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Ben Carson
Ben Carson
12 Nov 2014
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29 Oct 2014
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Stupidity Reconsidered: Election Proved Americans Aren't Fooled by Gruber and Obama


Jonathan Gruber set off a firestorm of controversy, at least in the conservative media, with the recent revelation of his comments about the "stupidity of the American people," which allowed the Affordable Care Act to be passed. In essence, he admitted that the bill was written in a way that would allow its purveyors to characterize it as the cure-all and salvation for a health care system that was in trouble, with no danger of their deception being discovered by a populace that is trusting and naive. He obviously never intended for his comments to make it into the public sphere and did not consider the fact that someone is always recording on their smartphone.

What is truly disturbing is the fact that our government is willing to engage in the purposeful deception of the populace in order to thrust its secretive agenda onto an unsuspecting populace and a sycophantic mainstream media. As I have said many times before, Obamacare was never about health care; it was about government control and wealth redistribution. If there was real concern about the uninsured, it would have been much cheaper and considerably less complex to simply give all of the uninsured Cadillac health plans for life. I am a firm believer that health care reform was and is needed, and I have been advocating for it for several years. It needs to be done correctly, though, and in a way that does not create different levels of access and treatment.

There is no question that the American people are distracted by sports and entertainment and that we confer godlike status on actors and some athletes. There is also no question that we could do more to enhance our knowledge about important issues. However, to assume that the American people are stupid and uncaring and to design programs and speeches around that assumption is arrogant, disrespectful and, frankly, very shortsighted.

As has famously been said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

This most recent revelation by the unmasking of one of the chief architects of Obamacare is far from the first and only indication of a pattern of deception and manipulation by the current administration. There appears to be overt contempt for the intelligence of the populace by people who would have us believe that the Benghazi disaster was caused by an ill-defined and little-watched video, and that there was not even a smidgen of evidence of wrongdoing surrounding the "phony" Internal Revenue Service scandal, and that the government would never engage in spying on its own citizens without cause. Unfortunately, the administration knows that it can say virtually anything, and that there are some people who are so desperate to believe that it will be accepted as truth. They also know that many members of the mainstream media subscribe to their same ideology and will protect them, regardless of the consequences.

Only people who doubt the analytical ability of the populace would believe that giving people free phones and generous entitlements could purchase their loyalty forever. Only people who think the populace consists of morons would believe that they could keep delaying the employer mandate portion of Obamacare until after an important election, and that people would not realize that they were being manipulated.

The recent election results indicate the resurgence of an informed populace in our nation. Even though the awakening is not complete, I believe Gruber may be proved wrong about the intellect of the American people.

Ben S. Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book "One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future" (Sentinel). To find out more about Ben Carson and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit




1 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... Stupidity is not the problem people make of it. The creative expression of stupidity is something to be feared.
I don't think the people are stupid. I think they are very complacent about knowledge, too trusting, and very ignorant of facts and reality. But not stupid. And I would not call them stupid, or repeat the fact that some one else called them stupid unless to manipulate them which is beneath an honorable person. But consider for a moment how likely you are to manipulate anyone with that insult. I have some knowledge of a lot of subjects, but all I need is a little stupidity in one of them to die from it. And I don't like dying. I can imagine being in my casket with my lips glued shut wanting to shout: Quit Looking at me! I'm dead; get over it!

I honestly don't believe this people is stupid, but you can't fool them. Even when they may paint a brave or happy face on it, they are very conscious of their inferiority, and whether they call this stupidity or ignorance does not change the feeling. And If they have ever had to share a rush hour with about a million other people all driving plus or minus 5 mph, they will admit to the stupidity of humanity without promise or threat. And no matter where they're smart they are stupid some where, and that is why we are social, to have the help of others in covering our shorts.
I know now that we are going to have to hear this nonsense from the right from now till hell caves in, and it is simply pitiful. You must know that the contempt of the people by the democrats is equal to the contempt by the republicans. We are all inclined to think those people are stupid because that is how they act; and if republicans think democrats are stupid, and democrats think republicans are stupid, do you think it is on short evidence or long?
The republicans clearly prefer to elect stupid people because they fear intelligence in combination with the power of government. I get that. We called Nixon Tricky, and you called Clinto slick. The worst sort of slam the republican can come up with is: intellectual.
Well;... who do you want in Government? The Chinese elect engineers to their government posts, and we elect dunces with spin doctors, and make up men in tow. We are all all being had and the hadness of this people stretches right back to the signing of the constitution.
I do not believe this people is unintelligent, as stupid means. It does not matter what God gives you or you are born with. If you do not put energy into it, it will be like a flower in the shade. Anyone who knows enough ought to be able to squeeze an original idea out of it, and if you accept that everything good has already been thought of, you are cooked. I know the willingness of the parties to play upon the vanity of the people. Every election is presented as a test of intelligence, when in fact, both answers are wrong. I am not saying we are stupid, but to put up with this system that gains us no good proves it.
And this is beside the point. Johnathan Gruber opened a can of stink. I don't know the guy, but I have a lot in common with him. I have a love of honesty which I use to excuse my lack of people skills. I rate people on how able I am to tell them the truth as I see it. The more political I have to be, the less I like them. For that reason I don't like politics though I like watching people and figuring them out, from a distance. And the problem is that there are too many people in government and in many professions who see people abstractly, and the more intelligent they are, the more abstract are their conceptions of humanity. I do not think of emotions as a curse. I really feel my way through life by the braille method. My rationalism, my intelligence saves me from my emotions, but does not deny them. This is not true of many intelligent people who make their way to government, to teaching, to the military, or into prison. The Germans are an intelligent people, but to preserve their intelligence the Nazis sterilized 350K of their own, If you did not know that a pound of steel weighed the same as a pound of feathers, off with the nads. The problem presented by the intelligence of the people was not the problem presented by their morality which is far more an issue of human connectedness.
The problem with republicans and democrats is not one of intelligence either, but of moral character. And it does take a lot of moral character to question all of those truths we were raised with, and taught to accept. That old time religion may be the enemy of thought. That desire to help the poor rather that free them with democracy may be only a curse. No one will ever know enough. The door of knowledge lies behind the door of knowledge. It is a rare person who will wrestle the truth out of the pocket of their ignorance, and we are not all that rare, or exceptional.
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:13 PM
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