Ignorance is a strange word.
It is, by very definition, the state of being uninformed. When you know nothing, you are not in the know. Uncool. Unhip. I suppose being informed is the very essence of pretension. It is a very American trait to want to have many, many things; back in the continent, much less so. The majority of Europeans would rather pay a lot to have one of the best – in America we pride ourselves on how many cars we can fit in our garage. You only really need one. Such is the way it is.
This election between Obama and Romney is much less an argument between opposing viewpoints, as it has been for the majority of the last (pick a number that sounds good) years. Even the last election: say what you will about his voting record, but John McCain had integrity. The guy went and did things we wouldn’t do, or couldn’t imagine to do. At least he’d seen them.
To be very fair to Mitt Romney, I think he is an intelligent man with a good heart. One of the lesser spoken things about having a heart, if you will, is the fact that it doesn’t have to mean the same thing to everybody. If everybody agreed with everyone else, it would be terrible and we would all kill ourselves tomorrow out of boredom.
He’s a human, he’s a guy. He might be a robot, and his opinions might not match up with mine or yours, but he’s an actual person. Sure he might not smoke or drink or drink coffee and be like the rest of us but judging by the amount of children he has, he’s had at least five erections in his life. At least give him some credit.
Mitt is a guy. Mitt is the kind of guy that would build the Lego until it looked exactly the way it did on the box. He’s a veritable golden retriever of human beings; someone who was born into incredible privilege and has followed a program into what he is now – a fuckin’ rich guy, and I say “fuckin’” in the way Robert De Niro might say it. In a good way, kinda squinting, and making a steady up and down motion with my hands outstretched. Ay, fuckin’ rich, eh?
So there’s that.
Mitt Romney is not a stupid man, I think we’re forgetting that he’s done things with his life, even if it was being born on third and spending his whole life thinking he’d hit a triple. The thing is, Romney is ignorant in the literal definition of the word. He’s not stupid, not at all, but he is ignorant.
Ignorance can sometimes be a wonderful thing, like when you hold a subway pole and don’t immediately wash your hands afterwards. The guy with the neck tattoo drinking Baileys out of a children’s sippy cup with his other hand down his pants? He’s probably touched that thing. The world is a veritable carnival of souls and people like to do really weird shit sometimes. Let’s give a round of applause for general ignorance.
But “ignorance” – again, let’s look at the definition yeah? – is the lack of learning, the lack of knowledge. Let us assume that all knowledge is learned, and thereby also taught, right? Let us then assume that ignorance (by definition of being the entire lack of knowledge and therefore its polar opposite) can also be taught. Let us assume that ignorance, like knowledge, is handed down. See where I’m going with this?
What is different about ignorance is that ignorance produces fear of the unknown. Why leave fear? Fear safe. Fire bad and fear safe. Fear, when born under a bad sign, can lead to racism and sexism and all of the isms in this world which, to be really fucking honest, is our true downfall, the fact that we feel a need to define ourselves with isms. Racism is the strangest: how can you hate people with different skin color than yours? Somebody just tell the racist guys we’re all black with the lights off, man. It would blow their minds.
Willful ignorance is having proof of something, such as… and I bring this up not to be picky, I bring this up as an actual fact… the fact that abortions are far lower in places that regulate birth control (i.e Planned Parenthood), or the fact that America is way behind in a lot of places and perhaps isn’t the “best” in the world (at certain things.)
And that last part? It’s a (De Niro style) fuckin’ argument over words here, eh? Anyone who has been to North America can attest that it is pretty fucking awesome. We’ve got a lot of shit here that other places don’t have. Disney World! Utah! A variety of species of beavers! San Francisco in the summertime! Brooklyn in the fall! Have you seen Jay-Z and Beyonce? I mean, Tom Fuckin’ Hanks lives here in the good ol’ U S of A, man, so it can’t be that bad. Shit, who invented t-shirts and jeans? America did. America is the best. It literally invented cool. And before someone says England or wherever they’re from think about the shop on the high street that sells American style clothing. Think about the guy you saw with the Tweety Bird jacket on and shitty athletic shoes down on the high street earlier. America managed to get through to that guy, and, shit, he wasn’t even listening. So poppycock and p’shaw. Don’t get mad. I’m not even from here. A lot of people here aren’t.
And here’s the thing about abortion and women’s rights: nobody likes abortion, and I mean that in a way in that it is a pretty brutal procedure. Hands up who like abortion, anyone? See? Nobody. It is, however, a decision someone might have to make, whether you agree with it or not. The world is a pretty brutal place and sometimes to make it less brutal people can decide not to bring another person into this shitty cycle where everyone is kind bummed out about how they aren’t on a reality show yet or how they’re gonna eat tomorrow. If you give people more of a choice of ways not to get pregnant (i.e: birth control, something the Catholic church opposes I’m just saying) and if you give women options about having safer sex, there will be less babies. Babies are pretty cute, but then again so is my friend’s dog, and she can only really handle one of them.
Back to ignorance. You can’t dislike someone just because they think differently than you. It is in the contract that we should at least try to get along with eachother before we die. So that guy doesn’t like abortion? Big deal. Should he get involved with someone else getting one just because he doesn’t like it? Absolutely not.
America has potential to do better, though. We always do. I think a lot of people think that this is just a race to the top, or that we are secretly electing a President that will get to the top of a big pillar and ring a bell and then AMERICA WILL HAVE FINALLY WON EVERYTHING FOREVER THANK YOU CLEVELAND GOODNIGHT (GUITAR SOLO) (LIGHT SHOW) (FOURTH OF JULY FOREVER, BABY).
It isn’t. If you want to truly be the best at something, you keep being the best at something. You don’t give up halfway through and go for something that, say, someone wrote in a book 2,000 years ago. And dude, The Bible is a pretty great book. But then again, so was Harry Potter.
I think that true ignorance is not knowing how the other people live. I don’t mean that in a “that guy has a cool yard mower and I don’t” sort of way, I mean it in a way that in a way that you can look at another person and not know them and not desire to know them. And I think Mitt Romney is a guy that is plain and simply ignorant of how other people live – I don’t think he actively does it – I think he is simply surrounded and has always been surrounded by people who actively block it from him.
Some people are born that way, and that’s just the way it is, Jack. I’m not saying that Obama is the greatest President in all of time and space, but I do think he’s doing the best with what he’s got. I think that this country is a lot bigger than we really give it credit for, and uniting millions upon millions of people is very hard work. What’s the way people say it.. you can’t please everyone at the same time? That is never going to happen. Forget about that weird Sesame Street headline… Mitt Romney has actively said that he wants less teachers and firemen. Romney said of Obama: “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
If you vote, think about ignorance for a little while. Think about the damage of not knowing the facts that job growth has been going well and steadily increasing, think about the fact that we are actually ending these two wars that are now over ten years old and the longest wars America has ever been in, and then think about the fact that Romney wants to keep troops there. The Middle East is a quagmire. If you ask me, its because they don’t treat women right and therefore don’t get laid enough and therefore get SUPER FUCKING UPSET all of the time. That’s kinda why I don’t get organized religion. When you take it to a certain level it really is mostly all about disliking your own genitals. Give me a Buddhist any day. At least that guy is smiling.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan also plan to destroy Obamacare, which is simply the strangest thing ever: people will finally get healthcare in this country. We are the only civilized nation that does not have a form of national healthcare. You’re on your own here if you get sick and can’t afford treatment. Anyone who has spent $3,000 on a fractured wrist from falling off their bike can attest to that. Yes, that is how much it can actually cost. Sure, you might have to spend, say, $5 more a month, potentially, in taxes, but would you rather that that money went towards other people who have hurt themselves or are sick? That is what healthcare is. It is a human right. If we have a way to help you, we’ll help you. That is how human beings have gotten along together for centuries. Helping eachother. I’m not trying to be a goddam hippy here. But nowhere in history has society ever progressed by someone saying “Nah, fuck that guy.” And before someone says Hitler and Stalin and People Who Kill Other People… those guys (and they are almost always guys, which is strange, ain’t it?) were the ones saying “Fuck those other guys” enough to kill a whoooole bunch of people.
What this election comes down to isn’t a choice between a guy named Obama and guy named Mitt: it’s about freedom of choice. America will get better if America has more choice and Obama, at least, even if you don’t agree with it, has allowed more people to have a choice in what they want to do.
I’m sure someone will show me a graph somewhere showing Obama limiting something somewhere, and maybe he did or maybe he didn’t, he probably did, I’m not saying the guy is perfect, but he’s allowing gay people the choice to marry. That’s a human right. Everyone else can do it legally. If you don’t like butt-fuckin’ or scissor-bangin’, just don’t think about it or Google it. He’s allowing people to have the choice to see a doctor even if they can’t afford it. Or put food on their plates that night. I should know. I’ve been on food stamps. Worrying about where your next meal is gonna come from isn’t exactly fun.
The fact is that you’re never going to meet everyone in this country and that you’re probably going to get old and / or die one day. You might as well contribute to the rest of us while you’re here – none of that shit you’re buying is going with you to the next place, wherever that is – so you better stop worrying about “stuff” and start thinking about making other people happy. And that involves giving them a choice to help themselves, not taking it away.
By all means, do your thing. Are we better off that we were four years ago? Well, we’ve been fighting this whole damn time. Maybe its time we just shut up and asked the other guy if he’s alright and if there’s anything we can do to help. And if you help people out, people get happy. And when people are happy, everyone gets laid more often. I mean, how can anyone not like that?
Mitt Romney is, after all, just a guy, though. But he’s an ignorant guy. His whole life has been defined by lack of choice. He was born into a strict religion, was expected (and succeeded) in getting into a good school, and went from there to make millions. Obama was a poor kid from a single mom who fought to get where he was. I’m not saying that makes him “better” – I’m just saying that makes him more aware of the social condition of this country.
But like I said, by all means, do your thing when you vote. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you what to do, make your own conclusions, which means learning, which means becoming less ignorant of other people around you. I think Obama wasn’t weaned on the teat of willful societal ignorance. And I think that makes him the better candidate.