Dampen the Insanity

With the fall semester drawing near and higher levels of education correlating with higher median weekly earnings, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America as well as accompanying videos.

To determine where the most educated Americans are choosing to settle, WalletHub compared the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to racial education gap to quality of the public-school system.

Most Educated Cities  Least Educated Cities
1Ann Arbor, MI 141Fresno, CA
2San Jose, CA 142Ocala, FL
3Washington, DC 143Hickory, NC
4Durham, NC 144Stockton, CA
5Madison, WI 145Salinas, CA
6San Francisco, CA 146Modesto, CA
7Boston, MA 147Bakersfield, CA
8Seattle, WA 148McAllen, TX
9Austin, TX 149Brownsville, TX
10Provo, UT 150Visalia, CA

Key Stats

  • The Ann Arbor, MI, metro area has the highest share of bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older, 54.40 percent, which is 3.9 times higher than in Visalia-Porterville, CA, the metro area with the lowest at 13.90 percent.


Perhaps this in part explains why our Valley is so rabidly conservative. Critical thinking is always more difficult–more complex and elastic, requiring better primary and higher education–than complacent, spoon-fed conservatism. While indicative of the Stockholm Syndrome, the data may also explain how the Republican party has devolved into being a cult of personality.

To quote Pete Townsend: “I know that the hypnotized never lie.

Do ya?”

Only in this case it’s the inadequately educated–and they do, indeed, lie. First they lie to themselves by accepting Trump’s repulsive behavior. I know they’re better than that–they just don’t pipe up. Then they lie to others by excusing it.

I’m here to tell you that you can be a solid Republican and still be appalled by Trump. You can proudly vote your pocketbook–as Republicans are wont to do–and still disavow, say, racism. Or narcissism. Outright lies.

All Republicans should be disgusted by his supporters’ “send her back” chant at Trump’s North Carolina rally on 17 July. Not least because Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the target of this invective, is a naturalized citizen–but because she has demonstrated sufficient love of her new country to roll up her sleeves, stand for election, and help lead it. Trump’s reaction? Certainly not to dampen the insanity. Instead, he stood gloating upon the podium, basking like Mussolini in the roar of the crowd for 13 horrific, sickening seconds.

It sure as hell seems we’re more than 11 years removed from the 2008 rally where John McCain–the Republican presidential nominee at the time, remember?–reclaimed the microphone from a supporter who questioned Barak Obama’s trustworthiness, calling him an “Arab.”

“No, ma’am,” McCain said, taking control of the moment. “He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

I’d say we’ve traveled about 80 years–only backward in time, and to some place like Germany or Alabama.

I am so sick of winning.

Enough is too much. There has been enough sordidness for a lifetime in the brief two and a half years of the Trump presidency–a litany I’m not going to glorify either by specifying or enumerating.

Neither will I bash the Republicans. They’ll have to live with themselves. But I do call out those Republicans of conscience. Why so silent? Where’s your outrage?

It’s past time to dampen the insanity.

Henceforth, whenever this president says or does something beyond the pale, please–if only for the decency doing so would represent–at least speak out against it. This will not mean you’re suddenly not a Republican. It’ll mean you might, suddenly, be in jeopardy of preserving your integrity.

If, however fractionally, Trump’s antics somehow become the new normal, your complicity–or silence–will have contributed to affirming these heinous new norms.

It’s the responsibility of the legislative branch to oversee that of the executive. But it’s our job–yours and mine–to oversee the performance of the former. And if House and Senate Republicans won’t speak up for decency because of political trepidation, you average Republicans on the street do not have similar fears to assuage.

Do ya?

Use your voice

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