the middle class pays a larger percentage in taxes than do the rich.

Here are the facts:  The top one percent pays about 37 percent of all federal income taxes and the top five percent pays almost 60 percent.

So what’s the point, I ask again, in polling people who don’t know what they’re talking about?  Are we supposed to learn something from their lack of knowledge?

And then there’s this:  despite the fact that most Americans give the president low grades on his handling of the economy; despite the fact that most Americans say they don’t like ObamaCare; despite the fact that according to Rasmussen only 29 percent of likely voters think America is heading in the right direction – despite all of that, about half (49 percent) still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing, according to Rasmussen.  Huh?

Rush Limbaugh has a name for Americans who don’t know what’s going on.  He calls them “low information” voters.  Why in the world would a pollster ask these chuckleheads their opinions, for example, about how the president is handing the crisis in Crimea – a place many of them undoubtedly never heard of or probably think has something to do with crime.

I have long thought that dolts should not be allowed to vote.  But that’s a discussion for another time.  For now, let’s simply agree that Rasmussen, Gallup, Quinnipiac and all the others who ask low information Americans what they think about complex issues are wasting our time.

But I don’t want to leave any of you with the wrong impression. There most certainly are plenty of smart Americans out there whose opinions matter.  And I would never suggest that most Americans are stupid.  That would be rude.  So I’ll leave the last word to some guy named Albert Einstein, who once said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

I for one have never heard of this Einstein fellow, who also said that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

I don’t get it — which makes me a perfect candidate to answer any questions Mr. Gallup or Mr. Rasmussen might have for me.

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  • Dayton Waters

    I got into a rather heated debate on another site in recent weeks about the Democratic Party owning the “no information” vote. When asked for statistics to support my assertion, I simply used the numbers from the last two Presidential elections. The counter argument was that both sides have uninformed voters, which I took as a spin-off of moral equivalency, and that is intellectual equivalency; “since both sides do it, it cancels itself out,” etc. My chief argument was this: If you were to remove party affiliation, speeches, pictures (or other racial identifiers) and only list the two categories of values and experience, there is absolutely no way Barack Obama could have been elected to run a hot dog stand, much less the USA. His margin of victory alone is evidence that voters not only did not know of his gross lack of qualifications, but did not care. They voted for reasons OTHER than those that should determine who gets to be the most powerful man in the world. They were ignorant, most deliberately I contend, and ignorance was truly bliss. I fully believe that race was the defining characteristic for a full 99% of the black vote and 60% of the white vote. I believe that liberal ideology bolstered the black vote and accounted for at least 80% of the Hispanic vote, and 40% of the white vote. Lastly, I believe that the prevailing anti-Bush sentiment, whether just or unjust, accounted for as much as 70% of the white vote. With those kinds of numbers, one needn’t have any qualifications whatsoever to get elected and we know THAT is true because a guy with NO qualifications was not only elected and re-elected, but he also won the Nobel Prize.

    Conclusion: We must take these NO INFORMATION voters very seriously. They have proven that they can elect a President in back-to-back elections. With the help of the press, Hollywood, Harry and Nancy, and a yellow brick road of free stuff, they are systematically destroying this country, (or should I say “fundamentally transforming?”). If not effectively countered, they will continue to do so until the USA is no longer recognizable as a free nation. There is a very sophomoric comedy movie called IDIOCRACY that everyone should suffer through because I believe it is actually a prophetic docudrama of the future state of our union if we continue to let the inmates run the asylum.

  • lark2

    Bernie, This was a brilliant posting. I hope you are wrong but, I fear you are right. I wish I knew the answer but, the knuckleheads are everywhere … what a tribute to American Public Education. Back when I graduated from James Monroe High School in New York City, ALL of us could read and write, 98% of us graduated and went on to college. Today, we spend 20 times as much … there are “computers” in every classroom and the students can’t find their way to the toilet…. well, maybe they can find the toilet.

    • legal eagle

      Oh for the good old days……..Thanks for the memories Archie Bunker…

      • lark2

        Eagle, give it a rest!

        • legal eagle

          Sorry…have to be nicer to people from the Bronx….LOL

    • legal eagle

      I doubt 98% of James Monroe graduates went on to college….Is that a fact or a feeling?

      • brickman

        I don’t think Ed Kranepool went to college. He graduated from James Monroe.

        • legal eagle

          Nor did Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg….LOL

          • brickman

            I first heard of Greenberg when Kranepool first came up. He had broken a lot of his records. People seemed impressed. I later found out how good Hank really was.

          • legal eagle

            Greenberg and Sandy Koufax are legends among every Jewish kid who ever played ball in New York…

          • brickman

            Here in Jersey, they only had Moe Berg.:)

          • legal eagle

            In NYC we had Meyer Lansky…LOL

        • lark2

          Ed and I played on the baseball team at Monroe. You are right, I don’t think he went to college but, he was a professional baseball player . damn good one and he was a smart guy … the “timing” may not have been right for college. I’m sure he has forgotten but, I lent him my bat when he signed and I never got it back! Ed, if you are on this site … I was “Jose” then … I don’t need my bat any more.

          • brickman

            He also stole Chico Esquala’s soap in the famous SNL skit.LOL

      • lark2

        In 1960, James Monroe was pretty upscale. Everyone who graduated, went on to college … vocational schools or the Liberal Arts schools … not all who started in college may have graduated but, they went … although, that was a long time ago … I may have overstated the percentages but, it was VERY HIGH. . Back then, graduation and college was the norm … not going was considered a failure. The times have changed. I also went Morris High School for 2 years … with Colin Powell. The graduation rate there was 98 % … today it’s 3 %. It’s a sad story.

        • legal eagle

          I believe your 3% graduation rate is exaggerated….
          BTW….I graduated from CCNY, several years after Gen. Powell.

          • LHS

            Are you STILL here, legal beagle? Still boring everyone to death with your snide little comments? You’re nothing but a splinter in your own finger, a stye in the eye. In short, a troll.
            Run along now.

          • legal eagle

            You are the equivalent of a hemorrhoid up your butt…

          • LHS

            I’m yawning again.

  • Hankster

    I’m not even going to comment on pollsters or the news media. But I will tell you how much fun it was to read a light-hearted article about a practice that truly is a waste of time, and only conducted for the purpose of manipulating public opinion (those ‘chuckleheads!’). The Einstein quotes are priceless!

  • legal eagle

    Too bad Bernie chooses to ignore the fact that different polling organizations ask different questions….
    I guess that Bernie hasn’t figured out yet that Rasmussen polling has been so inaccurate that Scott Rasmussen has left the firm.

  • loupgarous

    Noted science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein once got a lot of flak for proposing that voters be required to take a first-degree integral (an elementary calculus problem most college students in the sciences can solve by their sophomore year) before their votes count. Since then, Carl Sagan and Brian Toon have shown that mathematical proficiency doesn’t automatically translate into knowing what’s good for the country. But there has to be some fundamental test for civic competency – and Heinlein DID give us that one – public service, of the sort typified by a stint in the military.

    • Robert C

      That sums it up very well. Although, like Israel; I believe military service for a minimum of 2 years would be suffice.

      • legal eagle

        Except for the fact that a significant portion of the Israeli population is exempt from military service…

        • loupgarous

          But we’re not Israel. We actually are protected from the error they commit (as the “Hebrew Republic”) of making a certain subset of their populace exempt from military service for sectarian reasons, because the First Amendment forbids that sort of favoritism.

          However, even Heinlein, in the actual novel Starship Troopers (not Verhoeven’s abysmal adaptation for the screen, and the follow-ons on cable in that vein) allowed nonmilitary Federal service as an alternative path to citizenship. There are plenty of nasty, risky jobs with not enough volunteers (police work in bad neighborhoods, for example, or helping out in intensive care wards) that don’t involve wearing green and carrying assault weapons.

          • legal eagle

            Israel did not commit an “error”. Ben-Gurion instituted a policy, in 1948, for a political purpose.

          • Sheila Warner

            During the draft, college students were exempted. Not sure how we are all that different from what Israel does.

          • brickman

            I was a college student drafted out of school. My high school class of 1971 was the first not to have a deferment.

  • Gadoh

    Bernie: Also, who are these geniuses who actually talk to these endless polsters? Anyone with a brain has caller ID, call blocking, or simply will not waste their time talking to these callers — if they even have a land-line at all!

  • LHS

    Another great column, Bernie. You bat about .750 IMO. And you are correct again this time:
    “…the people Rasmussen polled are either duplicitous or don’t know what the word “incumbent” means.”
    In a frighteningly high percentage they don’t know what oceans and/or countries border the United States. Ever seen Kimmel’s on the street interviews employing bogus questions, non-existent and/or erroneous events? They just lie about it all, I suppose just to get on “TeeVee”. Yes, it is laughable and sad. The dumbing down of our population has worked exceedingly well, hasn’t it? Or is it “stupiding down”?
    Always informative and entertaining, Bernie, even when we disagree, Thanks.

    • Otto Maddock

      It’s too bad they don’t give people a simple competency quiz on current affairs before they step into the voting booth.
      I’ve often wondered about the reliability of those exit polls we hear about. Has anyone here ever participated in one? It’s amazing — and questionable — how they’re able to determine the voting statistics by ethnic group.

  • Marian Degner

    By Bernard Goldberg
    You know the Difference Between Genius and Stupidity?
    Yeah! Best example of both is Bill O’Reilly. He’s Great and Genius how to take on Judge Adams with passionate screaming for he’s impeachment and also He’s weak and full off Stupidity don’t scream with the same passion on GOP House Representatives for Not doing anything on Immigration Reform and Quietly supporting deportations off young kids parents, heart breaking millions families stories !

    • Jeff Webb

      Yeah! Those damn Republicans, sitting back while laws are being enforced!

    • loupgarous

      (Majel Barrett Star Trek computer voice, to a background of klaxons and buzzers)

      “WARNING! Educational failure! Educational failure! Educational failure!”

    • pasquale7

      SO WHAT? They are breaking the law. If the federal government had been enforcing the laws there would not be an immigration problem to fix. If a child was born in the USA to criminal parents and goes back to their country with the parents it is not the fault of the people enforcing the laws; blame the parents. (Sorry, I do not know if illegal immigration is a civil or criminal matter according to the statutes; not that it matters.) THEY broke the law and should suffer the consequences. END OF DISCUSSION. All of those moral and emotion aspects are bogus.

  • D Parri

    Better yet, Bernard, do you know the difference between lies and statistics?

  • Nicholas344

    What is there to discuss? The results of the Obama eligibility issue documented the time in American history within which “We the People” devolved into “They the Great Unwashed.” It did so by the denial of proof of a primary constitutional requirement for a president to the American people. We the People who the government works for would automatically be entitled to proof. “They the Great Unwashed” who now work for the government are considered unworthy and too stupid to deserve proof. Politicians, the media, and the courts, unanimously agreed that the Great Unwashed do not deserve proof. In fact it is considered insulting that they should have the audacity to demand it. Stupid people must learn to know their place. The government is gradually teaching them how to express proper respect for their superiors.
    In short, unworthy and stupid people are considered both incapable and unworthy of freedom. What then is there to discuss. Our future has been determined,

  • Paula

    Obama is spiteful, vindictive and racist. Those are his good points.

    About “low information voters”… there are people who wouldn’t dream of voting any other way but Democrat! The MSM doesn’t report to many negative stories about obama… and with people like Chris “I felt a tingle up my leg” Matthews screaming that Benghazi is a lie and the rest of those insufferable Progressive news reporters reporting only what they are told to….plus the people that are on any government program … we’re going to get voters that will vote for the ones that will NOT take away their benefits.

    Then we have to suffer with people with incredible White guilt…. who believe that minorities are should have more rights than the rest of the country. Who listen and believe the Race Pimps when they say blacks are denied any privilege that whites get. Completely ignoring the fact that obama and his administration is made up of minorities, socialists and gays.

    We all know about the “darling of the progressives” Saul Alinsky… and just where did he come up with his “Rules for Radicals”? From the master himself:

    Vladimir Lenin’s Decalogue “Manual to Seize Control of a Society” which he used in the 1917 Russian Re-Revolution (The October Surprise) usurping control from the original Russian Revolution which occurred earlier in the spring of that year.

    1. Corrupt the youth and give them absolute sexual freedom.

    2. Infiltrate and take control of the mass communication media.

    3. Divide the population into antagonist groups; encourage arguments between them over social issues.

    4. Destroy the people’s confidence in their leaders.

    5. Talk all the time about democracy and republic, but when the opportunity arises, seize power as a dictator.

    6. Cooperate with the drainage of public funds; discrediting the image of the country, especially overseas, and create panics within the
    population through the launching of an inflationary process.

    7. Encourage strikes, even if they are illegal, in the country’s key industries.

    8. Promote riots while conspire to prevent intervention by law enforcement.

    9. Cooperate actively in destroying the moral foundations of society and honesty and trust in the government’s promises. Infiltrate other parties with your own people, forcing them to vote for what is useful to your own party’s interest.

    10. Register everyone who has firearms, in order to confiscate them when the time comes, preventing them from opposing your revolution.

    Sound familiar?

    • Robert C

      Nail on the head !!! Too bad more can’t see through the fog.

    • LHS

      So, Paula, you’re expecting the Santa Claus voters to actually read AND think logically? Tch, tch, tch.

      • Paula

        Yikes! You got me there. The rich celebrities, for the most part, are pseudo-intellects. However, there are the very rich, like Bill Gates, who do read and still has the Progressive mentality. Which is hypocritical to their socialist beliefs. But that’s another blog.
        Of course there are the poverty-race pimps who go along to make a good living off the backs of those they are “representing.” And then we have the rest of them…. the ones that are told and promised “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Without them, the “leaders” the masses would lose their benefits, White would reign supreme, and the rest of the baloney-hype.
        I wish this would be over and begin to rebuild.. our economy and our MILITARY!

  • chevron1144

    In other words the foxes are guarding the chicken coop. The chickens have a low IQ and continue to vote for the foxes.

    • SkyCitizen

      chevron1144, Very succinct !

    • chevron1144

      “Take several recent Rasmussen polls. In one, only 29 percent of likely voters said incumbent members of the House and Senate should be re-elected. That sounds smart, given that we now have more respect for bank robbers than politicians. Except come November, just about everybody in Congress will be re-elected – by these same people who told Rasmussen that that they wanted to kick the bums out.” Bernard Goldberg

      • loupgarous

        I stopped following Rasmussen a long time ago when it became clear that his results had no relevance whatever to actual political outcomes in this country. Horoscopes have more predictive power than a Rasmussen poll.

  • Soul

    I’ve thought for awhile that general public polls can be interesting to see, but all to often not terribly informative to me. When it comes to politics I’ve thought of polls somewhat in a sports manner. I’m a long suffering University of Illinois sports fans. From time to time one of the major University sports teams does well. All to often though the UofI teams are bottom dwellers. The team in orange can be painful to watch. During ruff years if asked my thoughts on football or Bball play, I’d say it was time for new coaching, better recruiting, smarter play from the players, etc. In the end though despite the all to often ugly play I find a way to remain a UofI fan. To change to a new team to cheer for will require a move, an ugly event to occur, possibly more exciting play from a team that captures my imagination, etc.

    With politics, what concerns me more often is the ideas said and actions taken that leading “elites” make. That has me shaking my head in disbelief more frequently.

  • Florida Jim

    Our schools have not been teaching students how to think and how to reason for decades, ,since the 60’s radicals infected the schools. Our education system is broken and Obama’s answer , through his basketball playing buddy, Arne Duncan, thinks “Common core” is the answer because the union tells him “common core is the answer, you dolt”. Obama has failed at everything it is time we awaken and face facts we made a giant blunder choosing an inexperienced community organizer with no real achievements other than avoiding scrutiny for years. A poor selection, twice, can destroy a Republic we are watching it do so.
    Another big government program protecting lousy schools is not the answer the answer is Charter Schools abolish unions and hire excellent teachers paying them well when the prove themselves deserving of that salary.

  • Cecilio Mendez

    There is an “ethnic” joke (you provide the ethnicity) where an individual was asked if he knew the difference between “ignorance” and “indifference”. His answer was: I don’t know and I don’t care. Seems there are many of those going to the polls these days…

  • Darren Perkins

    I am frankly disturbed by this column and most of the comments I’ve read. If this is the attitude of the majority of people who call themselves conservative then I fear that the problem of selling conservative ideas lies not in the message but the messengers. Elitist a-holes are not who I would want to represent the values that made this country great and that is the way most are coming off as to me. If your problem is low information voters then why not do something constructive and reach out to those around you and try and educate the willing? Somehow I doubt many would be willing to listen to those who hold them in complete and utter contempt. Think about it and think about the attitude you project.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >> If your problem is low information voters then why not do something constructive and reach out to those around you and try and educate the willing?

      I think Bernie’s justified concern is that a frighteningly large number of people in this country are unwilling to allow themselves to be educated – mainly because they just don’t care about important topics.

      To your point, I’ve long argued that conservatives need to dummy down their messaging to attract new support. The frustrating problem, which Bernie is talking about, is that people don’t seem to have an independent curiosity for understanding issues and an interest in enlightening themselves.

      , but I can’t help but share much of Bernie’s frustrations.

      • brickman

        It seems to me that some people consider other people to be low information voters if those people disagree with them. I once again bring up the example of the dozens of pundits who were incorrect in predicting the 2012 election. Are they low information pundits?

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>It seems to me that some people consider other people to be low information voters if those people disagree with them.

          No. A low information voter is someone is blissfully ignorant to the issues themselves, primarily because they lack intellectual curiosity.

          >>I once again bring up the example of the dozens of pundits who were
          incorrect in predicting the 2012 election. Are they low information
          pundits?

          Give me a break. An in-tune person using a logical thought process to form a prediction that ended up being wrong is a far cry from people who couldn’t even tell you what the Affordable Care Act is.

          • Ron F

            And who gets to decide who is “blissfully ignorant”, you? There is an old attorney joke: if the law is against you argue the facts, if the facts are against you argue the law, if the facts and the law are against you call the other attorney a schmuck. In politics, we call them low information voters or any other number of names on both sides.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            If you watch any of those man-on-the-street segments where people haven’t any clue what they’re talking about, when asked very simple questions about important, widely-reported topics, THAT’S blissful ignorance. Do you disagree?

          • Double4Trouble

            Sarah Palin thinks the Queen Of England is head of state? How ignorant is that?

          • Ron F

            I do not know if it is blissful or how they vote. The man-on-the-street segments are representative of only the people who are interviewed and generalizations cannot be made from them. Just like all conservatives are not responsible for some idiotic things said by a few conservatives and Reverend Phelps church and Christian churches that have the snake pits are not representative of all Christians. The only redeeming factor to me is if you look at liberal or left wing sites, they have the same hatred for and generalize about conservatives.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I do not know if it is blissful or how they vote.

            Huh?

            >>The man-on-the-street segments are representative of only the people who are interviewed and generalizations cannot be made from them.

            They’re random samplings of everyday Americans, just like the polls that Bernie cited. You don’t draw anything from that?

            >> Just like all conservatives are not responsible for …

            When did I say that low information voters are inherently liberal? They come in all shapes and forms, and a lot of them have no real ideological leanings. Not sure who you’re arguing with here.

          • Ron F.

            John, the fact that they are on television tells me they are not representative of anything. Generally, anecdotal evidence is not evidence of anything and because the sample is too small to make any inferences from it. If they are a random sampling of everyday Americans, then we are all idiots. As to the political view, I was addressing other commentators on this blog who overwhelmingly draw the conclusion that they are liberals.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>John, the fact that they are on television tells me they are not representative of anything.

            What do the poll results tell you? Only that people have phones?

            >>As to the political view, I was addressing other commentators on this blog who overwhelmingly draw the conclusion that they are liberals.

            It’s not a belief I subscribe to. A lot of these people don’t identify as conservatives or liberals.

          • Ron F

            John, survey results, if done properly and with a proper, have a statistical basis for making conclusions. Anecdotal evidence is not a large enough sample size to make a conclusion about anything other than the people in it. On the other hand there are legitimate questions regarding surveys, sample size, what population the sample represents and how questions are framed. We very rarely get that information. Only the number of participants and the margin of error which is based on the number of participants.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>John, survey results, if done properly and with a proper, have a statistical basis for making conclusions.

            Thanks. Now you realize that surveys were the basis for this column, and that the man-on-the-street segments are just additional evidence that I chose to point to as an example of low information individuals, correct?

          • Ron F

            John, I agree except I am not sure the survey results show a lack of intelligence and are not inconsistent and I think the man-on-the-street segments are for entertainment. For years voters have disliked Congress as a whole but thought their Representative of Senator was doing a good job, if they voted for him or her. I have a strong dislike and will not vote for a Democrat but it does not mean I like Republicans. I like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul but would say the Republican Senators are a disappointment. And most people who think the electorate is dumb do not include themselves. Finally, most of the comments to this blog are similar to comments that I see from the left, except the left uses “flat earth” and racist but they also claim people on the right lack understanding, etc.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I don’t think it’s a lack of intelligence as much as it is a lack of intellectual curiosity.

            You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand what’s going on in this country. You just have to care enough to pay attention.

          • legal eagle

            It’s hard to believe that you take any credence in “man on the street” segments on television? I’m actually amazed that you would even bring up the subject…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Are the people actors?

            And clearly, they were merely an example… not my entire case.

          • legal eagle

            It’s a poor example……I don’t know if they are actors, do you? I don’t know if they represent 10% of the people interviewed or 90%?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I don’t know if you’re a lawyer, yet we’re supposed to view you with some degree of legal credibility.

            Is that how we’re going to debate topics from now on? We just assume that everything we see or hear is fake, so you can get out of having to put forth a substantive argument?

            Fine. I’ll go back to assuming you’re a Hooter’s waitress.

          • legal eagle

            and I will stay with the assumption that you’re just a whining loser……fair enough?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Still reeling from our last bout, huh? You’ll get over it.

          • legal eagle

            Last bout of what? Typhoid or gonorrhea?

          • Sheila Warner

            Christian organizations do those man on the street interviews all the time. We used to have videos of those interviews shown in church quite often. Most of the congregation actually laughed at the poor stupid people who don’t know a thing about the Bible. Really sad.

          • legal eagle

            You do realize those segments are edited for comedic effect? Do you think they show the people who get the answer right?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I know. I never said that EVERYONE is a low information voter.

          • brickman

            John, I’m called low info by conservatives all the time. Usually when I tear them a new one. Only ONE person on the right has ever defended me after that charge has been levelled. Low info is used by some conservatives the way some liberals use the term racist.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>John, I’m called low info by conservatives all the time.

            Oh, I’m sure the term gets overused at times by the right. Regardless, the term accurately describes a lot of people.

            >>Only ONE person on the right has ever defended me after that charge has been levelled.

            Add me to the list. I don’t think you’re “low info.”

            >>Low info is used by some conservatives the way some liberals use the term racist.

            By some? Probably. But saying that someone is oblivious is a far cry from accusing someone of being a racist. Don’t you think?

          • brickman

            Thank you for your comment. I get called low info probably 1-2% of the time. I don’t like it. I’m never called a racist. I wouldn’t like that either. It usually is used by someone with no other argument. I find it interesting that one side considers themselves smarter and one side considers itself purer of heart. I wonder if they are both overcompensating.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>I find it interesting that one side considers themselves smarter and one side considers itself purer of heart.<

          • brickman

            I haven’t noticed any new columns from you. The free market has spoken.

          • Sheila Warner

            I have the same experience. Conservatives around here assume that I voted for the President, which is false. They think I am a Democrat, which is false. They think that I am a liberal, which is false. They think I’m stupid, which may or may not be true, admittedly, but the perception of my stupidity is based on the first three assumptions.

          • Sheila Warner

            How “in-tune” were those pundits, actually? I voted for Mitt Romney, all the while knowing that he would lose. All one had to do was ask people around himself to realize that President O had a lock on the election.

      • Darren Perkins

        If that is his concern then I would simply say that you don’t reach people by calling them stupid. I also don’t feel that the message needs to be dummied down but perhaps delivered with a little more charisma and a little less condescencion. It would also be helpful if Republicans actually did what they said: work toward smaller government, less regulation, and balanced budgets. Then people would actually reap the benefits of what is being preached. My biggest concern is that when Republicans gain control of the senate and perhaps the presidency that they will not be much better than the Democrats at using the U.S. taxpayers money.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>If that is his concern then I would simply say that you don’t reach people by calling them stupid.

          I don’t think Bernie’s trying to “reach” anyone in this piece. I think he’s calling something like he sees it.

          >>I also don’t feel that the message needs to be dummied down

          I do.

          >>but perhaps
          delivered with a little more charisma and a little less condescencion.

          More charisma is always good, but if we’re talking about the ‘conservative’ message, it’s already far less condescending than the liberal one. Conservatives aren’t the ones telling minorities that they can’t make it on their own. They’re not the ones telling people that they need government managing their lives. What liberals are great at, however, is dummying down the message to appeal to people’s knee-jerk, emotional instincts instead of their brains. That’s how they win elections.

          >>It would also be helpful if Republicans actually did what they said:
          work toward smaller government, less regulation, and balanced budgets.

          No argument here. The problem is that at this point in time, there’s little they can do in Washington without more seats. Whenever they take a firm stand, they’re successfully portrayed as ‘extremists’ by the media establishment to an electorate that Bernie has pretty accurately described.

          >>My biggest concern is that when Republicans gain control of the senate
          and perhaps the presidency that they will not be much better than the
          Democrats at using the U.S. taxpayers money.

          I think they’re going to have to. If the Republicans take the Senate, it will be the first time in eight years that they’ll actually be in a position to effectively pursue a conservative agenda. If they screw it up, it will be a long time before they get another chance.

          • Darren Perkins

            I don’t think Bernie is trying to reach anyone either. He’s succeeding and that is a shame because he has a platform with which to do it.

            Far less condescending is still yet condescending. Reaching out to people to grow support needs to be done with humility if we hope to undo what the liberal propaganda machine has done. Perception is reality.

            I think I fairly accurately described the ugliness of Bernie and a majority of the commenters. I really shouldn’t have to reach out to fellow conservatives and remind them that people deserve respect regardless of their lack of knowledge, relative intelligence, or opinions but apparently respect is only for those who are on our side anymore. I personally find this repugnant and sad.

            I think that power corrupts and Republicans are plenty corruptible and until we elect people of strong moral conscience then not much will change except who benefits. Yes in my mind they will have to pull back to a level pre-Obama but that level is nowhere near what I would call conservative.

      • Sheila Warner

        I share your frustration. From my personal experience, it is not only the “liberal” voters who don’t have an interest in enlightening themselves. There are some very conservative religious people out there who eschew the news or any current events. They are quite proud to be uninformed, as they see following their religious precepts as more important than following what’s happening around them.

        My best friend of over 40 years is one of those people. Her calling is to Jesus Christ, her vocation is being a good wife/mother/church member, and she sees keeping up with the news as a distraction. My friend will cast her vote based on what her husband or spiritual leaders tell her about what’s going on.

        You don’t have to be far Left to be isolated and uninformed.

        • legal eagle

          The ‘low information voter’ is just a Limbaugh code word for anyone who doesn’t agree with right wing Republican ideology or for anyone who votes Democratic….It’s meaningless nonsense….It’s called “democracy”…All citizens have the right to vote and pay taxes…no litmus test is required…
          In my opinion, anyone who takes entertainers like Limbaugh and O’Reilly seriously are “low information” consumers of the media..

          • Kevin Hubble

            It’s a “Right” to pay taxes? Then I guess that huge segment of the American people who pay no taxes are having their rights violated and Congress should intervene to insure that all Americans are tax PAYERS! That means a National Sales Tax! For too long too many of our citizens have been denied the full benefits and privileges of living in this great country and should be set free from a tax code that is too large, too complex and costs too much. To your thinking, there should be outrage that the right to pay taxes is being denied to an entire segment of our population. With a sales tax the rich pay more, the middle class pay less and the poor pay nothing (like they do now). If the poor are so willing to “pay” taxes and the Democrats want to make sure that poor people DO pay taxes, the fact that the poor continue to support democrat candidates simply goes to prove the point about “Low Information” voters. Republicans don’t want anyone to pay more taxes; we want the government to spend less money.

    • rreactor

      You “doubt many would be willing to listen to those who hold them in complete and utter contempt” yet you refer to them as “Elitist a-holes”? I suppose you meant this in a compassionate context, right? The majority of folks that I know who call themselves conservative, are not elitists or “a-holes”, but sincere, caring and concerned people. The majority of progressives I meet exhibit many of the same traits. What I’ve learned is that the vocal minorities of either ilk largely control the narrative because they are willing to intimidate and dismiss anyone who does not agree with them, while the rest of us are doing the real work of trying to create a better society.

      • Darren Perkins

        I tend not to believe that most conservatives are elitist a-holes but I was merely making an observation that if I were a member of those deemed stupid by the author and most of the commenters that is what I would think. That is the way it comes off to me. I realize there is frustration that a majority of people have their heads stuck in the sand and the liberal propaganda machine has been highly effective at exploiting it. I get that and feel that myself: disrespecting people will not change that and in fact plays into the hands of our opponent.

        • rreactor

          Thanks for the clarification.

    • Tova Feinman

      Are you now making the assertion that stupid people don’t exist, they don’t vote, and they don’t answer polls? The problem with leftists is they are more worried about people’s feelings than their intelligence. There comes a time when the stupid need to called out and not protected. They are killing us all.

      • Darren Perkins

        No, my assertion is that if you act and indeed believe these people who are ignorant (not necessarily stupid which is subjective) should not have the right to proffer their opinions and vote then why would they want to listen to what you have to say or others that hold the same views that you yourself espouse. The idea should be to bring people into the fold so they can vote for conservative candidates that will benefit them truly and not for candidates that just offer government dependence. Rand Paul has the right idea in this regard. You reach out to people: you don’t demonize them and act as if they don’t deserve to have the rights afforded to them and all U.S. citizens. To subjugate people to the rule of those who consider themselves intellectually superior is what liberals do, or at least that is what I thought. Conservatism should embody respect for the individual or else are we any better than our opposition?

        • Tova Feinman

          First of all intelligence is an objective measurement not a subjective one. Second, if one has no knowledge base except “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Kardasians”, do you really expect them to be capable of making knowledgeble choices in the voting box on such topics as foreign policy, economics, environmental science, health care, energy etc.? These people scare the hell out of me because they are making choices about issues they truly do not understand. It either sounds pretty to them, or someone is exploiting them to get them to make a cohersed choice. Ignorance can be compensated for. Ignorance can be corrected with education. Stupid is a genetic trait and very measurable. I do like Rand Paul. I admire his outreach. As a scientist, however, I am fed up with the level of science illiteracy I have to cope with. The willfully ignorant are the worst. They choose not to be educated.

          • Ron F

            Al Gore says people on our side are ignorant and are willfully ignorant about climate change. Liberals say conservatives are exploited by large business interests. It is amazing how the arguments on both sides are similar.

          • Tova Feinman

            I go where data takes me on climate change. I’m not wed to one position or another. If the question is a scientific one, the answer is not a subjective answer. Everything else, is pure commentary.

          • Darren Perkins

            Honestly if I were forced to give an objective opinion of your intelligence based on your reply it would not be favorable. I don’t mean this as a sleight necessarily but you do spell some words incorrectly, you start out with a ‘first of all’ with no second and there is the fact that you really did not reply to my post so much as you ranted about your own insecurities about those who don’t agree with you. I realize you are basically typing out your own stream of thought but I think everyone would benefit if you would think out your arguments and edit them to a point where they actually can be applied to the points I have made. Thank you for your response.

          • Tova Feinman

            My PhD thesis and my grant committees might disagree with you. My daughter might agree with you. My husband? Depends on the day. Your opinion is purely subjective. Get the point?

          • Darren Perkins

            All depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is… I based my hypothesis on the evidence at hand. The mere fact you have to defend your intelligence by citing your education level speaks volumes about you as a person… not your intelligence.

          • legal eagle

            Perhaps if Bernie recognized the issue of “gerrymandering” and the advantage that incumbents have in raising campaign funds he would stop blaiming voters…This is systemic “problem” not a question of voter “logic”…

    • loupgarous

      The problem isn’t ignorance, Darren. That’s the point Bernie was making – it’s indifference (and something else Bernie missed – corruption).

      Too many voters either don’t care who’s making the decisions or know they’re living on other people’s money and want that to keep happening – Obama voters. People who, for all their talk of “pride,” aren’t too proud to take from others and ultimately steal from others, using the Obama IRS as their surrogate mugger. A nation of Trayvon Martins.

      You can’t educate people like that, because their decisions are based on the correct perception that they can vote themselves money from a working man’s pocket if they back the right crook.

  • JASVN67

    There is no explanation for a person lacking in judgement or prudence and it is best to give them a wide berth. Bernie you should pole that.

    • brickman

      You should give wide berth to people who don’t know the difference between poll and pole.

      • JASVN67

        I take it you have no sense of humor. FYI ….I posted exactly as I intended it to read. It was a parody on the article! Glad it got a rise out of you!

  • http://att.net/ patty

    @GEORGE WILLIAMS…Way to go, George. ASK LEGAL EAGLE SINCE HE KNOW IT ALL :) @SKYCITIZEN. Great comment/stupid meter broke during 2012 Presidential election :) Well put..

  • http://att.net/ patty

    @MARKW..I always wonder how many people were polled? Numbers!

  • http://batman-news.com MAC Cano

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Bernie. I must be candid you are wasting your time writing about this sort of thing. As long as you have a United States of Clueless you are always going to be baffled by these sorts of things. Could you provide a small insight as to your latest profile on Real Sports ?

    • legal eagle

      Writing is difficult…Perhaps Bernie could not find a more interesting topic?

  • TheOriginalDonald

    Always bet on stupidity

  • JDan

    Very Good.Channeling your inner Andy Rooney.Someone has to point out the absurdity of our nations’ malaise.It all starts with The Fraud in Chief.

    • Ron F

      The nation did not have any malaise prior to this President?

  • Lougjr1

    Bernie, I’m no genius but the answer to your statement is, Einstein meant that there is no limit to how stupid some people can be ! As for you, you don’t have to worry because I have been watching you quite a bit on FOX with O’Reilly and you make a lot of sense to me. I enjoy the show so keep up the good work trying to educate people which sometimes I think is futile at best !

  • docww

    The only reason Democracy works to any extent is that idiots tent to cancel each other out.

  • kayakbob

    Polls stopped being a reflection of public opinion some time ago.

    Somewhere along the way consultants, and polling agencies themselves, figure out how easy it was to manipulate “public opinion” on any topic by asking the questions a certain way; limiting the choice of responses; or simply weighing the people polled toward the demographic the pollster thinks will give them the best chance of getting back the answer they wanted in the first place.

    Now polls are used to drive public opinion.

    • Mark W.

      I can’t count the number of times I’ve shouted at the tv, “what were the questions they asked?” to get the responses they report. Also, where was the poll taken? Was it truly representative of the nation as a whole? Did they just interview in certain sections of Detroit, NYC, and San Fran and call it a diverse study? Too many polls do not reflect what is otherwise being reported.

    • D Parri

      I believe that must have been what Mark Twain had in mind when he said,

      There’s lies, there’s damned lies, and then there’s statistics.

      Sounds appropriate to apply to the pollsters of our modern genre.

  • Concernedmimi

    One thing is for sure; the Republican Party needs to stop attacking the Tea Party and visa-versa! And get their heads together and reach out to ALL Americans with a plan to help those who want to work with a way to reach a place on the ladder of success. That way we can all join you, Bernie and complain about paying all the taxes. Too many businesses; especially large ones participate in nepotism and favoritism. If they, being pro-conservatism; would help out in this area (we never hear solutions from them) besides complaints about how government is treating them!!!!!

  • wally12

    Good article Bernie. Also funny. Hopefully the pols have enough informed voters to offset the uninformed so the pol could show some reasonable/relatively accurate information.

  • Seattle Sam

    One of the better ways to illustrate the problem is to compare the answers to these two poll questions.

    1. Should government spend more money on education?
    2. Should taxes be raised in order to spend more money on education?

    The Yes/No responses to these two questions are almost reversed — which indicates that a substantial part of the population believes education spending is funded by something other than taxes.

    • Ron F

      Sam, if the answer to 1 is yes, it does not mean people think education spending is funded by something other than taxes. Maybe they want other spending cut. Republicans want military spending increased but do not believe taxes should be raised to pay for it. It does not mean they think military spending is funded by something other than taxes.

    • SkyCitizen

      Excellent Sam, Now that we have established that the voter is stupid the only thing left to be determined is the magnitude. Oh, that’s right, we did have an election in 2012. The stupidity meter was broken!

  • Iowa48

    You crane? What’s up with you crane? If you crane too much, you’ll hurt your neck, and then it’s Crimea river!

  • George Williams

    Bernie, ask legal eagle. He’s one of them and convenient because he haunts your blog.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    How about a primer for low information voters (liberals)
    D is for deficits. Deficits are your annual shortfall, deficits lead to debts. Debts (I know you find this hard to believe) require repayment. Oh, and I should mention, repayment with interest. Now that you’ve figured this out, (smart fella that you are). The current interest payment on U.S. debt could soon cost more than your beloved social programs. Think of all those wonderful welfare schemes we could buy if we had saved all that money?
    B is for business. People go into business to make money. (you know money, the stuff that pays your salary) They do it by producing things other folks want. No, they don’t do it to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. (we call those places Synagogues and Churches)
    Just a smidge more information like this, and who knows?

  • Will Swoboda

    Bernie, you need to take this stuff on the road. I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. I think that a lot of people don’t realize that for humor to be humorous, it has to be based in some truth. It’s sad that H.L. Mencken was right in his day and even more right today. You need to make a career change but you’re still very good at what you do. I’m 64 and remember you when all we had was ABC, CBS & NBC. Thank God for cable news.

  • firststater

    Want to increase the low information voter’s knowledge of Crimea – reinstate the draft!

  • Shane

    I agree with you Bernie that many voters are clueless and rely on propaganda from the liberal MSM to chose which candidate they vote for. Yes, most of the incumbents will be re-elected despite voter anger at the job Congress is doing. I will vote to re-elect 2 out of my 3 Congressional Rep..

    • firststater

      It isn’t my House rep either. Must be the other 433

  • Mark W.

    It’s time that the Republican Party start defining itself, instead of letting the Dems and the media do it. Just like on the playground, the bullies will continue to push their victims around until they get punched in the nose. Time to stand up, fight back and educate the public through a tough, effective PR campaign. Set the record straight. Tell the low information crowd what the party stands for, and cite examples, including historical references. Stand for something. Be positive and pro-active!

    • Will Swoboda

      Mark, I’m with you a 100% but low info voters don’t realize it or don’t care. Most are like race horses with blinders or blinkers, either way they don’t look around themselves.

    • Ron F

      Mark, but it is alright for us to always want to define what liberals are. Actually, if you let each side define what the other is, no one is qualified to vote and maybe Einstein was right, human stupidity is infinite which means we are all stupid.

  • Blakely1

    If you think that it is bad now, wait until the Common Core standards
    take effect. Lenin said ,”Give me your children for 8 years & they will
    be Bolsheviks forever,” or In this case flaming liberals.
    The Federal government is not bribing all the states to join
    without a good reason.

  • joepotato

    Bernie, I can’t disagree with your article (for once)… In conclusion it proves that propaganda by media outlets and indoctrination by the “feducation” system works wonders to keep the little people about as smart as a box of rocks…. This nation may not last much longer in the form it was intended…. but if a polling concern was to ask a question about that, 1/2 of the respondents would say it will be just fine, and can exist in the “present form/climate” indefinitely…. Go figure….

  • Stephanie S

    Only tax paying or property owning citizens (the primary one, not a non-earning spouse or partner) should have the right to vote. Yes I know that’s how it used to be. And no, Mommy, you don’t qualify though raising kids is of course important yada yada…

    • Seattle Sam

      And your plan for getting a super-majority of Americans to disenfranchise themselves is . . . ?

      • Stephanie S

        Simple, Sam. Offer 2 free tickets to one of the following:
        1) the SuperBowl; 2) Dancing with the Stars; 3) Oscars, Grammys, AMAs, a local concert with major performers etc. 3) American Idol. 90% would accept and give up their vote in the next election.

        • Robert C

          That is a FACT ! ^^^

    • Shane

      I think we do need some type of simple test on American history and are political system before someone is allowed to vote. Let’s fact it, having morons vote does not improve the quality of our government.

      • Robert C

        Think of how many voters are “so shall I” drinkers, recreational drug users, pharmaceutical addicts, etc… Want to talk about a minority? Sober men and women who have not drank the Kool-Aid from either party or from the religious cookcoo nuts fountain of deception.

    • Ron F

      Stephanie, what taxes should they have to pay. There are numerous federal taxes and state taxes. Would excise taxes or fuel taxes qualify? Should they have to pay federal taxes to vote in a federal election and state taxes in a state election? If you don’t pay income taxes but pay some other type of tax, such as excise or sales or use taxes, do you need to bring a receipt? What happens if you pay taxes indirectly like reimburse a landlord for property taxes? And what type of property do you need to own? Does a television qualify? What about a car? Finally, would there be an exception for veterans? If a husband and wife own a house, does only one get to vote?

      • Stephanie S

        Very good questions Ron, and I don’t have an answer except to say this would all have to be hashed out by voting and/or legislation and then of course since this is the U.S., that all would be overturned by liberal judges and everyone on benefits would get to vote twice so that they don’t feel disrespected.

    • Robert C

      Actually at one time in the gold ole USA; only veterans were allowed to vote. It is that way in Israel now. The reasoning being that only those who have risked their lives to defend the country should be allowed to decide what direction to steer the future of the country.
      I agree with that thinking myself !

      • Stephanie S

        With Israel it’s different. You are talking about an intelligent, sane and brave country whose leaders are committed to keeping the people safe. Boker tov, Robert.

        • Robert C

          Boker Or Stephanie S. I agree emphatically my dear. I would gladly move to Israel if I had the where-with-all. Shalom.

  • http://ALonelyConservtive.com/ Jim O’Sullivan

    As long as low information voters vote, they will be polled. Sadly the Democrat/liberal playbook knows how to manipulate this group through demonization, obfuscation, misinformation, revisionism and outright falsehoods.

    A large number of low info voters believe that the KKK was founded by the GOP, that Lincoln was a Democrat, that the GOP opposed the abolition of slavery, that the Civil Rights legislation of the late 1950-60’s was opposed by Republicans, that conservatives want the poor to completely fend for themselves, are racist and have no compassion for the elderly…and the list can go on!

    In each case the opposite is true. Nevertheless as long as the politics of division, misinformation and demagoguery are practiced primarily by the left, the mythology/misinformation will continue, be believed by too many and appreciably effect future elections and our culture. Tragically that is the political climate in which we live today.

    • Ron F

      Jim, demagoguery is practiced by both sides. It seems to me that political debate on both sides consists primarily of demonizing the other side. Isn’t calling people “low information voters” demagoguery? By the way, what liberal has said that “conservatives want the poor to completely fend for themselves”? And what is a “large number of low info voters”?

      • wally12

        Many and too many to count. Do you recall the TV ad that showed a republican throwing granny over the cliff? Haven’t you heard that the conservatives were responsible for Arizona legislator’s injury by the gun man? Haven’t you heard that republicans have a war on women? The list goes on and on.

        • Ron F

          Throwing granny over the cliff was an ad. Conservatives were blamed by politicians for the Arizona shootings and some commentators. That doesn’t mean it is public opinion. Do you agree with what every Republican politician or conservative commentator says about the President or with every name he is called? It seems to me neither side deals with the substance of issues and both are primarily interested in attacking the other side. I remember at one time in this country there was a saying about how you might disagree with a person’s opinion but you would defend their right to it and to say it. It seems that in politics we no longer have any respect for opposing views and I am amazed at how vitriolic the debate has become. We can dismiss opposing views by just saying they are low information voters.

          • Sheila Warner

            You are absolutely correct. My father had nothing but disdain for the Democrats, but he was always respectful and substantive in his comments about their policies. I learned civil discourse at his feet.

          • wally12

            In your original statement you asked what liberal has said that republicans want the poor to fend for themselves etc. All I did was give some examples and yet you countered that these where ads. An ad is derogatory statement. Is it public? What is your definition of public? It is public if it is an ad. That doesn’t mean that all the public believes the ad.
            I agree that neither side is immune from using lies about the other party. However, the term uninformed is

            not demagoguery. It doesn’t point to any direct person or party. Both you and I are uninformed. Do feel bad that you are included? I don’t feel any problem since it is a true statement that can apply to everyone in this world.

      • Robert C

        So what tag should we give to all those who refuse to put any effort into learning about the issues; but are more than willing to vote for the guy who sounds “COOL” to them?
        Cool voters?

  • Gradivus

    I’ve long thought that asking people whether they approve or disapprove of Congress leads to about the most worthless and misleading poll results possible. Democrats asked that question will answer based on their opinion of Republicans in Congress, and Republicans will answer based on their opinion of Democrats in Congress. So of course you’ll get extremely low approval statistics. I expect you’d get the same “approval” numbers if you asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the last two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, judged together as a pair?”

    If pollsters were smart they’d separate the question and ask “Do you approve or disapprove of congressional Republicans?” and “Do you approve or disapprove of congressional Democrats?”

  • Brhurdle

    People’s opinions on political elections are highly dependent on what they think their vote will yield them financially. I don’t find a contradiction for someone being dissatisfied with Congress while still fully supporting their Representative and Senators. As long as their Congressional leaders like Pelosi & Reid deliver pork, personal entitlements and demonize the opposition, there will be this dichotomy. It is bound to get worse as the “Redistribution Mantra” has become the cornerstone of the Democrats.

    • Ron F

      And Democrats say people who vote Republican are doing the bidding of corporations and are being manipulated or that people did not vote for President Obama because he is black. People seem to think they are always well informed and vote for the right reason and others who vote differently are not well-informed and vote purely for self-interest. Both sides are probably wrong about the other sides motivation. I only know why I vote a certain way and do not know why you or any other person votes the way he or she votes.

  • Ron F

    Other polls have found that voters think Congress as a whole does a poor job but their own Representative or Senator does a good job so it would be consistent with thinking other incumbents should not be elected. It is also the same as people complaining about the Republican party but voting Republican because they think it is better than the alternative. Finally, I am sure Rush Limbaugh does not think his listeners are low information voters and people who believe in the stupidity of voters do not include themselves.

    • Robert C

      That is where you would be wrong. I personally go too the polls feeling challenged. We can never truly know the integrity of the individual/s because soo many have little are none. We all would have to study for weeks to know much about all the candidates and hope that info wasn’t tainted as well. There is not a shovel big enough to dig us out of the heap we are in. I am a realist who likes to be optimistic. There is nothing optimistic about the future of our country.

      • Ron F

        Robert, if we “can never truly know the integrity of individuals” how is it that you know so many have little or none. And I am sure you do not consider yourself one of the many that have none. Actually, the only thing we do know is the ultimate vote count. You can guess at what other peoples’ motivation is and they can guess at what your motivation is, but none of us knows what other peoples’ motivation is and whether they have integrity.

        • Robert C

          Well, I don’t live in a shell. I have paid attention to politics for my entire adult life. Only a small percentage of politicians of either party have come close to keeping their campaign promises.
          I also am not a hermit. Most people do not keep their word. That is why we need written contracts. To attempt to make them keep their word. Many times that doesn’t work.
          As far as the vote count; I personally know quite a few people who do not believe we get the true vote count ever! We just know what they tell us it is. And we can trust them because?

        • Robert C

          Yeah Ron F., we have no clue what the motivation of a person with a sawed off shotgun trying to come through the front door might be. We do know it isn’t likely to be good. LOL. Some folks are not endowed with common sense.

  • Kevin Hubble

    Years ago the United States ruled unconstitutional literacy tests as a qualification to be allowed to vote. I believe that the country should now institute a new test that I believe would pass constitutional scrutiny but, could insure the highest possibility that only qualified citizens cast ballots. After proving their identity by showing a photo identification and proof of residency, the potential voter would be given a brief questionnaire (10-15 questions or so) testing the individual’s basic civics understanding (not unlike Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segments). This series of questions on political and current events would be used to separate the wheat from the chaff of potential voters. Failing the test would result in denial of voting privileges for four years at which time the test could be re-taken and voting privileges restored. If we can take away the voting rights of convicts, we ought to be able to take away the voting privileges of idiots also.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      Great idea, but in an age bereft of book, magazine, or even newspaper reading, while replete with texting, television watching, and tuning out, who’d be left to vote? Second thought, great idea, that would leave the liberals to television and texting, leading democracy away from a rather large crop of “low information” voters.

  • lemonfemale

    It’s no puzzle why people would say incumbents should not be reelected yet reelect them. First: incumbents in general versus their particular one. I might think Congress should be spanked and sent to bed but I like my Congressperson. Second: incumbents in general versus your incumbent and whomever they are running against. We can’t vote for “none of the above.” So if the incumbent is seen as better than their opponent, the incumbent will be re-elected.
    PS: And I’m sure Obama and Reid agree with Bernie Goldberg that dolts shouldn’t vote. He maybe should think about that. Just saying.

  • Tim Ned

    Obama understands this completely. That’s why he won.

  • Daniel

    Soon Bernie, humans will be little globs of fat with very large eyes and the fastest, most nimble thumbs you could imagine. Man, did you see the thumbs on that Dame? Are you kiddin me? How could I miss her with these eyes?

  • Seattle Sam

    There’s a technique that I always used in marketing research that would be very enlightening here. In doing name recognition studies I always included a made-up name. The number of positive responses was sort of a proxy for how much “noise” there was in the responses. Maybe Rasmussen could include a benchmark question in its research. Something like, “Should Milwaukee continue to be the Capital of Wisconsin?”

  • Acu-Vue

    Rush can call them “low information” voters and you can call them whatever you wish but I will once again refer to that original classic 1960 movie “The Time Machine” starring Rod Taylor. The majority of us have become “ELOI” and that’s sad.

  • jonshepp

    Maybe Rasmussen, before conducting the poll, should qualify the intelligence of the person on the other end of the line by asking questions from an American 4th grade test taken from the late 1800’s. Of course a poll eliminating 95% of those called wouldn’t help Rasmussen’s bottom line.

    This weekend I saw a disturbing story on the number of A’s that the top universities give out to their students to stay in business, with C’s and D’s looking to be almost an after thought. And that seems to be the new directive at some of our universities, making lots of money as average scores that used to be 2.5 are now reported to be pumped up to 3.2. The business of the university is to educate the youth for the future of America and not dumb them down so they stay in school to enhance the university’s bottom line.

    I suspect American businesses that take risks cannot be happy with what may be coming through their front doors, graduates expecting huge bucks while a helicopter parent could be hovering nearby.

    Below are some teacher notes that may explain exactly what’s going on, in this case how to treat the American Indian. The comments are copied from a recent northeastern state teacher curriculum guide for grade four. Looking at the recommendations below from the actual curriculum, it is as if the American Indian was to be considered beneath the students and therefore needed to be bottle fed:

    Title: Consider carefully the following Sensitivity Guidelines for Discussing Native American Indians.

    – Don’t use the past tense when discussing Native American Indians unless it is clear that you are limiting that particular discussion to historical events.
    – Don’t use dehumanizing materials that treat Native American Indians as objects rather than as human beings.
    – Don’t lump all Native American Indians together.
    – Don’t accept, ignore, or propagate stereotypical views of Native American Indians.
    – Don’t display illustrations that mislead or demean.
    – Don’t use derogatory terms.
    – Don’t use the term The First Thanksgiving.
    – Don’t teach that Columbus “discovered” America.
    – Don’t emphasize violence and warfare.
    – Don’t act out sacred dances or ceremonies, or play games like “cowboys and Indians.”

    If indoctrination would be a course, this one would get an A+. Maybe there’s one on how to treat current American young adults with a recent college education:

    – Don’t make them feel uneducated.
    – Let them think they have all the answers.
    – Tell them the debt they have for their education was probably worth it.
    – When taking a job away from them, tell them there’s always tomorrow.
    – Let them think they’re smarter than you, helping to keep their sensitive egos intact.

    To that end, Rasmussen must know that the American voters usually get the government they richly deserve.

  • Gloria

    This is exactly why we need term limits! The voters don’t take the time to examine the records or compare the political philosophy of the candidates – they just pick the name they know. And on and on and on it goes – the longer they stay in office – the more funds come in to put their name out there – the longer they get to stay in office. Congress was not designed originally to be a career choice! And yet here we are in this situation because people are either too lazy or too stupid to figure it out. Members of Congress serving 20, 30, 40 years. Bizarre.

    • Seattle Sam

      And your plan for getting Congressmen to enact limits contrary to their own self-interest is . . . .?

    • Sheila Warner

      Does the Constitution have term limits in it? We have term limits–we call them elections. The reason we keep the same folks around year after year is because the constituents want it that way. If the opposing party put up decent candidates, we’d see a difference. Those who are pushing for term limits are the ones who don’t like the other guy. I bet people like Ted Cruz will stay in office because his district has Tea Party members who love him. Recently we saw Sen Scott Brown and Congressman Allen West tossed out. Elections work just fine.

      • Kevin Hubble

        Sheila, when the constitution was first ratified folks like you (women) weren’t allowed to vote. Was the constitution working just fine then? When the Constitution was first ratified, blacks were not allowed to vote. Was the constitution working just fine then? When the Constitution was first ratified, it was permissible for a person to own and keep slaves. Was the Constitution working just fine then? Twenty-seven times the people have decided the Constitution was not working “just fine” and decided to change it. Our current election system, sadly, has gotten to the point where the uninformed, those who watch MTV (same thing) and the people with big money decide who get elected. Candidates campaign on shows like The Tonight Show, John Stewart and Saturday Night Live where the dolts and fools watch who end of voting for the cool guy.

        • LHS

          I think you’ve got it, Kevin H.

        • Sheila Warner

          My question to you is, where is the legislation in Congress to amend the Constitution to codify term limits? There is none, because at this point in time, elections are working. I gave two examples in my comment. If you believe the Constitution needs to be amended once again, then push your Congressional Representative and Senators to put such an amendment forth. But, for now, the Constitution has nothing in it regarding term limits for Congress. I never said it was “working just fine”. I said elections are working just fine. There is a difference.

          Let me know when you contact those in Congress to craft that amendment, ok?

  • Kings fan

    Not saying that I think voters are smart, but I don’t think banana republic numbers show duplicity or ignorance of what incumbent means. People tend to like their rep. The only one they get to vote for. It’s everyone else that they don’t get to vote for that they hate.

    • http://ALonelyConservtive.com/ Jim O’Sullivan

      According to untold numbers of surveys, most Americans cannot name the VP of the United States, their governor, their Representative, Senators, a member of the Supreme Court, a cabinet member…must I go on?

      • LHS

        It starts at home and in the schools. The indoctrination is now in pre-K. Be aware. Speak up. And Do something

  • Drew Page

    Who is the ‘average American’? I consider myself to be among that group, yet I can’t define it. I was once told that if I wanted to find the ‘average American’ that I need only show up at a drivers licensing facility and look around. That’s about as good a way as any.
    I no longer believe there is such a thing as the ‘average American’, if there ever was such a thing. If you have one foot in a bucket of ice and the other in a bucket of hot coals, ‘on average’ you should be comfortable, right? There are endless examples of “average” where no one fits the category. There are liberals who are against abortion and gun control and there are conservatives who are pro-choice and who favor stronger gun control. Some Americans always vote, some never bother. So who is an “average” American?
    It is tempting to be critical of those who think differently than I do, or who have different values than I do. I also understand that others may be critical of my way of thinking and of my values. There are many in America with whom I share values, to one degree or another, and there are many with whom I share very little in the way of values. It has been said (mostly by conservatives) that conservatives base their decisions on facts and liberals base their decisions on feelings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that liberals ignore facts or that conservatives ignore their feelings.
    We need leadership that strives to show Americans how they have more in common than they do in differences. My personal belief is that our differences can be minimized with full employment. When there are plenty of good, decent paying jobs available, people who want to advance up the ladder have the opportunity can do so, even those who are less ambitious can make enough money to sustain themselves. Full employment restores dignity in people, gives most people a track to run on, adds to stability of the family, gives people the opportunity to better their economic future and increases revenue to the Treasury while reducing the need for expensive social welfare programs to only those who truly need them.

  • cantonst

    Require a high school diploma and a full time job to vote and to drive…well at least it’s a start in the right direction…

  • Tim

    Sheeple are easy to manipulate.

  • Rosie Riveter

    To think at first, I didn’t believe in, “the dumbing down of America.” Ignorance is simply not being informed. Stupidity stays even after being informed.

  • Ed I

    Having contracted for polls and followed them for much of my life, there are several kinds of polls. Those that are published in the news, often misused and almost always at least incompletely reported. Those run by the political parties and corporations that most seldom see which are intended to tell just how people might voted and what really concerns them. The American people are fickle, with short memories, little patience. Polling has become much more difficult as people transition from landlines to mobile as their primary telephones. Many public polls are often either deliberately biased from the get go or they are the question are not well constructed or the sample carefully chosen. However, really good pollsters get paid well. As for incumbents in Congress, for decades Americans, primarily due to the lack of good civics education, hate Congress but love THEIR Congressman. It is the single reason why incumbents get re-elected.
    Regardless, as Churchill said, “Many forms of government have been tried, will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those others that been tried from time to time.” And he also said, “the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

  • SkyCitizen

    Bernie, I have a wonderful little dog that is very cute and I love very much. When it wants to go out it scratches the door and stands on it’s hind legs for a treat. It only lives in the present moment, no past ,no future. Although my dog does not vote, in many ways it’s behaviour is indistinguishable from the average voter today. I fear the term “low information voter” as expressed by Mr. Limbaugh is somewhat magnanimous when one considers the reality. With this in mind I appreciate a electoral process that may not produce good results after election day but does give citizens an opportunity to correct their mistake, or make another one, at the next election.

  • Brian Stover

    Of course we have more respect for bank robbers than politicians. They both steal from us, but the bank robbers don’t try to tell us it’s for our own good.

  • sandbeachprofessor

    didn’t they do that in the south way back when……. comon that aint going to happen. what I would like to see is this whole idea of chasing voters to come vote be stopped. That would help as if you dont want to vote likely you have no idea who to vote for and will likely be swayed by whoever brings you to the booth

  • Paul Rush

    Bernie, Thanks for a great commentary. It seems people today are only interested in themselves and what others can do for them. Their news come from slanted websites who tout the democrats and blame republicans for being the cause of our problems.The lame stream press refuse to cover pertinent issues of the day without bias and they won’t do anything that will embarrass President Obama. Thanks for speaking out on this…..

  • Jarob54

    Well, if Einstein was not certain about time and space, he was spot on regarding human stupidity. And the largest concetration of that matter(stupidity) is located in the area we Americans refer as the ‘Belt Way.’ Where else can you find individuals who believe that spending money can cure financial woes. As a child, I knew if I ate jelly beans by the fist full, soon the bag would be empty. That was just common sense. And common sense in Wahington is something that is in short supply.

    • lar9291

      Not only was the bag empty, but you also got a belly ache. The difference here is that Congress spends the money and we get the belly ache.

      • Jarob54

        I would argue that the discomfort we Americans feel is a part of the anatomy lower than the abdomen.

  • Tonethousand

    Shouldn’t be allowed to vote unless you can pass a competency exam. Like the civics exam given to immigrants applying for citizenship. If you cannot meet the minimum competency of a brand new citizen, you don’t deserve to vote. I bet you’d eliminate half of our current citizenry because most people couldn’t be bothered.

    • Brian Stover

      Hear hear!

  • Joel

    One of the biggest mistakes was back in 1971 when they lowered the voting age to 18 instead of raising it to 35.

    • UsedtobeaDemocrat

      And there are those who want to lower it still more, unbelievably.

    • Sheila Warner

      So, a soldier can die for his country but he can’t vote? Nice.

  • VinBick

    Dear Bernie:
    When visiting my designated polling place in 2012, it was a sea of “low information voters” who were only there to make sure their free-flow of government handouts kept on coming…….

    • Wheels55

      So they were not all that low on information. They had the info they needed – what party gives away the most free stuff.
      That’s the part that bothers me the most – how our country has gone from self respect = self reliance to self respect = don’t step out of the hand-out line.

    • Sheila Warner

      And here I’ve been so wrong all along. I really thought that ballots are secret. I wonder how you knew which people were voting for which candidates and for what purpose. You could get rich with this kind of ESP, you know. sarcasm

  • Buzzeroo

    The ‘peasantry’ during our founding years was referred to as “the dirty unwashed mob” which was soon refined to “the great unwashed”. Throughout all history, when the mob’s behavior caused life to be so dangerous and uncomfortable, they submitted to organization and rule of some sort. As things got better, they demanded more and more ‘say’ in that rule until they, the mob, gained control –which resulted in chaos which then resulted in the destruction of organization–which returned life to dangerous misery…….The greedy, selfish, lazy, fools who are being given a living via the confiscation of that which has been gained by the earning minority–are proliferating at a far greater rate than the earners because they have nothing else to do but make children especially since each additional product gains them more swag. Once that class of do nothing-know nothings gains the majority, they become bait for despotic swindlers who wave shiny baubles in their faces as they garner their votes . These swindlers certainly know how to attract fool’s votes as well as how to line their own pockets but know nothing and care even less about governing a nation so down we fall–cradle and all—not unlike Babylon,Rome and Greece–the paradises of yore.

    • Joel

      The first time the mob came into play during an American Presidential election was when Andrew Jackson was elected. The unwashed masses basically took over Washington D.C. during the inauguration and turned it into a veritable “Occupy Wall Street” encampment. By the way Andrew Jackson was the father of the modern Democratic Party.

  • Will Starr

    Fortunately, most of the low-info idiots do not vote in midterms, but the grownups do, and I think they will give Harry Reid a long deserved seat well out of the spotlight.

    • Wheels55

      He needs to retire and become the undertaker that he looks like.

  • lar9291

    I consider myself to be one of those few that keeps up with what’s going on around the world and I have yet to be contacted by Quinnipiac, Gallup, Rasmussen or any other well reputed polling outfit. Maybe they don’t contact people like myself intentionally since they’re trying to determine what the average citizen is thinking and we apparently are not average. I have a neighbor lady who never reads the newspaper, never watches news on TV and does not know how to operate a computer. She told me that she received a call from “a polling company” and hung up on them before they asked her any questions. All I can say about that is “Thank goodness”.

    • Drew Page

      I have never been contacted by Gallup or Rasmussen polling organizations. How do they select those from whom they gather opinions?

      • lar9291

        Don’t know. I’m not one of the chosen few.

  • floridahank

    The whole thing is a sideshow — it gives the polling companies things to do and gives the biased media something to stir things up with stupid interpretations and extrapolations.. It’s all worthless but the majority of people love to read this kind of trash.

  • Ksp48

    The vast majority of high school students think that Germany was our ally against Russia in WWII. The remainder didn’t know what WWII was.

    • Wheels55

      Yes, but they have Common Core math and know that 2+2 = somewhere around 5.

    • Joel

      They cannot even tell you when the Civil War was fought.

  • Sheila Warner

    Polls give us a snapshot of what Americans believe. They can identify areas in which Americans might need more information. Or, they can tell us that certain messages just aren’t getting through. And, they can tell us that Americans are stupid, as you assert.

    So what? Should we just do away with polling altogether? Or would you suggest an IQ test before an American is permitted to answer?

    Honestly, Bernie, little things get you way too upset. I don’t care if my neighbor is smarter or stupider than I am. I care that he is kind, considerate, and easy to get along with. His children are well behaved. He keeps his property neat and clean. Why do I care about his IQ? I generally like people, smart or dumb.

    You might try to be more accepting of people.

    • Rosie Riveter

      Bernie didn’t say it, but it really shows how our public schools are doing. I know, it’s sad.

      • Sheila Warner

        I never discussed schools. Where did you come up with that one?

        • Rosie Riveter

          I guess you’re saying schools have nothing to do with intelligence, or encouraging people to learn? I think it has everything to do with intelligence.

          • Sheila Warner

            “I guess you’re saying schools have nothing to do with intelligence, or encouraging people to learn? ”

            No, what I said is that I didn’t mention schools. Love how you extrapolate it into your own view of me, though. You don’t know a thing about my views on education.

    • Drew Page

      I would suggest an IQ test before people are allowed to vote. But I doubt that will ever come to pass since we can’t even get them to produce a photo ID proving that they are who they represent themselves to be.

      • Sheila Warner

        You know, I think it was Thomas Jefferson who only wanted property owners to vote. Let’s see, just how high of an IQ would you be looking for? Mensa territory? And would the President and Congress only represent the high IQ folks? Some of the comments on here are over the top. Like it or not, not every American is brilliant. And, I’ve known some pretty brilliant people that are so dumb in dealing with their day to day lives that I wonder how they get dressed in the morning. You’ve heard of the “absent minded professor”, I assume? A high IQ doesn’t mean a person is savvy. It can be downright painful to have to be around some very bright people.

        • Josh

          Depends on the testing material, more than anything. If you’re talking about a blanket test, like the types found on various websites and such, then they’re not going to accurately measure a person’s intelligence. But for those fabled fumbling geniuses who can’t do math but can solve a Rubik’s Cube while simultaneously playing the violin by ear, they can still be measured by professional tests.

          IQ is basically just a way to put someone inside or on either side of the 90+% — either a little higher or a lower. Each end being rare. So, depending on what the definition of “savvy” is here, someone whose intelligence puts them on the better side of average is most likely very capable of being a savvy individual.

          That’s what intelligence is at its core: problem solving.

          And this comment is meant for this discussion, of course, not simply a direct reply. With that, be careful what you wish for, Drew. Whoever is charged with creating and administering these tests might see to it that you don’t pass.

          • Sheila Warner

            I believe that, prior to the Civil Rights Act, blacks were required to take a test prior to being permitted to vote (along with the poll tax). As I stated before, Thomas Jefferson thought only property owners ought to be allowed to vote. I suppose it’s human nature to develop an “us vs them” mindset, which is what all of this basically comes down to. The “intelligent” vs “stupid” voter. Of course it is completely unconstitutional, so, speculate away.

            By the way, I have voted for the GOP candidate for President for more than 20 years. Still think I’d be too dumb to pass any test?

            Uninformed voters have been with us for many years. They will continue to be with us for many more. Try to swallow back down the bile in your throat and work hard to get the message of your particular party out there. I am neither Democrat nor GOP, so I work hard for the individual who best represents my own desires for how government operates.

          • Josh

            “Still think I’d be too dumb to pass any test?”

            Huh?

            I didn’t…

        • Drew Page

          How about the ability to read and understand English at the 8th grade level? How about the same kind of test we give those applying for U.S. citizenship?
          You ask, “Would the president and those in Congress only represent the high IQ folks?” It would be nice if he represented all the people instead of just those who wish to be dependent on government for their survival. He seems to want to punish those who have been successful in life to reward those who haven’t. Any system (or politician) whose strategy is based on robbing Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.

          • Sheila Warner

            “It would be nice if he represented all the people instead of just those who wish to be dependent on government for their survival. ”

            And THAT is your main contention. If we had a GOP President right now, who did not give away the goodies, so to speak, you’d not be talking about a test prior to voting. You are seething about those “stupid” voters who put the President into office.

            Such tests were required of blacks at one time, remember, and they were struck down as unconstitutional. Petition your Congressmen to change the law, if you’d like, but such a law would be struck down again. You are wasting a great deal of energy dreaming about giving a test to voters. Find a way to get your party’s message across to people, instead.

            If you believe that you can find a truly brilliant candidate, then that brilliant candidate ought to be able to do just that. Someone who is really, really, intelligent will find a way to get his message out in the media at large.

            Americans are still waiting for someone on the far Right to put forth a consistent, coherent message that appeals to all Americans.

  • savage24

    I use to believe that education was the solution to stupidity until I have run across so damned many educated idiots. What is really sad is that they not only procreate, but they vote too.

    • Drew Page

      Ignorance can be educated. Stupidity has no remedy.

      • savage24

        I’m not so sure that the ignorant can be educated under the present government education system. Take a good look at “Common Core”, if that isn’t a system for failure nothing is. There is a saying that “artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity” and that is a perfect example of our government today.

  • John Colburn

    You do some interesting playing with numbers yourself, Bernie. You state, “A whopping 69 percent of the Americans polled said the middle class pays a larger percentage in taxes than do the rich.” Now, I took that to mean the typical middle class person pays a bigger percentage of his income than does a wealthy person. Then in the next paragraph it appears that you meant something different.

    • Sheila Warner

      Excellent point. Many of these are “push-pull” polls, so they don’t even matter at all.

    • Charlie

      John, please stay home next election day!

    • ksp48

      That too would be incorrect.

    • rreactor

      John, you “took that to mean” something that was not implied or factual. Nothing in the statement should have led you to believe Bernie “played” with the numbers.

      • Sheila Warner

        Does the middle class pay more in taxes was the question. A person might think about the total tax burden paid by the middle class in general, as in the top 5% vs the bottom 95%. Or, a person could think about the percentage on individual tax returns, as in cap gains taxes vs ordinary income. It’s not hard to see how there could be confusion.

  • TransplantedTexan

    There should be a minimum competency test for voting and people who receive government benefits should be disqualified from voting because it is a conflict of interest. Why is it Obama wants to raise welfare payments and cut social security – it is because social security recipients worked to earn those payments.

    • Sheila Warner

      Social Security beneficiaries get more back than they paid in. So, let’s cut them off when they reach that point, okay?

      What a silly statement.

      • Tim Ned

        Today that is true. However those beneficiaries have been promised by every administration since FDR that if they pay in, they will receive back when they retire. The politicians have not adapted SS to the current health conditions that 1) people are living longer and 2) health care costs have increased.

        TT is questioning the ever increasing welfare recipients that do not pay in.

        • Sheila Warner

          Do you think that every welfare recipient never held down a job, ever?

      • Floridastorm

        Where is your evidence that SSI recipients receive more in benefits than they contributed? But, I do know that welfare recipients receive 100% more in benefits than they contributed.

        • Sheila Warner

          Because I have seen my own SS payments into the system, and I know what I will receive if I live past 65. Welfare recipients aren’t made of only people that never had a job, by the way. People lose jobs and get down on their luck. There but for the grace of God, you know.

      • Wally C

        I fully expect to get back more from my 401K than I put in also. It is called interest from investment.

        • Sheila Warner

          Apples and oranges. You know that Social Security was not set up to be an investment portfolio.

          • Wally C

            Not really, who would want to put aside money to only get what they paid into it, if there were an option to get back more? Even a savings account now pays some interest.

          • Sheila Warner

            What a person wants to do is different than how Social Security is currently structured. We can probably both agree that there are plenty of folks who would opt out of SS if they could, investing that money instead. That would take an act of Congress to change SS, and that isn’t happening any time soon. People have to invest their take home pay according to their own private portfolio decisions. SS is not an investment. Saying it should be, doesn’t make it so.

      • Drew Page

        Sheila — My father and mother paid into Social Security for more than thirty years, but both died before they turned 65 as did millions of others. They never got a dime back on the money they paid for those benefits. When S.S. was established, the taxes to fund it were supposedly put into a “lock box” Social Security “Trust” Fund. Note that I highlighted the word “Trust”. I believe it was back in the 1960s that the law was changed allowing the federal government to take money out of that “lock box” Trust? Fund to pay for other things, leaving IOUs that current and future generations of Americans would have to repay. Had those Social Security funds been invested at interest, as are the funds of any private company defined benefit pension plan, we would not be looking at Social Security going broke in the next ten years.
        If the Trustees of a private defined benefit pension plan were to do what our lawmakers have done to the S.S. Trust? Fund, they would be in prison today for breach of their fiduciary responsibilities.
        It seems the silly statement is yours.

        • Sheila Warner

          Some people die before they reach 65. It’s sad, but it’s the way the system was set up. My dad is 86, and my mom is 85. They’ve gotten way more than they paid into. No one foresaw the increased length of lifespans at the time of its passage. Yes, there are always “coulda, woulda, shoulda” in any situation.

          Have you seen a concerted effort by either party to do as you suggest? Maybe you should run for office on that platform. In the meantime, this is what we have, like it or not, fair or not. In the case of those who die before 65, of course they don’t see a dime. SS is not an investment program. It was never meant to be one.

          • LHS

            Reread Drew’s post, would ya’ Sheila? The point is: The Soc Sec system became a Ponzi scheme as soon as the pols were allowed to borrow/steal) from Peter (us) to pay Paul (pick any “program”). And don’t forget expanding benefits to any number of people/groups who never paid in a dime. And the beauty of it all? The pols don’t have to participate! Ain’t that handy?

          • Sheila Warner

            I read it. I agree that it is a Ponzi scheme. I was refuting a statement long ago that suggested SS is an investment for the recipient. It is not. Sheesh! Read all of my comments, too, “would ya’?”

    • Darren Perkins

      I disagree with the conflict of interest comment as this seems to indicate that republicans are not in favor of a social safety net. The key is that conservatives need to sell a true safety net as being in peoples best interest over generational servitude. No one is helped by fostering dependence on government. Everyone is helped when the safety net gives people the opportunity to rebound from a temporary set back without losing their place to live. You can’t stay in the safety net forever and that is difference between conservatives and liberals.

  • Seattle Sam

    Certainly a public that thinks it matters what Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck have to say about economic issues deserves to be polled about their own deeply held beliefs. We are the Oprah Nation.,

    • Stimpy

      I am afraid that we’ve become the Obama Nation.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Never heard of Einstein?! I heard of him many yrs ago, in a bar with a friend, saw a girl and he says, “if those were brains, she’d be Einstein.” She did have a nice pair of boots, so I looked into it. Turns out Einstein never made boots, he was a “genius.” Actually got rich and famous for it even though it wasn’t sports or dancing or anything important. He won something called a “Nobel” prize, which doesn’t even have its award show on TV! Think of that, an award show not on TV! So, Bernie, I can tell you all about Einstein, but I’d rather talk politics. I’ll tell you what I think right after we take a poll….

    • nickshaw

      Yeah, I’ve never been able to figure out the boots and Einstein connection. ;-)

  • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

    Unfortunately, with today’s culture, playing with electronic toys is more fun than learning. While some are smarter than others, most have a reasonable level of intelligence and can learn; but are lazy.

    Watching a show on National Geographic Channel called ‘Brain Games’. They showed people gathering in line at a busy counter in a fast food court, avoiding one with no people. The setup was the show put all of the people in front of one, none in the other to see which line people would join when they walked up. Yep, none in the place with no people.

    The ‘show’ surmised that 80% of people would choose the comfort of others making the decision. Comfort of incumbents? He must be good everyone voted for him before? Maybe so.

    These 80% should not be allowed to vote, Bernie.

    • gold7406

      Or those that continue to vote for the representative regardless of the improprieties. We see that at the local and national level all the time.

      • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

        Darn right, gold7406.

  • Josh

    The difference between genius and stupidity is an awful damn lot. The difference between stupidity and intelligence is necessity.

    Genetics notwithstanding. I mean, let’s face it. Some people are shortchanged from birth due to the genetic mash that’s created a brain too susceptible to nonsense and incapable of processing and retaining information in the way other brains do. And that’s why genetic manipulation is going to be the future of humanity, but that’s incredibly far off topic.

    Why do people need to know anything? Give people a reason to know something, and most will likely learn. But what’s there a need for? Some god will handle it all. Some politician will take care of things. Out of my hands, big Bern, and so I prefer to watch the Real Housewives of Some-damn-where and The Walking Dead on Netflix.

    Einstein probably forgot enough useful, awe-inspiring, groundbreaking information before breakfast than I’ll ever know in my lifetime. But I do disagree, assuming that’s an accurate quote, about “human stupidity.” Sounds far too cynical and craggy. I think it’s just interest and need.

    This is a consequence of living in a first-world nation. Pampered brats; people whose largest life issue is a supposed takeover because some don’t like a certain symbol on public property; the cancellation of Being Human on SyFy. (Which IS bullcrap, to be clear.)

    Bigger fish to fry than politics. This season of Dancing with the Stars and the twist. OMG!

    This is what seems to matter to America.

  • sjangers

    I agree with you about the effect, Bernie, but I’m not sure I agree about the cause. There may be a fair number of people in this country who aren’t too bright, and an even larger number of people who don’t care enough to be well-informed, but I think the biggest reason people don’t always appear knowledgeable about what’s going on in the country is because of our powerful disinformation and misinformation industries.

    It seems that just about everybody who holds or aspires to some sort of stake in the public arena has decided that it’s to their advantage to promote an ill-informed electorate. Whether it’s outright dishonesty, or merely distorting information to encourage people to support their objectives, most interest groups would rather have an electorate that blindly falls into line behind them than a well-informed electorate that believes in their objectives because they are good for the country.

    With proponents for thousands of social goals and public policy objectives clamoring for attention, and none too scrupulous about how they present their case to the public, it’s no wonder that many Americans are confused and ultimately disinterested in trying to sort through the competing claims and counter-claims to get at the truth, resulting in a population that frequently appears to be irrational or stupid.

    • Bob Olden

      It seems that if you want to learn more than one point of view about news or current issues, you have to really work at it. If all I do is “watch the news” (mainstream media), I’m still ignorant about a lot of very important things. I have to search the internet, read books, do fact checking, listen to talk radio, check newspapers and magazines, always conscious of the political slant of every source. It’s difficult to stay reasonably well informed! That’s why so many are ignorant, even though they might not think that they are.

      • sjangers

        As you say, it’s possible to be reasonably well informed if one puts a lot of effort into it, Bob. But while sorting through the biased information sources you still have to filter spin from politicians and their sock puppets, political advocacy groups, and “socially-conscious entertainers”, as well as competing claims from scientific- and health-information sources, and marketing efforts from commercial interests.

        It’s all enough to make most people’s heads spin. Many fairly intelligent people simply give up and don’t even try to stay really well informed. Many try and just don’t have the resources to stay on top of it all, so they still end up rather ignorant.

        I don’t know how you make things better. In a recent conversation I floated the idea of creating information brokerage services- which are really not much more than what the free media was originally intended to be- that would gather information on topics of interest, filter competing claims from interest groups on various sides of issues, and try to synopsize that information for the general public.

        It’s probably not a practical idea, since there are already groups devoted to fact-checking that have a hard enough time avoiding bias in even that fundamental role, and I really don’t know if there would be adequate demand for such a service to justify the effort it would require. But I do believe an informed population is an extremely important element in a successful free society. It would be nice to know that there are information sources out there that are very knowledgeable in their fields and able to offer a balanced assessment of issues that would allow individuals to determine what’s in their best interest.

        • Bob Olden

          Hmm. “Information Brokering Services”–what a great concept, if it could be true to the principle of sifting the information in a fair and balanced way. How could that be policed?

          What is most galling to me when elections come around is the difficulty of getting reliable information about the candidates for minor offices. I would love to have a trustworthy information brokering service for that.

          • sjangers

            There probably isn’t any way to police it, Bob. It would be highly dependent on the integrity of the service providers, and there was once a time when the providers in the news media had a fairly high degree of integrity. Complicating the acceptance of any service like this would be all those opposing its aims who would be constantly launching attacks on it.

            I’m not sure if there could be a cost-effective way of gathering accurate information on candidates for lesser offices. Perhaps it’s possible to at least get some decent analysis on their positions and existing public records, but any deep digging on the individual would likely be cost-prohibitive.

  • JMax

    “despite all of that, about half (49 percent) still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing, according to Rasmussen. Huh?”

    Well approval of Congress is like, what? 15%. And yet almost all of them will be reelected this fall. Go figure.

    People should remember that although 54% oppose Obamacare, 16% (within the 54%) believe it should be MORE liberal such as single payer. This means that 59% favor Obamacare or want something more liberal. Only 35% want something less liberal than Obamacare.

    • nickshaw

      I don’t think I’m “stupid” and math certainly isn’t my strong suit but…

    • Uncle Dave

      gimme, gimme, gimme….
      I think it was Limbaugh that said, “If Santa were running for President, wouldn’t you vote for him?”

  • JMax

    Wouldn’t it be great if pollsters used 1 or 2 qualifying questions for the topic of the poll? Or would that make the sampling so small that the margin of error would be like 50%?