America, if you want to know what the establishment media and the beneficent federal government think of you, tune your television sets in to "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."
You would be forgiven if you have never watched this program and I certainly would not recommend it. I viewed about one half of one episode in preparation for this column.
You will find the program on the "Learning" Channel, which is funny because you actually can feel yourself getting dumber and dumber as the episode goes on. Brain cells are literally committing suicide to end the misery. And then about halfway through, you yourself want to end it all. Or, at least, take a hot, soapy shower.
It is, literally, worse than chiggers.
Honey Boo Boo is the main character. She is a little girl endlessly exploited by her family in beauty pageants, and she never shuts up. She is always saying things that her obese mother, her grossly overweight sisters and her toothless father apparently find amusing.
These parents, of course, did not marry until well after spawning this nest of fat little rednecks. They live hard up against the train tracks in a small town in Georgia.
The partial episode I saw featured the corpulent mother preparing for her wedding with a full body massage and removal of coarse hairs from her neck flab. Honey Boo Boo got her nails clipped and painted and kept badgering the nice lady working on her fingers to tell her what "menopause" meant. These are people who don't believe in spankings.
It appears that no one on the program actually works for a living, other than to exploit the child in beauty pageants. Now, of course, they are exploiting the whole family with the show on the "Learning" Channel, an entity that, by the way, was founded by the federal government in 1972 to educate the poor masses.
As with most government programs, the result is incestuously stupid, lazy and hopeless people who cannot roll themselves off the bed long enough to find a job and buy a better house that doesn't rattle violently every time a train goes by.
This caricature, of course, is a wildly distorted — not to mention degrading and racist — view of Americans, especially in the South. Honey Boo Boo and her fat clan is what liberal Northeast and West Coast elites think of most Americans — especially Southerners and rural people. That is because in their vast and cloistered ignorance they have never met any normal Americans nor traveled past the Potomac River. They have never been to a rodeo.
Now, I am not suggesting that poor people like Honey Boo Boo do not exist in America. Certainly, they do. But that should not be celebrated or ridiculed by the elitist media. It should be pitied.
But there is hope yet.
The great thing about America and the genuinely promising thing about the onslaught of modern technology is the stunning degree to which the elite's long-held monopoly on media and culture is shattered. The barbarians are at the gate and can no longer be kept out.
Those barbarians, of course, come in the form of "Duck Dynasty." It has been such a joy in recent weeks to watch how this sleeper of a TV show has sneaked past all the palace guards and become the single most popular program in cable history.
Phil Robertson and his industrious — not to mention genuinely quick-witted and riotously funny — clan have been around a long time, kept in the obscure headwaters of television programming.
Mr. Robertson — bearded camo aficionado — grew up in the backwoods of Louisiana and figured out something missing from the marketplace. So he started handcrafting cedar duck calls in a shed behind his house. Turned out he was right and the business turned into a family empire. They have made millionaires out of themselves and hired people all over their small town.
All the while, they Robertsons have remained faithful to their roots, traditions and, most importantly, their religion. In other words, they are hate-filled racists, according to establishment media.
Their very appealing children say "yes, sir" and "no, ma'am." They end every episode with everyone gathered around the dinner table, saying grace and expressing thanks for all their many blessings.
America, it is.
Unlike Honey Boo Boo, who was wildly celebrated in the media when she endorsed President Obama for re-election, the Robertsons steer far clear of overt politics. But even that — in this day and age — is a pretty stark political statement in itself.
In one episode aired recently, the patriarch observed: "Uptown living, you've got to call 911. Where I am, I am 911."
Truly, an observation worthy of Alexis de Tocqueville or the Federalist Papers.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @charleshurt.