Having said that, Charle's P. Pierce's book helps to explain why this country has fallen to such a stupendous low when it comes to intellect, religious & scientific views and, of course, politics. It delves into the lameness of most people's 'reasoning' for what they believe, why they believe it, and how they vote.
Pierce even takes a brief moment to give reality TV shows (and the unrealistic drama '24') the mockery that they deserve.
I mean, what have we come to when a Supreme Court Justice (Anthony Scalia) cites '24' as a reason to support torture? How did we appoint someone to such a high court who asks, while deciding landmark cases, WWJD, What Would Jack Bauer Do?
-Side note, how ridiculous was it when politicians and news pundits were saying that Jack Bauer would have found the terrorist behind the failed Times Square bombing in, get this, 24 hours... not the 50 some odd hours it took REAL PEOPLE. What kind of blurry fake world do they live in. It would be one thing if they were kidding.-
Jack Bauer nonsense aside, Pierce shows how much of America votes from, what he calls "The Gut." Which is to say that it doesn't matter what the facts are, just what sells and what is convenient or makes us feel comfortable.
He also introduces The Three Great Premises to show how people buy into crap that is just that, crap:
"Since (right-wing) populism has at its heart an "anti-elitist" distrust of expertise, talk radio offers the purest example of the Three Great Premises at work.
A host is not judged a success by his command of the issues, but purely by whether what he says moves the ratings needle.
*First Great Premise: Any theory is valid if it moves units.
-If the needle moves enough, then the host is adjudged an expert.
*Second Great Premise: Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough
And if the host seems to argue passionately enough, then what he is saying is judged to be true simply because of how many people are listening to him say it.
*Third Great Premise: Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it."
- Charles P. Pierce,Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
I will leave it at this: It's a great book filed with various topics from Terri Schiavo to 9/11, global warming to the Iraq War, and elections down to creationism... to name a few.