Adrienne BoettingerFriday,1 February 2013

The Snap:

There is a whole lot in this world that I just don’t understand. Like why are the Kardashians famous? Or why does The Donald wear that thing on his head? Plus, there’s a lot more serious things that I think I’ll never understand like genocide, school shootings, the nuclear arms race, animal abuse and how countries can have chronic problems with obesity and yet have millions  of people go hungry (in America, it’s around 1 in 6). But those are things that I think most non-sociopathic people would also find perplexing. The things that really have me scratching my head are the ones I can’t understand at all but rational, intelligent people unflinchingly believe.

The Download:

Talking with a friend recently, we were both gobsmacked by a guy we know who is wicked smart but also what we’d consider to be a lunatic when it comes to gun rights. This got me thinking about how very smart people can believe in totally opposite things and believe so fervently that they only talk past each other. To that end, here are 5 things that people in my life believe that I just can’t understand.

1. Pro-lifers who are in favor of the death penalty and/or unlimited access to guns and ammo. Are the only lives we’re supposed to care about those of fetuses?

2. Budget hawks who claim the government spends too much on “entitlements” (when federal nondefense discretionary spending is on track to be at the lowest it’s been in five decades) but not enough on defense (although spending approximately doubled in 12 years to around $530 billion).

3. “Strict constitutionalists” who believe in no limits to the 2nd Amendment but are perfectly happy with any number of limits to the 1st Amendment. Why do you get to pick and choose what the Founders intended?

4. Separatists arguing that individual states don’t need to adhere to federal laws with which they disagree. Um, hello, wasn’t that how the Civil War started? Do you really want to be aligned with other nullification attempts like seceding over slavery or refusing to desegregate?

5. Future-oriented people concerned with overloading future generations with debt but believe it is fine to saddle them with overcrowded landfills, poisoned water, and air unsafe to breathe.

I don’t think I’m smarter than those that disagree with me but I just can’t figure out the above 5 things and I’d like to understand why they make sense to others.

And once we’ve got that settled, please explain to me why when Congress does it, it’s called an “earmark” but if normal humans do it, it’s called a “bribe.” And totally unrelated, but why does John Boehner both tan and cry so much? Has tanning impacted his lacrimal glands? Or maybe Congress is beyond explaining in a way that makes sense to anyone?

Hat Tips:

Feeding America, New York Times, Center for American Progress, Washington Post, The Colbert Report, Buzzfeed, Image Credit: Flickr

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