The concept of the movie, “Idiocracy,” is simple: We’re dumbing down our society so badly — intellectually, culturally and every other way — that people who are stupid today will be considered average (or better) in 500 years. Since everyone is dumb as a post, the entire society is falling apart. It’s a satirical extension of where we are today.
If you want some evidence that we really are moving down the road in that direction, consider that Donald Trump is being taken seriously on the national political stage. This lousy businessman — whose companies have filed for bankruptcy four times so far — believes he matters. Unfortunately, his narcissistic bluster has been enough to make him popular with a certain element of the population for whom the world of “Idiocracy” has already arrived.
Earlier this year, Trump teased us with whether he was going to run for president as a Republican or not. He says he’s still contemplating running next year as an independent. Most recently, though, Trump has been in the news because of his plans to moderate a Republican presidential debate in Iowa on Dec. 27. Doesn’t this make just as much sense as making Lindsey Lohan or Kim Kardashian a moderator?
To their credit, most of the GOP presidential candidates have bailed out of Trump’s show, but Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted. In an interview with the UK’s Sunday Telegraph this week, Trump was characteristically immodest in claiming to be salvation for millions:
“[Other candidates want Trump’s endorsement because] I represent the millions of Americans who wanted me to run and who are tired of this country getting ripped off by China and OPEC [the Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries] and the rest of the world. We’re a laughing stock — run by stupid people. They see me as someone who wouldn’t allow this to happen. The candidates want my endorsement because those millions of Americans listen to me and respect me.”
If you read the positions Trump has taken, you could only support him if you’re schizophrenic or if you’ve already reached the land of “Idiocracy” yourself. His understanding of issues is simplistic and his solutions seem to boil down to the sort of petty bullying that he’s known for on television.
It’s disgusting to live in a world where a potential Trump candidacy could be taken seriously by so many potential voters. (When he was talking about running last spring, he actually led in some polls.) It’s also disgusting to have media organizations and debates sponsors treat him as someone whose opinions and endorsements matter.
As usual, this points to the simple fact that any system that gives power to the majority to make decisions for you (or for me) is immoral and destined to lead to ruin. As society continues to dumb itself down — on “The Road to Idiocracy,” to paraphrase Hayek’s book title — you’re putting yourself into the hands of people who think Donald Trump is someone who matters, people who believe any blowhard who acts confident is worth listening it.
It’s disgusting. It’s indecent. It’s another reason to prepare yourself to escape from the mess we’re heading toward.
Note: This article was published in late 2011. For an updated look at Trump’s 2016 presidential aspirations, see my article called “Donald Trumps’s jingoistic tribalism marks him as a dangerous buffoon,” from Aug. 3, 2015.