Although they are different concepts, there is a connection between ignorance which is the lack of knowledge or information, and stupidity which is lacking the ability to learn and understand things such as knowledge or information. One of problems, and indeed reasons, Republicans are able to convince many Americans that their dangerous tactics to obstruct governance unless they are allowed to dictate how the country is run is because their supporters are dispossessed of information about how government operates. For the most part, any American who believes the GOP’s contention that compromise and negotiation are mortal sins, and that shutting down the government and causing a credit default are sound legislative strategies is not only ignorant, they are seriously stupid and lack brain capacity to learn.
Republicans depend on Americans who are stupid and ignorant because it is the only possible way they would ever garner support for their crusade to wreak havoc on the government and the people unless they are allowed to control the government by extortion. It is likely a very safe bet that the average American could never pass the test to become a naturalized citizen out of sheer ignorance of the Constitution, and possible a safer bet that many Americans are just too stupid to grasp the concept of how government functions. Indeed, in 2012 it was estimate that barely 60% of American adults could pass the citizenship test with a score of 6 out of 10 (60%), and it is likely why 66% of Republican voters and 79% of teabaggers want Republicans to shut down the government and default on the nation’s debts for an ever-growing list of reasons. Obviously, any American who advocates shutting down the government and defaulting on the nation’s debts is not only ignorant of the dire consequences, they are stupid for encourage extremists in the Republican ranks who will, without pause, send the economy into a depression. It is why Republicans will shut down the government and push the nation toward defaulting on its debts.
With stupidity and ignorance as the source of their support, and an internal civil war as their backdrop, the dysfunction that is the Republican Party is finally bearing fruit and threatens this government like no time since the Civil War. The situation in Washington is not partisan divide, and it is certainly not both sides making government less stable, less effective, and less predictable according to ratings agency S&P as why they downgrading America’s credit. Preeminent congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein opined that “The Republican party is “an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme, contemptuous of the inherited and social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise, unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” The two scholars came to a conclusion most Washington observers have finally come to realize that “Our problem is polarization but not just any polarization—asymmertric polarization. Republicans are more partisan than Democrats.”
This partisanship within the Republican Party between teabaggers and mainstream Republicans not only abrogates compromise internally, it has driven the nation from crisis to crisis and a state of flux since 2011 that few governments could survive. As James Fallows remarked, “This time, the fight that matters is within the Republican party, and that fight is over whether compromise itself is legitimate. The president and his administration, Democratic legislators as a group, and voters have essentially no leverage over the outcome. Nor is there a conceivable compromise the Democrats could offer that would placate the other side.” Any situation in a two-party, representative democracy where there is nothing short of complete abdication by one side to the opposition’s demands on pain of destroying its economy is not governance; it is an attempted coup d’état. And it is treason in a time of war.
The Republicans in the House, and to a lesser degree in the Senate, have been under control of the most extremist conservative sect this nation has likely ever experienced and the vote to shut down the government if Democrats do not accept the extremist Republicans conditions is but an inkling that the American people are in for some serious trouble. Republicans were not satisfied passing a continuing resolution maintaining sequestration cuts the Democratic Senate went along with to keep the government running because the ACA is still going forward and Social Security and Medicare were not “reformed” to meet the demands of austerity-mad teabaggers. The sequester will eliminate 750,000 jobs before the end of this year, kill a million more in the next 12 months, and reduce total U.S. economic growth by 0.7 percent, but the damage is not severe enough for the extreme wing of the Republican caucus in the House.
To ensure Democrats will not accept the House Republicans’ CR abomination, they added in a Christian “conscience clause” for medical providers, allow employers to opt-out of the contraception coverage mandate, and a one-year delay of ACA implementation. Republicans desperately want the government to shut down. Likely, Republicans are also lusting to cause a credit default because House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said it is his preference that the government shutdown “will fold into the debt ceiling fight,” because “I like combining all of our leverage which is sequester and the debt limit.” Ryan also used a veiled electoral threat against Republicans in the Senate by daring them to vote for “Obamacare” and “face the consequences with their constituents for having made that decision.” In Republican parlance, voting to keep the government running to serve the people and not acquiescing to outlandish teabagger demands is tantamount to voting for the health law’s implementation.
The only reason Republicans are in the position they find themselves is their dependence on stupid and insanely ignorant voters who support insane economic damage that will certainly affect all Americans. It is likely there are still some Republicans who understand that compromise is crucial to governing effectively, but they welcomed ideological extremist teabaggers in their ranks who have no idea of how government operates including what a government shutdown or credit default will do to the nation and world’s economy. In fact, there are still ignorant Republicans in the House, and the population, that do not comprehend what the debt limit is or what defaulting on the debt means for the nation’s economy.
It is important to remember that during the debt ceiling crisis of 2011 and the fiscal cliff crisis of 2012, there were teabaggers who wanted a default and the economy to go over a cliff “just to see what will happen.” There is no talking, debating, informing, or teaching a mentality that wants to “see what will happen” when the world’s economy goes into a depression. It is the height of stupidity to think something good will come of a default, or a government shutdown, and the overwhelming support among Republican and teabagger voters for an economic disaster informs that many, many Americans are too stupid to be allowed to have a voice in how this country is governed; unless they first pass the civics test to become an American citizen.