Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Rule: Smart President ≠ Smart Country

I know Bill Maher isn't everyone's cup of tea---a bombastic know-it-all with a smug, ultra-crass sense of humor---but I love him (go figure). But if you're not a fan, I suggest reading the text of some of his "new rules" instead of watching them performed on camera. Removing his persona from the equation might help you to appreciate him a bit more (looking at you, JMW).

This past week he did a "new rule" on the intelligence (or lack thereof) of our country. It's hilarious, but it's also very much on-point. The entire text is here, but here are a couple of my favorite parts:

"I'm the bad guy for saying it's a stupid country, yet polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket."

"And these are the idiots we want to weigh in on the minutia of health care policy? Please, this country is like a college chick after two Long Island Iced Teas: we can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget town halls, and replace them with study halls."

"Until we admit there are things we don't know, we can't even start asking the questions to find out. Until we admit that America can make a mistake, we can't stop the next one. A smart guy named Chesterton once said: "My country, right or wrong is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying... It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober." To which most Americans would respond: "Are you calling my mother a drunk?"


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