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Here’s something fun. Most people think of Toby Keith as some sort of right-wing loon, someone almost comically trigger-happy when it comes to bombing the hell out of brown people. This is, believe it or not, somewhat inaccurate. He’s actually the ultimate low-information voter, someone who constantly feels the need to take strong stands and speak his mind, without any particular understanding or even any particular need to understand the subject. Check out this awesome Wikipedia passage:

In 2004, Keith called himself “a conservative Democrat who is sometimes embarrassed for his party”.[16] He endorsed the re-election of President George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and performed at a Dallas, Texas, rally on the night before the election. Keith also endorsed Democrat Dan Boren in his successful run in Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district and is good friends with former Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In a January 2007 interview with Newsday, Keith was asked whether he supported the Iraq War. He responded with “Never did,” and said he favors setting a time limit on the campaign. He also said, “I don’t apologize for being patriotic… If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops, then they can kiss my ass on that, because I’m not going to budge on that at all. And that has nothing to do with politics. Politics is what’s killing America.”

[ed. note: Bill Richardson?]

In April 2008, Keith said that Barack Obama “looks like a great speaker and a great leader. And I think you can learn on your feet in there, so I don’t hold people responsible for not having a whole bunch of political background in the House and Senate.”[17] At the same time he remarked, “I think [John] McCain is a great option too.” In August 2008, he called Obama “the best Democratic candidate we’ve had since Bill Clinton”.[18]

In October 2008, Keith told CMT that he had left the Democratic Party and has re-registered as an independent. “My party that I’ve been affiliated with all these years doesn’t stand for anything that I stand for anymore,” he says. “They’ve lost any sensibility that they had, and they’ve allowed all the kooks in. So I’m going independent.” He also told CMT that he would likely vote for theRepublican ticket, partially because of his admiration for Sarah Palin.[19] [...]

In April 2009, he voiced support for Obama on Afghanistan and other decisions: “He hired one of my best friends who I think should run for president someday…Gen. James Jones as a national security adviser. He’s sending troops into Afghanistan, help is on the way there. And I’m seeing some really good middle range stuff. I’m giving our commander in chief a chance before I start grabbing. So far, I’m cool with it.”[21]

So, within six months he goes from thinking Obama is a great possible president to being a Sarah fan? Who among us, right? I can’t find any sort of consistent throughline out of all this, though I’d like to think that’s because I’m not dumb enough.

Then again, to be fair, Mr. Keith is responsible for this, which is indisputably awesome:

  1. Metavirus says:

    you have to love brain fizzles like this: "If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops…".  yes dear, shhh.  there are lots of people out there that consider "being patriotic" and "supporting your troops" to be socially incorrect (i'm not sure you could even find more then a handful in the People's Republic of San Francisco).

    i'm really liking the alternative phrasing "low effort thinking" rather than "low information voter" lately.  it really captures the fundamental problem.  it's not necessarily that they possess low information, it's more damning to not spend more than a nanosecond thinking about (or -- gasp, LEARNING -- about) important issues that affect our country. it's the ultimate in "MY RIGHTS!" as a citizen without any concern to their responsibilities as a citizen (e.g., informing themselves of reality).

  2. Matmos says:

    I think maybe some folks' way of reacting to certain things is the same way they reacted to high school football back in the day, and they just got stuck, developmental-wise.  A question might be is why can folks be terribly sophisticated in some things — like for instance being highly detailed about music production — but then fail to apply the same level of complicated thinking to other parts of their lives.

    I'm making an assumption there, of course, not being a C/W fan.

    • Metavirus says:

      It goes along with the general truism that “intelligence” (whether via book learnin or the school of hard knocks) most often does not lead to wisdom or the capacity to grasp and resolve ambiguity. It’s how you get otherwise brilliant lawyers, doctors, particle physicists etc. who believe fervently in trickle down economics and jesus riding dinosaurs, in the face of all contrary evidence.

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