Dr. Gruber, stupid is as stupid does

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I’ve written about words before. One of the most significant changes since I was a young one is that some words that are commonly used or said today were not to be used back then.

For instance, no one was allowed to call another a “liar” in my home. Someone might tell a fib or a story, but to tell a “lie” was verboten. It was not allowed.

Stupid was not quite the same as “liar,” but pretty close. I’m pretty sure I never heard my daddy or mother call the other stupid, and we children were not allowed to call one another stupid either.

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Well, lo and behold, all of Americans are stupid according to a very smart guy, and there is great irony in that. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor of economics Dr. Jonathan Holmes Gruber was an advisor to the people who were writing the recent Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare.

It takes a lot of “book-learning” to become a professor at MIT. In addition to “professorizing,” he found time to become known as an architect, a builder, of the Massachusetts Healthcare program known as Romneycare. Dr. Gruber was well-known and in great demand for his smarts.

But, as they say, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The good doctor, called upon for his expertise, his wisdom, fell into a pretty good-sized hole. In his full-blown academic way and environs, he got caught calling the American people stupid. That’s not too smart.

Dr. Gruber was videotaped numerous times telling audiences that the only way for the Affordable Care Act to pass was to depend upon the stupidity of the American people. Actually, he was telling the truth, but he should have remembered that everything he was saying was being taped.

There is a good Bible verse for all of us, including Dr. Gruber, to remember. Jesus says in Luke 12:3 “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” Can I get an Amen?

The Bible is not the only source appropriate for this situation. There is the movie Forest Gump. Forest’s mother is trying to encourage Forest during a time when he is thinking that his looks and demeanor are going to keep him from having a contented life. Forest might even think he looks stupid.

His mother tells him that “Stupid is as stupid does.” She means that it doesn’t matter how one looks; what matters in life is what one does.

It’s true. The intellectual man who has no common sense, even though he is highly intelligent might do or say stupid things. I would not say Dr. Gruber is a stupid man. My upbringing leads me to not say that about any one, yet he’s not too smart to talk about people the way he did.

I will give him credit, though, and it almost confirms his assessment of the American people. While he was smart enough to be considered an appropriate advisor for a major, major overhaul of one-sixth of the American economy, he was not so stupid to do it for free. Dr. Gruber, as it has been shown, was paid at least six million dollars for his advice!

The bill passed and he made six million dollars. Maybe he wasn’t so stupid after all.