Founded by Geniuses; Run by Idiots?

I saw this on Facebook yesterday and thought I’d respond:

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy
Were these men geniuses?

1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Meanwhile, in reality-land: The Obama administration has already deported 1.5 million people in his first term. George Bush only deported 2 million in his two terms. So. This statement is incredibly inaccurate. If you think it’s not possible to get “arrested for being in the country illegally,” you must not be listening to the stories that are being told around you.

2. If you have to get your parents permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

This one can be traced back to one specific lie that  Michele Bachmann told about abortion providers taking kids out of school, giving them abortions, and then getting back to school before the end of the day, but that was just one of a million of her lies.  Here’s the thing: not only does that not happen, but these are not comparable events. Permission slips are about school liability issues, because the school is acting in place of the parent during those school hours. Parental consent laws are about whether or not a minor should be able to make medical decisions outside of their parents’ knowledge. Many states have decided that they cannot. Debate parental consent laws if you want ““ it’s a worthy conversation ““ but this is a false comparison.

3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote “¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Tell you what. When you can prove to me that voter ID laws don’t disenfranchise people who have a right to vote (ELEVEN PERCENT of voters are disenfranchised by these laws, according to the Brennan Center), and when you  can prove to me that voter fraud is actually statistically relevant and not an urban legend,then perhaps you can convince me to support voter ID laws.

4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Yep, that seems like a bad move to me. Too bad it’s EXACTLY THE SAME THING WE’VE BEEN DOING FOR DECADES. Also, there aren’t “crazy new leaders” in Egypt. There is a democratically-elected president.

5. If, in our largest city, you can buy “two” 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Fair. Most of my NYC friends agree that Michael Bloomberg is a dolt or much worse. But Bloomberg doesn’t run the COUNTRY. He is an elected official who presides over one city.

6. If an 80-year-old woman and three-year-old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

That’s simply untrue. And also Islamophobic, if we’re keeping score.

7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

There are different economic theories. And you might not agree with some of them. But that doesn’t mean it’s idiotic to subscribe to one over another. It is possible to think someone is wrong without stooping to calling them an idiot.

8. If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

This is buying into the idea that grade school kids are being given instruction on “sexual exploration” or that diversity awareness includes explicit discussion of various sexual practices. On the contrary, it’s stuff like, “Hey, first graders, did you know that it’s totally okay that your friend Ava has two moms, and that it’s totally uncool to treat her like a weirdo for that?” And later, maybe in fifth grade, there can be a conversation that goes something like this: “Nope, you don’t get to call things “˜gay’ in my classroom, because that’s derogatory, and we respect one another.” And some other times, the teacher might say something like, “When you fall in love with a special boy or girl,” instead of, “And when you boys fall in love with a girl, and you girls fall in love with a boy”¦” Maybe in some lessons, they actually mention that the author or the activists or the politician or the artist was gay. Somehow this is supposed to be shocking. OH THE HORROR! CAN YOU IMAGINE? TEACHING ELEMENTARY CHILDREN TO BE NICE TO EACH OTHER EVEN IF THEY HAPPEN TO BE GAY OR KNOW GAY PEOPLE OR READ BOOKS BY GAY PEOPLE!

9. If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes”¦you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Go ahead. Defend spanking. The Pearls defend the practice, and their teachings have been linked to what, the deaths of four children now? Totally the sort of people I’d love to share ideologies with.

10. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


11. If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TVs and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

I’m so glad that the world hired you to be the poverty police. That’s awesome. You’re doing a great job. May I re-link to the exact same article I just linked to above? Because the point still stands.

12. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more safe according to the government”¦ you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

No one has been stripped of their ability to defend themselves. No one has had their guns taken away. Just because there are some proposals that you can’t own some kinds of guns doesn’t mean that your second amendment rights have been violated. It just means that you can’t own certain types of weapons.

Now. Thinking about our genius founding fathers ““ who indeed had some awesome ideas ““ let me add a few witticisms about a few of their “genius” ideas:

[fancy_list style=”star_list” variation=”red”]

  • If you live in a country where people weren’t originally allowed to vote based on the color of their skin, the amount of money they owned, or their gender”¦it might have been founded by bigots and improved by progressives.

[fancy_list style=”star_list” variation=”silver”]

  • If you live in a country where women got the vote less than a hundred years ago”¦it  might have been founded by sexists and improved by feminists.

[fancy_list style=”star_list” variation=”blue”]

  • If you live in a country where people were once allowed to own other people”¦it might have been founded by racists and and improved by radicals.


Note: If you get a defensive vibe from this post, you should. When someone makes an offensive move toward you or your belief system, the appropriate response is a defensive one. The “you” in this piece should be read as the anonymous person who wrote the original post. I could converse endlessly and politely with people who hold these beliefs that are listed here, but not when they are presented from the perspective of, “I think you’re an idiot.” No good can come of that. If you disagree with someone, disagree. Talk about why. But when you assume your opponent is an idiot, and that their positions are formed out of ignorance, then you do both them and yourself a disservice. The other problem is that if you go around calling people idiots, you welcome far harsher criticism upon yourself! That’s what is happening here. Anonymous Writer created a document that is flawed and inaccurate. If that’s all that had happened, then I would have moved on without a second thought. But instead, Anonymous Writer created something that is flawed, inaccurate, and also full of insults. That, in my opinion, makes Anonymous Writer fair game.

This article originally appeared on my blog, Liz Boltz Ranfeld.

3 replies on “Founded by Geniuses; Run by Idiots?”

Ha, a take down, ha ha!

About the identity for voting thing: The Netherlands do that. People who post these things probably don’t want anything remotely similar to the modern Sodom that’s The Netherlands (I heard last week we kill 300 babies a week. Just so you know).

Leave a Reply