One of our favorite movies as a family is Men in Black. That's one of the many we quote OFTEN. One of our favorite quotes comes from an exchange between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones;
Will: People are smart.
TLJ: An individual person is smart, but people are stupid.
That seemed, for some people, to hold true for the American people in the last election. Apparently the only people who voted for Bush were barefooted, gun-totin' NASCAR fans who couldn't get a coherent thought put together if it bit them on the toe. I once received a Christmas letter (a Christmas letter!) bemoaning the "fact" that "the American people let us down" by voting for Bush.
This morning, I found a quote which I found interesting, in light of the above. I was on the Starbuck's website, checking out points values (gotta have our priorities for spending those Weight Watchers' points!) and I clicked on The Way I See It. If you click on that, I think you'll find the quote I found. If you don't want to bother, here it is.
In three decades of polling, I’ve found that while individuals make mistakes in judgment, America as a whole rarely does. A collective wisdom emerges from a poll or vote that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
-- John Zogby
Pollster, president and CEO of Zogby International.
This from a guy who puts dinner on the table by conducting polls and talking with the American people. And he sees us as having "collective wisdom." And, if you check out his site, he doesn't appear to have values or priorities consistent with "us" barefoot, gun-totin' NASCAR fans.
What if he were right?
What if the American people actually KNEW what they wanted, without being told by Someone Else who Knows what we need and Knows how to get it?
What if we WERE capable of thought, of rational action in our own best interest?