Sometimes I just think I live in a profoundly stupid country. Or, at least, a really, really badly reality-challenged one.
In supporting Gary Johnson for president, I've had Trump supporters tell me that I'm voting for Hillary, and Hillary supporters accuse me of voting for Trump; I've had people tell me that Gary Johnson supports raising the minimum wage (he doesn't), eliminating borders (also wrong), doing away with the military (nope), and lots of other equally incorrect things. They tell me I'm wasting my vote because Johnson isn't going to win, but that I should vote for Trump because he's the underdog (think about that). I'm wasting my vote because Johnson isn't well known, but I should vote for Trump because he's an outsider.
Of course, that's what I should expect, when half the country believes that the current President of the United States is a secretly-Muslim illegal alien who stacked his cabinet with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and who faked everything from his birth certificate to his college degree, and still found time to write Reverend Wright's sermons and sabotage the energy industry while founding ISIS and singlehandedly destroying the American economy.
Most Americans think that violent crime is up in the US, that the American economy is in trouble, and that the federal debt, the spending deficit, and the debt ceiling are the same thing and are set personally by the President. At least a hundred million Americans refuse to believe that evolution is real, but have no problem buying the idea that Hillary Clinton routinely orders people murdered. I personally know people who think Neil Degrasse Tyson is stupid, but Ben Carson is smart.
In this Land of Facebook Memes, reality appears to have been replaced by whatever is the most expedient, easiest to retain, or just plain dumbest. I'm not sure who to blame; I'm pretty sure it starts early in life with religion (if you'll buy the whole Old-Man-In-The-Sky thing...), and it appears to be true that there's a correlation between the number of people who believe the Noah's Ark story and those who believe that the President is the Antichrist; BUT, it's also true that religion has always been here, and was originally a construct of early man, and this level of stupidocity appears to be a pretty recent development - at least since the advent of social media.
One factor might be a near-complete loss of the ability to objectively research anything. Research isn't supposed to be an attempt to bolster one's already-wrong opinions, but that's been the trend in media research in recent years, and is especially prevalent in social media. The number of websites devoted to either entirely-untrue or partially-true "news" is astounding. But what's more astounding is that this new brand of ignorance appears to be intentional.
It's much easier to simply "believe" something than to out-research it and get to the bottom of it, to at least try to understand if and how it's wrong. For example, I was trying to explain the theory of evolution to someone last week, and he said,"It's just a theory." So I explained the difference between a theory the way he was using the word and the scientific use of the word, and how evolution is a proven fact, made plain over and over again by 150 years of solid research. He listened with a grin, and afterward he said, "Yeah, but it's just a theory."
What kind of country do you imagine you're going to get, when this is the mentality of the majority of the American electorate? When someone says he's voting for this person or that person, how much thought do you think he's actually put into that decision? I'm afraid it's hard to place a lot of trust in my fellow Americans and their decision-making abilities right now.