The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit, writes Charles Simic in "Age of Ignorance."
But I wonder about how his discourse comes across to those who hold the beliefs he condemns as examples of ignorance (see the list at the end of the article, including "Global warming is a hoax"). They will most likely see him as yet another liberal elitist (like me, presumably) who is talking down to them and not treating them with respect.
As an American living abroad who has little contact with the kinds of people who hold such opinions, I wonder about how I would talk to them if I did have contact with them. Simic tries so hard to say "we" throughout the essay when he talks about who is being "ignorant." But at the end of the essay, even that approach breaks down: "Despite their bravado, these fools can always be counted on to vote against their self-interest." I know for myself that I react very negatively when people suggest that I am being duped in some way (say, by acting like I am a fool for not agreeing with them that vaccination is a bad thing); I can imagine that such a remark will simply end any chance of conversation.
Still, Simic is right: the ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state is a gullible dolt. But the real problem here is not the production of gullible dolts; it is the cycle of political corruption.