Sunday, August 22, 2010

Maybe we are getting less stupid! Or maybe not.

As more and more people start to realize the stupidity of the war on drugs, and states begin to pass more sensible marijuana laws, it sometimes gives me hope that maybe we are not the nation of idiots I sometimes think I live in. That usually lasts until I read the next report on what the Republicans in Congress are doing, or watch the Daily Show to see what the morons on Fox News are all lathered up about now.

Well, here is today's bit of good news. According to the NY Times and a CNN poll, a slight majority of Americans now think gays should be allowed to marry. Interestingly, the story says that in 1996, when the idiotic "Defense of Marriage" act was passed, only 26% of Americans favored gays getting married. Today, the number is somewhere around half, depending on which poll you like.

What happened? I have a grim theory that it is generational. The kids I teach today all have gay friends, and see gays as people who may be different, but are not much bothered by them. In 1996 they were little kids, too young to get polled. Meanwhile, in those 14 years a bunch of older people, far more likely to object to gay rights, have died. So, it is probably not so much that individuals have changed their minds, but that the people who came of age in that time, replacing the deceased, had different values and life experiences.

Now, if I can just teach those youngsters a bit about Economics!

On the other hand, it appears our technology is making us dumber, as this story about idiots in our National Parks points out.

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