Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. – Albert Einstein

A recent report “praising” a policeman for diverting traffic to allow a man to pray in the middle of a busy highway appalled me.

We respect faith but doubt is what gets you an education. I mean, the zealot should have been arrested, and preferably committed, by the “kind” policemen. It’s all very well to wear your religion on your sleeve but not at the expense of public safety.

It brings up a topic that Malaysians seem to have an over-achiever’s share of – stupidity.

The cartoonist Scott Adams is the creator of the always-excellent Dilbert. He’s also credited with an observation especially true of places as opposite as the United States or Malaysia, namely: “You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.”

Take Christine O’ Donell, once a Republican member of the House of Representatives and now a trusted Fox News talking head. She said the following before a rapt audience of like-minded conspiracy theorists. “American scientific companies are cross-breeding animals with humans and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

Even Ibrahim Ali, never a pushover in the IQ stakes, might have drawn the line on that one. Then again, he’s also the fellow who bragged: “If Donald Trump can become President, then I could also be Prime Minister,”

Which, if you really think about it, is true. Stranger things have happened.

Like O’Donnell, Ibrahim has also won elections. Mr Adams might claim his observation is more than justified,

It was John Stuart Mill who said “it wasn’t true” that all conservatives were stupid although “it was true” that stupid people were conservative.

Take the late Rush Limbaugh, one of America’s most listened-to talk show hosts and so conservative he veered to the right of Josef Goebbels. Here’s a sampler of his more outrageous assertions:
• “The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.”

• “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women access to mainstream society.”

• “There are more acres of forest land now in the US than when Columbus discovered the continent in 1492.”

Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour by Donald Trump several months before he passed away.

Is there a moral to that?

“One man alone can be dumb, but for sheer bona fide stupidity there ain’t nothing can beat teamwork,” wrote the American author and essayist, Edward Abbey. He was referring to people who dismissed climate change as a conspiracy dreamed up by the left and science.

Not many in Malaysia dispute climate change but the Islamic Party of Malaysia, or Pas, knows all about “teamwork.” Indeed, the party has a heroic number of the breed. I mean, you can set your clock by the number of times one, or the other of its faithful, comes up with the most outlandish statement.

The latest is from a Pas Senator, an Apandi, who thinks he’s no slouch in the social science department.

He’s linked a rising teen suicide rate to a fondness for watching Korean dramas. As if to buttress his hypothesis, Apandi trotted out an observation that sent social scientists scrambling for new reference material. “All Korean dramas have suicide scenes.”

You can see why his fellow Senators think he’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.