I was reading through a few articles of interest this morning when it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard, read or written the word “dope” in the past couple of years. Most recently, the word was used as a slang expression to depict marijuana, as in “Are you smoking dope?” Dope is also used in the context of describing the reality behind a given situation as in “Let me give you the real dope on what is going on.” There is a third way the word can be used. It can describe someone who is not doing something particularly bright, or restated, doing something stupid. The word ‘dope’ in the latter context came to my mind this morning when I read about the following: Last year the Texas G.O.P. condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” What a bunch of dopes. Republicans in the Virginia State Legislature have specifically prohibited the use of the words “sea-level rise” even though cities in that state are considered to be among the most vulnerable to flooding as a result of global warming. Another bunch of dopes. House Republicans tried to suppress a Congressional Research Service report casting doubt on claims about the growth effects of tax cuts for the wealthy. This is really ‘dopey.’ In the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, ceased just about all research into the issue of the relationship between guns and violence. Are these dopes that stupid, or is there an agenda in attempting to keep Americans from the real truth of the matter?
So there you are, I have given you the dope about dopes. Just saying . . .