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Smart People Say The Stupidest Things

Why is it that so many very intelligent people, when given the chance to speak honestly about important issues of the day, say such stupid things?  Here are just two classic examples of this phenomenon that I’ve heard over the last couple of days.  First there was Robert Reich, a Harvard professor and former Secretary of Labor, on The Colbert Report discussing the issue of significant income inequality that we have in the U.S. today, and when confronted by Colbert, he completely denies that what we have is “class warfare”.  He certainly knows that’s a crock, that the wealthy in this country declared war on the poor and middle class some thirty years ago with the election of Ronald Reagan, and ever since then virtually their entire political agenda has been to take money from the poor and middle class and give it to the rich.  How can you fight a war when you are in complete denial that the war is even taking place?  The wealthy in this country clearly know they are at war, and that’s why they’ve been winning the war for the last thirty years.  When people like Robert Reich go all mamby-pamby on the issue it just makes it that much easier for the wealthy to keep winning the war.

And then a couple of days later, there was Condoleezza Rice, a Stanford professor and former Secretary of State, on The Daily Show responding to a question about the surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric by saying “There’s a lot of turning up the volume of a few extreme voices on this issue — I don’t believe that most Americans are in any sense Islamophobic.”  Are you freaking kidding me?  You can’t watch or read the news for more than fifteen minutes without seeing some Republican pol or Tea Party nimwit going off on a rant about Muslims.  One of the founding principles of this country was religious freedom, and yet poll after poll shows the majority of Americans oppose giving Muslims the freedom to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  And Rice thinks it’s just a few extreme voices?  That’s bullshit, and she knows better.  She’s a conservative, and she needs to call out other conservatives on this issue.  Lying about it just gives them cover.