Fred over at Slacktivist plays a round of everyone’s favorite game, Evil or Stupid? with the latest hollering out of the GOP noise machine:
Today’s contestants are the 52 percent of Republicans who claim to believe that President Obama secretly wants to impose Sharia law.
I find it hard to believe that anyone is stupid enough to really believe such a thing. The Newsweek poll was conducted via telephone, so respondents would have had to recognize the sound of a ringing phone, be able to locate it, pick it up and converse with the pollster on the other end of the line. All of that would be beyond the capability of someone stupid enough to really believe that Obama is secretly trying to impose Sharia law. If you’re smart enough to be able to work a telephone, you’re too smart to believe that nonsense.
The stupidity required here is just too vast, too disabling, for it to be a plausible or a possible explanation.
And that only leaves one choice: More than half of Republicans are evil. They’re lying. And lying out of malice.
His reasoning is sound but there’s always a third way. In this case, Grey’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.” I’m not saying all of the GOPers who claim to think Obama is a stealth sharia-law enforcing socialist. But there’s a thin wedge in that pie chart where malice and incompetence mix into a tart little slice of incompetence/malice that is indistinguishable from genuine stupidity. I think that’s what we’re dealing with here.
This position seems to be the exclusive domain of a certain slice of 1st world demographics. The sort of people who can afford to be disconnected from reality because they have enough money to insulate themselves from the consequences of their mendacity. That they mange to infect a certain percentage of the low information, high anxiety population who are not so well insulated financially with this meme is a testament to just how insidious some ideas can be. Or Just how stupid many of my fellow Americans can be. Your pick.