The stream of consciousness is a psychological and literary term used to describe the continuous flow of thoughts and reactions of an individual or character. Stream of consciousness writing freely combines tenses, resulting in a window of uninterrupted exposure that allows for the mention of mundane details, with the goal of detailing thought-processes. A stream of stupidity, then, is the continuous flow of absurdity in the form of diatribes and press conferences, belittling discourse and impressionable catch-phrases. For an example of the stream of stupidity in action, you need look no further than our current crop of Republican candidates. And you needn’t look for very long.
Jorge Ramos, a journalist with Fusion, recently gained international acclaim for being kicked out of Trump’s conference. Social media sites were quick to publish videos of this event as an example of Trump’s intolerance towards a high-profile member of the Hispanic community. Even Ricky Martin gave his two cents on the issue. In my view, however, the reason for Ramos’ attention is misplaced—as was Ricky Martin’s rallying letter—and media outlets missed the greater opportunity of showing just how simplistic and shallow Trump’s immigration plans actually are. As you may, or probably don’t, know, Donald Trump actually let Jorge Ramos back in to ask the questions that first got him kicked out, which sought to gain specifics on how the wall would be built on the US-Mexico border, and how Trump planned to deport the over 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Trump’s responses were characteristically sparse on details and rested entirely on his unwavering belief in himself. In short, Trump could build the wall because he has built hotels, and his deportation of immigrants would be done humanely. That’s all Ramos got. That’s all Ramos needed to get. But it was this second exchange that wasn’t broadcasted, even though it’s clearly the most damning.
Scott Walker, once seen as the Republican golden boy for successfully crippling unions in his state of Wisconsin, and closest incarnation of that last Republican prophet, Ronald Reagan, has fallen into near obsolescence, along with the rest of his colleagues. Though I sincerely hoped no other Republican candidate would emulate Trump’s tactics (Jeb Bush, for example, has repudiated the Great Wall of Trump, as Ann Coulter called it in her introductory speech of him, but more on her later) Walker, rather than be outdone by the Donald, has brought attention to the need for a wall along the Canadian border, as well. After all, the need for the Canadian border, Walker argues, is to safeguard the United States from border-crossing terrorists.
Never mind the fact that the Canadian border is even longer than the Mexican one; never mind the fact that China already tried the wall centuries ago, failed in its purpose, and ushered in the Yuan Dynasty by the invading Mongol empire that conquered it. But are Walker and Trump conveniently forgetting the existence of airplanes? You know, the vehicles used by terrorists to carry out the 9/11 attacks? They must be, along with the fact that the “TSA failed 95% of airport security tests” designed to catch weapons and explosives, in June of this year.
Chris Christie at least appears aware of those mechanical birds in the sky, and has called for the implementation of a tracking system for those who travel to the United States on a visa. He intends to tap on FedEx’s shoulder for assistance in the creation of this system, which just has bad idea written all over it. Surveillance. Distrust. And I see no reason why a system such as this couldn’t be expanded to include anyone who has served a jail sentence. Hey, psst, Republicans, you’re supposed to be against government expansion. But I digress.
Rounding off the stream of stupidity is Ann Coulter’s 3 minute introductory speech of Donald Trump at an Iowa rally, which is scarier than any movie the now passed Wes Craven could ever make. El Chapo’s child could be living next to you, she says. Trump is battling against speech Nazis, Coulter boasts. I can’t wait for The Great Wall of Trump and live drone shows along the border, she gleefully imagines. You see how idiotic, racist, and narrow thoughts seamlessly make their way into the identity of the character? That’s the stream of stupidity.