22. Idiocracy

Two nights before I re-watched Idiocracy, Donald Trump gave a speech accepting the Republican nomination for president, and said this: “The crime and violence that afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, SAFETY WILL BE RESTORED.” That’s the day he’d be sworn in if he wins.

This is what President Camacho says in a speech in Idiocracy: “I understand everyone’s shit’s real emotional right now, but I got a three-point plan that’s gonna fix EVERYTHING. Number one: We’ve got this guy Not Sure. Number two: He’s got a higher IQ than ANY MAN ALIVE. Number three: He’s gonna fix EVERYTHING.”

It’s a straight (albeit long) line from the first quote to the second, but Idiocracy takes place 500 years in the future. Dumb people have bred so much that instead of growing into the kind of civilization most science fiction imagined, everything’s actually a mess, and everyone’s an idiot. A perfectly average soldier from 2006 unfreezes (due to a garbage avalanche) after 500 years, and tests as the smartest man on Earth. An adventure in presidential politics ensues, ending with an arena battle against a mulleted flame-thrower-wielding celebrity named Beef Supreme.

It’s a funny movie, crammed with gags. The horrible Fuddruckers burger chain slowly evolves over centuries into “Buttfuckers.” It’s a funny movie.

But is it important? Does it matter? Politics in 2016 is so epically God-damn stupid that a movie like Idiocracy might be horrifyingly prescient. President Camacho is also a popular fighting champion and porno star. This is of course hyperbolic, but it’s also a logical extrapolation from what we’re seeing presently.

There are no crops growing, because a powerful company bought the government and waters farms with green sports drink. Again: hyperbolic, but the precedent is being set now for the future this film envisions. Corporations water our crops, and not with water.

We can enjoy Idiocracy as a short, hilarious movie, but let us also heed its message. If stupid begets stupider over hundreds of year, we’re doomed. The solution is to not do dumb things, like vote Trump.

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