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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Incredibly Uninformed

Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noted soon after just how frequently Trump reflects on what he assumes others don’t know.
That Bill Clinton signed NAFTA: “A lot of people don’t know that.”

I never thought about who signed it before this election.

What a value-added tax is: “A lot of people don’t know what that means.”

I don’t know what it means. 

That we have a trade deficit with Mexico: “People don’t know that.”

I didn’t know this before the election. Did you? 

That Iraq has large oil reserves: “People don’t know this about Iraq.”

I vaguely heard something to the effect of “Bush went there for oil”, but that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject. 

That war is expensive: “People don’t realize it is a very, very expensive process.”

This I did know. Yay. 

Whether he thinks “people” are incredibly uninformed, or whether he’s simply oblivious himself, will remain a subject of some debate.

I’m an incredibly uninformed people according to this supercilious twat. I’m at a coffee shop right now, and I’d bet good money most people here would fail this weird quiz. 

And then the twats will wonder why people don’t vote for them or whomever they support. Yes, it’s a total mystery. 

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5 thoughts on “Incredibly Uninformed

  1. Shakti on said:

    That Bill Clinton signed NAFTA: “A lot of people don’t know that.”
    ROFLMAO. I knew that as a child. Ross Perot was going on about the “giant sucking sound” of jobs going south that NAFTA would create. I knew this because SNL parodied Perot. How I knew about the SNL parodies I’m not sure because I never stayed up late enough to watch them nor did my parents use the VCR to tape them but I Dana-Carvey-ed my way through my middle school mock Presidential debate.

    What a value-added tax is: “A lot of people don’t know what that means.”
    <a href="en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value-added_tax"Apparently Canada has some version of this
    If you’ve ever been to Great Britain, you’ve paid it. Most tourists experience it as some kind of super obnoxious sales tax. Theoretically you can get some of it back at customs if you have the receipts. If we get a VAT here expect retailers and service providers to scream in protest. I remember paying about 20% on lots of things. I was told that the tax went to pay for the National Health System among other things by my teachers. I admit, that I couldn’t have come up with a good definition of VAT before looking it up.

    That we have a trade deficit with Mexico: “People don’t know that.”
    Uh…that’s part and parcel of why people opposed NAFTA back in the ’90s. That’s a huge sticking point for the part of his base who hope he’ll bring back manufacturing jobs through a time machine. Also the US has trade deficits with lots of countries.

    That Iraq has large oil reserves: “People don’t know this about Iraq.”
    Did this dude ever live through the Iraq Wars? Or Haliburton’s ridiculous claims the oil would pay for the war? I’m shocked he hasn’t proposed an invasion of Iran, they have lots of oil reserves which are easily accessible as well. They’re both members of OPEC!

    Of course I wouldn’t expect you to know about NAFTA or the US trade deficit with Mexico offhandedly because you immigrated to Canada and then the US as an adult any more than I’d know about the inner workings of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. (My knowledge at the time: identifying Gorbachev from a picture, hearing “perestroika”. I was in middle school.) I know you follow politics avidly. IME, most immigrants do not (in large part because they’re working a lot and can’t vote.) I know my parents didn’t avidly follow politics until they became citizens. But for a median American citizen of his age or his sons’ ages, especially people who went to Ivy League business schools, not to know that is absurd.

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    • I ask students every year in my Hispanic Civ course what NAFTA is. Nobody knows. Not even vaguely in the ballpark.

      I don’t think it would be different back at Cornell or Yale.

      I do know what OPEC is but again, I can’t imagine any of my students knowing. Even those who are in business programs.

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  2. This is a baby trick, like videos that show people don’t know what continent Europe is in. Modern humans function in giant clouds of ignorance because that’s the only way that its possible to function in a technologically and bureaucratically advanced country.

    That said, NAFTA was a yuuuge deal in the 1992 presidential campaign. Ross Perot’s ‘giant sucking sound’ (of businesses relocating to Mexico) was one of the biggest soundbytes of the year. I can imagine younger people not knowing that (though people who lvied through it should).

    VAT is essentially a consumption/sales tax (most European countries don’t have sales tax in the US sense cause VAT is already calculated into the prices). No reason Americans should/would know about it.

    Iraq’s oil should be known, back at the time I fervently hoped that the IRaqi war was about oil because at least that was sane (invading a country for its resources). Invading a country with the idea of nation building and making the region more stable was so deranged I didn’t want it to be true).

    The US has trade deficits with almost everybody because it imports vastly more than it exports. Most people should know that.

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    • I never thought either the war in Iraq or Russian wars in Chechnya were “about the oil.” Both cases were clearly nation-building adventures but Russia was building its own nation and the US somebody else’s. And as a specialist in the theory of nationalism I insist that it’s a failed enterprise from the start. You can’t nation-build for others. It’s like saying “hey, let me have sex with your wife for you to help out.” All this provokes is rage.

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      • “Russia was building its own nation and the US somebody else’s. And as a specialist in the theory of nationalism I insist that it’s a failed enterprise from the start. You can’t nation-build for others.”

        What can I say, I was younger and more innocent, how I miss that idealistic young lad! What would he think about that sad, grim eyed fellow I’ve become….

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