The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 11, 2013

GOP's leaders, followers hasten its demise


John Kerry told some German students recently that “In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be.” Maybe he was thinking of Texas Republicans, whose 2012 Party Platform contained the astonishing statement: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), critical thinking skills and similar programs...” They are apparently determined to raise Republican voters.

We just had an election in which 49 percent of GOP voters nationally said they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama, an amazing accomplishment for an organization that disbanded in 2010. House Republicans nonetheless voted 12 times to block federal funding for ACORN after that.

But then, even more Republicans — 59 percent — thought that ACORN also stole the 2008 election. Five independent investigations by five different states failed to come up with one fraudulent vote attributable to ACORN. The state investigations found that the tapes of two charlatans dressed as a pimp and a prostitute conducting “interviews” with ACORN had been doctored. Predictably, Fox news ran a non-stop loop of the fraud, just as they did with the Shirley Sherrod scam tape.

This demonstrates the reality of euphemistically labeled “low information voters.” They are called that because it would be politically incorrect to call them low IQ voters, which might raise the question of, who knows, IQ tests to vote.

They are among the targets of the GOP’s agitprop campaign of resentment, race-baiting and conspiracy theories. The goal is to distract the yahoos and to get the simpletons to take to the streets to demand lower taxes for billionaires and less spending on health, education and social insurance for themselves so the GOP can shovel even more money to the wealthy.

The conservative media are part of the program. For example, in the last three elections, Fox provided almost daily coverage of two Black Panthers standing quietly outside a Pennsylvania polling place, apparently about to steal the entire election. Fox ran at least 95 segments over two weeks in 2010 to remind people how scary blacks are, and even issued an election-day “alert” in 2012 about one Black Panther.

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