Big dumb donkeys

By Shelley McKinney
web posted November 27, 2000

The Big Dumb Donkeys are everywhere and the sound of their braying mouths as they bawl from sea to shining sea is just about deafening. As if it isn't bad enough to see them on the television screen and hear them on the radio, now they've started invading my inbox.

"Ms. McKinney," they write."HeeeHAAAW. Hee-haw, heehaw...HEEE-haaaaw!!!"

An article I wrote titled "Basic Living Instructions for Palm Beach County Democrats" was recently posted at Enter Stage Right. It was just a short little humor piece intended to entertain anyone who isn't an Al Gore supporter and it worked: my inbox was flooded with kind letters from readers who thanked me for giving them something -- anything -- to smile about with all this election madness going on and I warmly appreciated every single one of those. It also brought out quite a number of righteously indignant (and largely incoherent) Big Dumb Donkeys who have all attempted to kick me with their mucky hooves.

The majority of the negative mail I received told me that I was just plain old mean for making fun of all those poor souls in Palm Beach County and chided me for not understanding that the reason that those "butterfly" ballots were so confusing is because Palm Beach county has a large percentage of the population that is either elderly or comprised of several different minority groups who aren't as well educated as I am.

The scope of reading a statement like that in so many letters made me gasp in shock -- really. It was proof positive that the Clinton/Gore Democrats not only delight in supposed "victims," but they also really enjoy compartmentalizing people: here's a compartment for all the dumb black people, and here's a compartment for the incompetent elderly people and here's a compartment for all the lame brained Hispanic people...

"How very insulting and arrogant to make fun of people with less education who may have been duped by being the only county in Florida to have different ballots," wrote one (bigoted) irate reader, who shall remain anonymous.

I have never been so offended. The only thing this Big Dumb Donkey didn't suggest is that Palm Beach County go to a picture-book primer ballot that reads "See Al Gore? See Al Gore's smile? He is a nice man. He is also a smart man. Nice! Smart! He wants to be your President. Would you like Al Gore to be President? If you would like Al Gore to be president, draw a circle around his picture with your red crayon."

Another Big Dumb Donkey wrote, "I live in a Democratic state and we have ballots that are easily understood by everybody, not just the educated professionals."

It has been splashed all over the news everywhere that the "butterfly" ballot was not only approved by the Democrats of the Palm Beach County election committee, it was also written by a Democrat. It has also been mentioned that those ballots -- or ones very similar to them -- are used in other voting precincts outside of Florida, including my own and various precincts in Cook County (Chicago) as well.

In addition, it has been noted that every registered voter in Palm Beach County, both Democrat and Republican, received a sample ballot in the mail. The sample ballot was also published in the newspaper. Considering this, if the voters chose not to educate themselves through sheer lazinezz, I don't see why they should be rewarded for their plodding lack of effort by having a re-vote, as so many Big Dumb Donkeys suggested.

This is one of the things that really chaps my hide about our politically correct culture: Stupidity is too often lauded. Laziness is approved. Ignorance, instead of being tsk-tsked, is hailed. The Democratic party just lo-o-ves to embrace a "victim," and the only way to assure themselves that "victims" will keep chugging along is to make sure that sloppiness of thought patterns and lifestyle is given a hallowed place in our society. We are given the liberty to do whatever outrageously mean, dumb or evil thing we choose to do and the Democratic party allows us to demand in our selfishness that someone else come along behind us and mop up.

So I don't buy it, this argument that all of these Palm Beach County people are too righteously stupid to understand this not-very-complicated ballot. You see, ten years ago, I was full-swing in the middle of my former career as a teacher. I saw all kinds of kids: poor kids, rich kids, mean kids, sweet kids, kids that I wanted to push off a cliff and kids that I wanted to adopt as my own. One thing I know is that some kids are smarter than others. Another thing I know is that very few of the kids who were failing their classes were really, truly intellectually challenged.

Even the ones with I.Q.s at the low end of normal, the ones who were in special education classes, weren't drooling idiots. They were supervised by their teachers so that they could learn to overcome -- or at least work around -- their particular learning disability. What I saw a lot of were average-intelligence kids who got poor grades because they were lazy. They preferred ignorance to the mental effort required to study for a test. I made it my business to make sure that those students were introduced to the consequences of their actions, with the result that some of them might still be taking eleventh grade English to this day.

Could those kids fill out a butterfly ballot correctly? Yes, of course. Would they take the extra effort to peruse the sample ballot that arrived in the mail? Probably not. Would there be a chance, then, that the ballot would be filled out incorrectly? Yep. But that certainly wouldn't be a reason to offer them a second chance. Voting is a right and a solemn duty and if you miss your chance through lack of planning and preparation, tough toenails. The Constitution was not written with the mentally lazy in mind, thank goodness.

Yet another Big Dumb Donkey wrote me a scathing letter that made me heave a sigh of pity for what the Clinton/Gore administration has done to their supporters: "Ironically, in the state where George Bush's [sic] brother is the governor, we are having difficulty with missing ballot boxes and complicated ballots. At least we having so blatantly tried to cheat on a presidential election [sic]."

Now I know that part of that was completely unintelligible, but the message is clear. Democrats are so used to -- so comfortable with -- the corruption of Clinton/Gore that they can easily assume that everyone else is corrupt as well. Never mind that in all of this, not one word of scandal has been breathed about Governor Jeb Bush, who rescinded himself from the entire mess. Following the simple rule of law has now become "cheating" on the part of Republicans. Refusing to roll over and play dead for Team Gore is perceived as an unbelievable effrontery that shouldn't even be allowed. Do you think Janet Reno can assemble enough federal agents to illegally break into the houses of Republican citizens and stick M-16 muzzles into their faces?

Never mind all the shady shenanigans of the Big Dumb Donkey party, where operatives seem to think that if they count, and count again and then re-count, maybe the total will magically come up in Gore's favor (I really enjoyed the "Palm Beach Pokey" e-mail that has been making the Internet rounds these past couple of weeks, as well as the one titled "Dr. Seuss Visits Palm Beach County." I appreciate the cleverness of those writers who took a serious situation and made it absurd.) And if they can't make the count come out, they'll just tie this thing up in the courts. There's a feeling in the November air that Al Gore would have no problem in staging a coup d'etat.

Al Gore at the Buddhist TempleRemember, it isn't as if Mr. Gore has a pristine record for unassailable integrity. He lies often, about things that really matter (like the Buddhist temple fundraiser) and about things that don't matter at all (like being lullabye'd by the "Look for the Union Label" tune). He makes unbelievably arrogant excuses for his behavior ("There's no controlling legal authority.") and unabashedly ridiculous excuses for his behavior ("I drank a lot of tea that day.") He's the one with the reputation for being unashamedly mendacious and he's a partner-in-crime with the biggest perjurer of them all, Bill Clinton. In reviewing what we know about him, what in the world would give any of us the idea that Al Gore would be above cheating his way through these recounts?

That's why I have been replying to the hate mailers by telling them that they should be hanging their heads in shame for supporting such a candidate. I know that there are plenty of Democrats who don't support what the Clinton/Gore administration stands for (I regularly get mail from them and we politely debate philosophies) but I haven't heard from any of them. The only ones who have "spoken" to me via e-mail are obviously the ones who believe that a candidate's character and integrity are negligible when compared to the economy -- I have heard this several times before and the extent to which some people worship at the altar of money never ceases to surprise me. And I'm pretty unflappable.

One of the last pieces of negative mail I got before filing this article was from a Big Dumb Donkey who was obviously searching for a response from the "Greg Brady Handbook of Snappy Comebacks and Paper Airplane Folding." It simply read, "You suck."

No, I replied. You are thinking of another Big Dumb Donkey named Monica, who provided lip service to the Donkey who has always had Al Gore's most enthusiastic support. That should tell you something, right there.

Hang your head.

Shelley McKinney is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right. Readers can reach her at

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