This explains it

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

It’s not something that occurred in a vacuum — this precipitous decline of America and the middle class that took off during the eight-year tragicomedy that was the Reagan years, and culminated in the neo-Fascism of the Trump administration, a hellscape that even the artist Hieronymus Bosch could not have adequately painted. (

Lack of education, inability to think for themselves, racism, willingness to be part of a cult, extreme anti-intellectualism — all these traits have been embedded the people of this country since the beginning. It’s nothing new, only much, much more real and dangerous now when the fate of the earth and civilization hangs in the balance. People are going about their business today during an ongoing pandemic in a determined daze, oblivious to how quickly things are heading south with global warming. There’s little or no time left to turn things around, but never fear: “Technology will save us.”

A famous work by the 18th century Spanush painter and printmaker, Francisco Goya, is titled: The sleep of reason produces monsters.His work has never been more relevant than today.


The full article containing the quotation above is here:

Log in to write a note
November 16, 2021

I agree, it is nothing new. What is new is whereas in the past, the oddballs were isolated and kept to themselves, maybe even scorned by their neighbors. Now, they are finding each other over social media and banding together, normalizing, at least to themselves, their thoughts and behaviors.

November 16, 2021

@elkay Yes, totally!  Social media has completely changed the equation.  Conspiracy theories and mindless garbage spread like wildfire, whereas back in the day, they were confined to the spheres of a few isolated nutjobs.  Now a third of the population, or more, fall into this sad and tragic-for-democracy category! 😣

November 16, 2021

What I don’t understand is that people who had good education, have degrees from schools like Harvard, are among the leaders of the Trump cult and can’t see what they are doing to democracy. That “liberal education” did not teach them anything.

November 16, 2021

@solovoice Totally agree.  That is one of the enduring mysteries of our times — how people with good educations can be so willfully ignorant and stupid.  Unfathomable!

November 16, 2021

I so agree with what you’ve said here, and also with El Kay & solovoice.  It never fails to stun me when seemingly intelligent people believe and act in such a malicious way.  You’ve said it so accurately and beautifully that I can’t add anything to your essay.  Thank you!

November 16, 2021

Stupid is stupid does.

Forest Gump