Here’s a fact: Country folks are stupid. If you live outside of a city, you’re probably a moron. I’m just kidding.
I am from the south. I have lived in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. My son was born in Mississippi and he lives there today. My career started in that state and was trained in the newspaper business by some of the smartest and most talented people I have ever met, who were all southerners. That isn’t surprising when you realize some of America’s greatest writers are from the south. Dumb people don’t write.
I see myself as a mixed breed. I’m a southerner and a Yankee. When I crack on the south, it’s the same as when I crack on white people.
I have lived in cities, a suburb of Chicago, on a Pacific island, and in the deep south. In the south, I have lived in towns and in the country. I have lived in houses, condos, and trailers. While I love fried chicken and banana pudding, I would rather eat a pastrami sandwich with Swiss cheese and dark mustard from a Jewish deli than be forced to eat grits, dumplings, or collard greens. I’m a weird mix. And as you know, I’m also very liberal. Like myself, the south is very complicated.
But it is a fact that education in southern states is not as good as it is in the north. There are exceptions to this. There are people in the south who are very educated and enlightened. They are called liberals. There are left-wingers with twangs in their accents. But they are the minority in the south.
A recent study by WalletHub finds the most educated states are in the north. From one to ten, these are Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Washington. These are all northern states with the exception of Virginia, which has seen an influx of northern immigrants over the past two decades and is now a blue state.
The study says the worst educated states, 50 to 41, are West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nevada, South Carolina, and New Mexico. With the exception of New Mexico, all of these states are red. They have Republican senators, legislatures, and with exception of Louisiana, governors. They are also the poorest states with a higher percentage of their citizens receiving welfare benefits. It’s also the Bible Belt.
Stupidity, religion, and Republicanism go hand-in-hand.
Right now in the south, people are screaming at educators who are trying to educate and protect students from the coronavirus. In the south, teachers, doctors, and nurses are being vilified. Education is looked on in the south as a bad thing. People with degrees are often accused of being elitists. A family member of mine with a degree is constantly criticized for it by her own mother and brothers. They actually think it’s an insult to mention her degree and education. By the way, her degree is from a southern university.
President Biden wants to increase broadband in rural America. This is great. The internet provides access to more information. As the population grows smarter, a nation progresses. Smarter people tend to vote for better ideas and better people. Colleges don’t teach you how to be liberal. Colleges teach critical thinking. When you think critically, you use more facts. Using facts tends to make people liberal. So, Republicans are not excited about bringing more information to more Americans.
Republicans prosper with stupidity. Instead of having new ideas and telling the truth to their voters, they would rather make it harder for non-Republicans (black people) to vote and campaign on lies. Democrats tend to tell the truth. According to Gallup, Democrats have a 13 point advantage over Republicans with college educated voters.
But lies do work depending on who you’re talking to and where you’re talking. If you’re talking to a white person in the south, your lies have a better chance of becoming gospel. And by increasing internet access to rural Americans, the immediate impact will probably be a greater spread of Qanon bullshit.
A greater access of the internet to rural whites will help spread lies about Jewish space lasers, Trump being reinstated, deep-state lizard people, microchips in the vaccines, Hugo Chavez rigged voting machines, and there’s a national crisis of demon sperm. An American Qanon follower murdered his two children with a spear gun last week in Mexico. Why? He claimed he was “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories.” He told police he was “receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children” and by killing them, he was “saving the world from monsters.”
This man and Qanon are the monsters. Republicans feed these monsters. Spreading these lies is dangerous. That was proven by the Trump insurrection at the Capitol which was based on the lie he won and had the election stolen from him. In 2016, a Qanon follower shot up a Washington, DC pizza parlor over an internet rumor the restaurant was a hub of a satanic child sex abuse ring operated by Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. I’ll have my pizza without the pineapple and demon sperm, please.
At this very moment, we are the only nation in the world pleading with its population to be vaccinated. We are the only nation that has vaccines expiring because people are refusing to take them. We’re also the same nation that was outraged when its first lady tried to introduce more vegetables to school lunches.
While you might think it’s hilarious that 33 percent of Irish believe in leprechauns and 54 percent of Icelanders believe in elves, over 55 percent of U.S. citizens believe in angels.
U.S. citizens always see themselves as the most enlightened, modernized, and most educated. We are none of those. We may be the dumbest first-world nation despite having the third most internet users in the world. Over 312 million people in this nation are on the grid. How many are on 4chan vs. how many are using Wikipedia? A lot of people are weaponizing the internet, like Donald Trump. Not everyone is sharing cat pictures and what they had for lunch. Right now, I bet you’re looking up that Iceland/Elf thing.
President Biden wants to give rural America more internet access. I actually think that’s good while also thinking it can be dangerous. While the internet shouldn’t be regulated by the government, it should be monitored. You can’t spread demon sperm without a router.
I have fun picking on the south and rural America, but it’s really Republican country I have a problem with. Republican America is Land of the Duh.
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