American Idiots

A brief history lesson…

The world of medicine used to be very different. Today, we go to a doctor, get a prescription and go to a pharmacy. In days of yore, medicine was a much more vague term. Opium – the narcotic used to produce heroin – was once seen as a cure all and was used to treat everything from headaches to crying babies.

In days of yore, medicine peddlers would wheel their carts into town selling all sorts of makeshift remedies. They often made exaggerated claims about their ware’s potency and used fuzzy science to explain how their miracle tonics worked. They became known as snake oil salesmen and while they posed as purveyors of health and well being, they were little more than con men looking to make a buck.

Fast forward to 2009 and forget about medicine for a minute. We live in the technological age. A constant bombardment of media awaits us at every turn: the alarm clock that wakes us up, the radio in the car, the Internet and the television. So much information sits at our fingertips that we should be colonizing planets by now. We should be the most informed and curious generation in the history of mankind.

Yet, we are not.

The reason I know we are not is because Glen Beck has a job. I guess it is not fair to single out Beck. The airwaves are littered with talking heads spewing their slanted and biased propaganda upon their listening audience. Why listen to a journalist give both sides of a story when someone else is so willing to just decide what is right and wrong and tell the world what to think?

Maybe I’m just jealous. I would love to get paid obscene amounts of money to tell people my opinion. Maybe I just don’t talk loud enough, because if I have learned one thing from watching Beck or Keith Olberman it is this: the rightness of your argument is directly related to the volume at which it is spoken.

America hurts right now. She suffers from very serious aliments. One crisis after another seems to lurk around every corner. We need good ideas and we need thoughtful decision-making, not some idiot on TV screaming until his face turns red.

We need the medicine of good ideas, not exaggerated claims or fuzzy reasoning sold to us by some snake oil salesman who only does what he does to make a buck.

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