Ignorance Plays in the Politics of the Imperial Plebiscite

I wrote recently about Herman Cain’s apparent cluelessness about foreign policy (among other things). He derided so-called “gotcha questions” like “who is the president of Uzbekistan?” He basically said he didn’t know, didn’t need to know, and didn’t even need to know how to pronounce Uzbekistan.

Now, in Cain’s latest interview on Meet the Press, he exhibits further ignorance about foreign policy (don’t mind the gratuitous Boeing advertisement leading into what we’re supposed to think of as an independent news show):

It honestly seems Cain is unable to elaborate on these supposedly lots ” of other reasons we needed to go to Iraq,” and the lots “of benefits that have come out of Iraq.” And what’s this talk of Iran planning to attack Iraq if the US withdraws? Hasn’t the Maliki regime developed rather close ties with Iran? What has Cain been reading?

Well, he says he has been “reading” people like John Bolton, Henry Kissinger, and KT McFarland. So then, does he consider himself a neoconservative? Huh? What’s a neoconservative? Cain isn’t familiar.

Total, utter ignorance of international affairs and US foreign policy vis-à-vis places like Uzbekistan apparently is not a disqualifier for running for President of the United States. And now, neither is being completely unfamiliar with one of the central ideological movements affecting American foreign policy in recent years.

Guys like Cain get into office and are basically puppets for the imperial technocrats in career spots in the Pentagon and national security apparatus. He is a blank slate. He is not simply uninformed; he is dangerous. And he is rising in the polls.

Part of the reason these huge swaths of ignorance about some of the most serious societal and political issues facing us fails to disqualify a candidate for the highest office in the land, and part of why he is rising in the polls, is because Americans are even less informed than Cain. Democracy has developed such that they feel justified in paying exactly zero attention for four years straight and then popping up at their local elementary school to vote in another imperial psychopath. A Pew poll released at the beginning of the month found that almost half of the American electorate cannot name a single Republican candidate for President. Sigh.

  • Pingback: Herman Cain’s know-nothing foreign policy (and why it matters) – Washington Post (blog) | News In Politics()

  • curmudgeonvt

    "…almost half of the American electorate cannot name a single Republican candidate for President. Sigh."

    Yes. It is scary and demoralizing. But this explains why there are such poor specimens as candidates for the Rep. nomination. I imagine that if Obama were not running for re-election, the choices for the Dems would be as poor as the Repubs. I remember when the candidates for President were mostly educated, well-read, articulate, and fully aware of the world in which we live. This penchant for "outsiders" is ill-conceived and dangerous. Just because you're an "insider" doesn't mean you're part of the problem (though it usually turns out that way.) But a clueless rube from "outside" just begs for being manipulated by "the imperial technocrats in career spots in the Pentagon and national security apparatus." The "outsider" then morphs into the "insider" and any good ideas are lost in the shuffle.

    As for the American voter…not enough room here to comment on that…

  • Pingback: Attack the System » Blog Archive » The Return of Barbarism()