We, the Dumb

America's marvelous diversity extends beyond the racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic melting pot. Along with our Noam Chomskys, Grace Paleys, and Cornel Wests, we've got our share of dumb people too. Like the 83% of people who in a recent poll incorrectly answered the question "To the best of your knowledge, how many of the September 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens?" (The real answer: none were Iraqi.) Like the 19% of Americans who think they're among the "richest 1% of Americans" who'll benefit from Bush's tax plan. (They'd need to make over $330,000 per year to qualify). And the 52% of Americans who, despite our crushed economy, isolation from the developed world, and the looming spectre of an unbudgeted war in the Middle East, still think Bush is doing a great job.

I'm counting Jeff Maas of Plymouth, Minnesota, in the aforementioned category. His letter to the editor in today's Star Tribune--with its know-it-all bluster, adolescent implication of the left's ingratitude, poor spelling, and screwy logic--earns him an elevated position:

Just a couple of reminders to all of the Minnesotans as well as all Americans who were out protesting the potential war threat:

One, Saddam Hussein was sitting back laughing at each one of you for being fooled into defending him against your own country. Two, had you lodged the same protest under his regime, you and your family would have eventually been killed.

Your right to protest is sacred in our great country, but remember: The First Amendment only applies in this country because our fore fathers fought for it.
By Jeff's logic, the truest patriots are the protesters--the ones who are actively participating in American citizenship by fully utilizing the civil rights our ancestors fought and died for. Those who shrink from free expression--out of fear of Saddam's laughter or fear of reprisal from tyrants, governments, and Jeffs alike--might be considered, well, dumb. But in a democracy, the beauty is we all get to have our say.

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