American pop musician Moby (perhaps best known in his home country for “South Side,” his duet with Gwen Stefani), is a Hillary Clinton supporter not shy about personally offending half of his country by calling them racist and calling their IQ into question (with bad stats).
He recently talked to Kate Mossman of the left-leaning British magazine The New Stateman about “how dumb and delusional so many Americans are” for having voted for Donald Trump. “Because really -- in terms of the subsets of people who would vote for Trump -- you have to be delusional, or racist, or stupid. I am so confused as to the fact that such a high percentage of Americans are either really stupid or incredibly bigoted.”
(This comes after his open letter in Billboard after Trump’s victory, in which he praised Clinton and insulted Trump.)
From his luxury perch in a posh Los Angeles nabe, Moby, who comes across more like a snotty European than a native, extended his reach to condemn his fellow Americans who voted for Trump. Mossman describes she and Moby's sit-down in his $3 million home in Los Feliz:
He is currently working his way though the stages of grief outlined by the psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. To denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance he has added a new phase: Schadenfreude. On the night of the US election, he left the house at 6pm west coast time to watch the coverage with some friends. He checked his usual round of sites on his phone: CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, the BBC, politico.com. He was concerned to see that no one was calling any of the early states; with Obama’s election, exit polls suggested the victory by noon. Days earlier, Moby had been predicting humanity’s “wake-up call” in the form of the destruction of Greenland or a zoonotic virus – but not this. He is softly spoken, with a quick laugh and the kind of intelligence that seems to warm him up from the inside when he talks, but today he is angry.
“It is disturbing on so many levels,” he says. “One, that we have elected an inept racist as president. Two, just seeing how dumb and delusional so many Americans are. Because really – in terms of the subsets of people who would vote for Trump – you have to be delusional, or racist, or stupid. I am so confused as to the fact that such a high percentage of Americans are either really stupid or incredibly bigoted.”
The stupidity of Americans is, he says, a matter of “anthropological curiosity” – or simply demographics. “The average American IQ is around 98,” he notes. “So that honestly means – in a vaguely non-pejorative way – that there are a lot of really, really dumb people. The nonsense that people were spouting before the election – that Trump was a good businessman, for example? This phenomenon has been particularly egregious of late: people have an almost adversarial relationship with evidence. Climate-change deniers are another example.”
Speaking of dumb -- even if that factoid is accurate, 98 is safely within the average range of I.Q.’s – and since when does a left-winger take stock in a supposedly racist construct like I.Q.?
This site gives the U.S. an average IQ of 98, the same as such stupid places as France and the Czech Republic, and just a point behind smart European technocratic societies Germany and Sweden.
Moby comes off as profoundly alienated from his own country.
“People have a profound and almost feral attachment to that which makes them feel good in the moment,” he says. “Without thinking of long-term consequences, does their belief give them a shot of dopamine right at this second? If so, they hold on to it. Eating junk food, voting Brexit and voting for Trump.”
The election result, he says, might just be “the equivalent of a crystal meth addict going on one last bender. Maybe this bender will finally convince Americans to stop voting for Republicans. Because they are terrible. There has always been an understanding that if everyone in America voted, there would be no Republican politicians. The reason Republicans win is that most Americans don’t vote.
“Those of us on the left who were brought up to be tolerant of people who had different opinions from us – well that’s great, unless the opinions are bigoted and wrong. If someone is a climate-change denier, they are wrong. If someone voted for Brexit, they are wrong. If someone voted for Trump, they are wrong. There is a lot of ambiguity in the world, but not about these things.”
Such insights are sure to move a lot of copies of his new record, These Systems Are Failing.