Believe it or not, it’s been exactly 10 years since Mike Judge’s Idiocracy debuted here in the good ol’ US of A. The question, which we ask ourselves year after year, remains: Have we, as an American society in the year 2016, finally reached peak Idiocracy? Arguments have been made on both sides, though well-reasoned debates occur much less often than simple Tweets, movie quotes, or other protestations proclaiming the arrival of the Idiocracy and the downfall of utopian society after some flash-in-the-pan news headline. Then along came Donald Trump.
Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States as the Republican Party’s nominee and the repercussions of The Donald sitting in the Oval Office are things I take seriously; citing Idiocracy as a herald of the End of Days or damning Judge for a supposed slight on poor people and a pro-eugenics stance is something I find laughable. Idiocracy is, first and foremost, a comedy, and like the best comedies, there’s a certain truth to it that’s exaggerated and overblown for comedic effect. Judge’s sharp satire has hit so close to home that high-and-mighty fans on both sides of the divide now cite the film as an illustration of whatever particular brand of injustice they believe is crippling American society at the moment. What’s scarier than the moronic, dystopian tone of Idiocracy’s look 500 years into the future is that, in certain cases, we might just out-dumb ourselves much sooner than that.