My friend Billy Bova grew up in Roanoke but for a number of years he’s lived on Mississippi’s gulf coast. He claims he went there for the warm weather but anyone who knows him groks the real reason.
Billy’s an intelligent guy — but those are a dime a dozen here in Virginia. In Mississippi he stands out as a genius, a true intellectual heavyweight. It’s kind of like a 6-foot, 4-inch 300-pound high school senior playing center on a peewee football team.
Other Virginians considering the same kind of move, however, need no longer drive 600 or 700 miles to get to the Land of the Stupid. North Carolina, on Virginia’s southern boundary, is quickly moving up the ranks of dumbest states in the nation. Already they’ve eclipsed South Carolina, the perennial second-place finisher. Soon, North Carolina may challenge Mississippi.
And as Billy Bova has found out, there’s money to be made for any Virginians ambitious enough to exploit the North Carolina brain-drain. Consider a recent column by Phyllis Schlafly on my favorite right-winger website, World Net Daily:
In addition to the helpful new voting laws, North Carolina passed stricter regulations on abortion clinics, ended teacher tenure, cut unemployment benefits, blocked the expansion of Medicaid and (despite the scorn of propagandists for the national takeover of education by Common Core) mandated the teaching of cursive writing. Maybe that’s why the liberals are so angry: Kids will now be able to read letters from their grandmothers.
In her glee over N.C.’s new voting restrictions, however, Schlafly overlooked one of the most interesting of all moves by North Carolina’s legislature: Last year it banned state agencies from using scientific predictions about rising sea levels to formulate coastal policies. Because, as every ostrich well knows, you can’t be affected by something you’ve deliberately blinded yourself to.
Whether or not this will have repercussions across the nation is not yet fully clear. But anything is possible, when right-wing mergatroids make up a majority of a legislature.For this reason, we should keep our eyes peeled. If the state of Florida bans the use of the term “sunburn” or Louisiana proscribes the phrase “hurricane preparedness” or Alaska forbids any mention of “Exxon Valdez,” that’ll be a clue that there are new frontiers where move-minded Virginians can go to make money off the rank stupidity of the folks who live there.
But for now, North Carolina is a good bet if you’re looking for the New World of Stupid. And it’s a heck of a lot closer than Mississippi.