Here's a statement that seems to come equally from snotty jerks on every point on the political spectrum and never fails to infuriate me: "The average American is a moron." You know, the average American can't find Iraq on a map labeled "IRAQ" and "EVERYWHERE ELSE." The average American thinks the winner of American Idol is more important than the president. The average American believes everything they're told and misunderstands half of it. The average American eats nothing but McDonalds and watches Jerry Springer fourteen hours a day. And of course, the sheer thickheadedness and gullibility of the average American is the only reason the opposing political party exists.
I've now heard variations on this viewpoint from so many people, from liberals going "we're in danger from the ignorant oil-guzzling of the average American" to conservatives going "the average American just wants the government to support them on welfare forever" that I'm fairly sure the average American thinks that the average American is a moron. (Wait... that might make them right.)
Have you ever met an average American?
I have a job where I talk to strangers every day. Of course some of them are fulminating imbeciles and they tend to stand out in my mind, but really they're just a memorable minority. The majority of people are in the majority of cases pretty reasonable folks. Everyone's got a few things that they're irrational about and a lot of things they just never learned, but I really believe most people do a decent job of understanding and implementing the knowledge that they're exposed to. Look around you, at the technology and businesses and structures in just your immediate vicinity, and you'll find that you're for the most part surrounded by competence.
I really believe that the average American is a capable grown-up who's putting in a decent effort to make the best of what they've got, and who holds political beliefs they've thought about and can justify.