Laughter Is Patriotic

It's an odd fact of contemporary life that at one and the same time we can observe the most appalling decline of the basic courtesies that make life civilized, yet there is the most bizarre courtesy extended the world's stupidest ideas. A hearty "Amen" to the conclusion of this piece in the American Thinker.
we've all been intimidated by the Cult of Nice not to contradict anybody who comes out with a really stupid, destructive idea. We can no longer call a really stupid idea what it is. I know that I censor myself all the time. We have been taught to keep our mouths shut when a word in time might make a real difference. We have allowed the national conversation to be dumbed down.
Here's my resolution for July Fourth: From now on I'm going to call idiocy idiotic. Not nastily, but as clearly as I can. It is high time for normal, intelligent common sense to become acceptable again. I'm happy to have a respectful argument with anyone who disagrees with me. But I'm going to start saying the magic words:

That's really dumb! That's really ignorant! You haven't thought about that much, have you? Have you ever considered another side of that batty idea?

I promise to be nice.

But honest.

Pass the word.
I think it's important to do more than call things batty; I think it's necessary to laugh out loud. I know I've quoted Tony Snow before when he said of Bill Clinton in 1992,
When you laugh at the student government president, you undo him.
That's the tack I tried to take --and tried, unsuccessfully, to get more Catholic reviewers to take-- on, e.g. The Da Vinci Code. Nothing would have undone that book's popularity more than the response of hearty laughter it deserved. But no, we always have to be up in arms and offended. I understand the impulse to defend and correct lest the little people be fooled, but so much of our culture rests on the phenomenon of the emperor's new clothes, we'd often do more for the "little people" by showing them it's all right to laugh at stupid ideas.

We could restore this nation to health if some reporter would just guffaw --as the Chinese students did at Tim Geithner-- in response to the next obvious falsehood issuing from any politician's mouth. The political and academic classes can bear any amount of reasoned argument demolishing their positions and any amount of hatred, which they wear as a badge of honor. But they can't bear not to be taken seriously. Laughter is one of our strongest weapons, would we only employ it. Not Jon Stewart-style sneering, and not the black humor we use as a coping mechanism when things are going poorly. I'm talking about wholesome and hearty ("You're kidding me, right?") laughter right in front of anyone who looks us in the eye and tells us Obama isn't spending us into oblivion. It's the most cleansing thing we could do.

Curtsy: American Digest's Sidelines
Update: Klavan's got the idea!