Let me be clear: I’m not talking about people who through no fault of their own due to genetic or congenital defect, or for physiological reasons lack the full complement of mental acuity. Nor do I condemn people who were denied a basic education or exposure to human interaction. I’m speaking about people who are articulate, who can type, think, and navigate through the complexities of life, who are productive members of society in almost every way - people who are equipped to evaluate varied input, process it, and arrive at a logical and reasoned conclusion if they would allow themselves to.
Examples of obvious stupid include Young Earth Creationists, Intelligent Design advocates, and those who perceive Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry to be qualified to lead the free world. Cultists, spiritualists, Flat Earthers; those who pay homage to urine stains that resemble religious figures; those who believe gayness is a choice; the Governor of Oklahoma who today, responding to the massive heat wave, has donned the mantle of Chief Shaman of Oklahoma declaring a day of prayer for rain (you’d think he’d go the whole nine yards and pray for a snow storm). The list goes on ad nauseum.
I give a pass to conspiracy theorists because there is a wiring problem in their psyches that requires them to dismiss evidence that doesn’t support their theories, in fact just providing debunking evidence has the effect of reinforcing their delusion. It’s just sad.
With that as a prelude allow me to describe my latest interaction with the profoundly stupid. It seems QVC has decided not to sell Jane Fonda’s latest book, fearing a backlash from people who haven’t forgotten nor forgiven her treachery during the Vietnam War. A facebook friend posted the story to his page and garnered mixed responses. One person in particular, who it seems is just to the Left of Chairman Mao, insisted that Fonda’s going to North Vietnam was a good and justified thing, since the war was unjust and we should have never been there. The final bit of stupidity was the comment that it was further justified because the enemy wasn’t the North Vietnamese at all, but Lyndon Johnson.
It doesn’t make any difference what one’s perspective is on the Vietnam War. I favored it when I went there, opposed it when I came home, and was active in anti-war protests. The war was a bad misstep. The “domino theory” of the spread of Communism was a fallacy (easy to say in hindsight), and came close on the heals of the McCarthy era when much of the populace was initially anxious to kill Commies for Christ at the drop of a hat.
But forget all that. The issue with Fonda was, and still is, that as a US citizen she went to an enemy nation with whom we were engaged in active combat, gleefully posed in enemy headgear on enemy artillery that was shooting down American planes; smiled and hobnobbed with senior enemy military officials; encouraged N. Vietnamese resistance; was manipulated into giving misleading information about the treatment of American POWs; broadcast on Hanoi Radio against her country; bolstered the resolve of the enemy giving them aid and comfort while demoralizing 18 and 19 year old American boys who were struggling to stay alive and in one piece.
I wouldn’t have cared if she had burned the flag, wiped her ass with the Constitution, or demanded Lyndon Johnson’s assassination just so long as she did it on US soil. One does not go over to the enemy that has killed 50,000+ of your fellow countryman and give them your support in order to make a political point.
Imagine if an actor or actress went to Afghanistan, met with the Al-Qaida’s leadership, donned their uniform, gleefully posed on their ground to air missiles, and broadcasted on their radio decrying US soldiers presence there as criminal, and the soldiers war criminals. Whether one agrees with the war or not, respects Obama or hates him, it would be roundly and rightly condemned by any thinking American as a despicable if not treasonous act.
In 1988 Fonda apologized for her actions agreeing that they were ill conceived and hurtful on a number of levels. She wished she hadn’t done them. I don't care if she is your gay icon, if you loved her in "On Golden Pond," or if she gave you a semi-fattie in "Barbarella," the fact is her behavior was dispicable and unforgivable and she knows it.
While I personally reject her apology as too little too late, you’d think that it would be enough to convince the most devout Jane Fonda worshipper, even the most rabid left wing self hating American, to drop their justification and defense of her actions. Nope. Not even the apologetic admission of Fonda herself sways their position. To this Facebook expert on Vietnam and patriotism (and two of her high-fiving sheep) Fonda’s behavior was good and reasoned; anyone not seeing that is a simply jingoistic, right wing Fox News watching, war mongering, imperialist running dog stooge of Lyndon Johnson, who is oblivious to the history of American foreign intrusions, the injustice of the Vietnam war, the subterfuge of the Military Industrial Complex, and just plain don’t get it.