< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Monday, January 05, 2004


I must (again) applaud Charles Johnson, the brilliant mind behind little green footballs, who, with a little help from his friends, directs me and thousands of others to some of the most interesting stuff to read on the planet.

For instance, if he hadn't posted a link to The S factor, I would never have known about it. It is my privilege now to pass it on to readers of this blog:

In an opinion piece in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, columnist Neil Starkman holds forth on this reason for the popularity of President Bush:
The answer, I'm afraid, is the factor that dare not speak its name. It's the factor that no one talks about. The pollsters don't ask it, the media don't report it, the voters don't discuss it.

I, however, will blare out its name so that at last people can address the issue and perhaps adopt strategies to overcome it.

It's the "Stupid factor," the S factor: Some people -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- are just not very bright.

It's not merely that some people are insufficiently intelligent to grasp the nuances of foreign policy, of constitutional law, of macroeconomics or of the variegated interplay of humans and the environment. These aren't the people I'm referring to. The people I'm referring to cannot understand the phenomenon of cause and effect. They're perplexed by issues comprising more than two sides. They don't have the wherewithal to expand the sources of their information. And above all -- far above all -- they don't think.
This is the level of civic discourse emanating from today's Left (as opposed to yesterday's Left, of which I was a part).

There are hundreds of comments on Charles' posting; let me share with you #7 - from "BH":
So, did I become stupid when I decided I would vote for Bush this coming election? Or was I stupid back when I voted for Gore in '00, before realizing in the wake of 9/11 what a mistake that was? Or was I smart then but became retroactively stupid? This is so confusing, I wish I wasn't so stupid.
Thank you Neil, Charles, BH . . . your combined talents have enriched my day. I laughed out loud.

To: editpage@seattlepi.com

By calling me stupid, Starkman has convinced me not to vote for President Bush.
How could I resist such a brilliant argument?

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO