Irksome Things

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There are a lot of things, large and small, that irk me. One of them is our tendency to evaluate a presidential candidate based on his intelligence or academic credentials. When Obama threw his hat in the ring, people thought he was articulate and smart and hailed his intellectual credentials. Just recently, when Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy, people hailed his intellectual credentials and smartness as well.

By contrast, the intellectual elite and mainstream media people see Sarah Palin as stupid, a loose cannon and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal. There was another presidential candidate who was also held to be stupid and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal who ultimately became president — Ronald Reagan. I don’t put much stock into whether a political leader is smart or not because, as George Orwell explained, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

All the evidence that I see is that academics and intellectuals have messed up the world. I challenge anyone to show me a major calamity that was engineered by a stupid, inarticulate person, but those caused by intelligent, articulate persons are too numerous to count, from the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao to Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Obama.

My vision of a good presidential candidate is a person with ordinary intelligence but great respect and love for our Constitution. Maybe Palin’s and Reagan’s respect and love for our Constitution qualified them as dumb in the eyes of the mainstream media, intellectuals and academics.

There are less important things that irk me. One of them is teleological explanations. I’ve listened to TV weather reports and heard the weatherman say, “There will be morning clouds, but the sun will try to come out later in the day.” Often, the weatherman’s predication is wrong, and it remains cloudy all day.

Would the weatherman explain that the day remained cloudy because the sun didn’t try hard enough? Trying to do something is purposeful behavior. Inanimate objects cannot engage in purposeful behavior.

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  • Amused

    The trouble with your article is , WHO defines what "great love and respect for the Constitution " really is . Of course another presumption . And so ,it is elitist to have an education ? Why ? Because ANOTHER presumption [goes with your ideology ] is , intellectuals [as you call them ] are A) elitist , B) leftist , and ergo C) responsible [ single-handedly ] for all that is wrong in the world . A truly biased position which can only lead to a biased conclusion . Yea , so lets elect another Hollywood Actor for Pres. , make sure he /she has no college degree – solution ? Palin , of course , certainly dopesn't fit the predetermined definition of intellectual [to a fault ] , elitist /leftist . Oh what a mentality !

    • Brian

      Whatever we elect, let us make sure it isn't another damned lawyer!

    • Brian

      Only leftists think all leftists are intellectuals, leftists think everyone else is like "Palin or Bush" and lives in "fly-over country", probably think they chew straw as well (thanks to shows like SNL) even if they have degress. It is this mix of self-righteousness, arrogance and bias that has co-opted the term "intellectual" and elevated all supposedly "classless" leftists above everyone else in the same way the high priests of religions past would do. If they end up with a degree then the circular reason and logical fallacy is reinforced.

      Leftists aren't intellectuals in the truest sense of the word, however, as "intellectual" means someone who is able to critically anaylise, think and reason their own opinion and position, not just knock down "the opposition" argument in the hopes theirs will win by default. And it certainly doesn't mean acting like a thug by using intimidation and violence against people with whom they disagree.

  • Amused

    BTW , probably one of the worst , was the STUPID , INARTICULATE , and BRUTAL , Stalin .
    Who told you he was intelligent ? He simply murdered ANYONE who opposed him , criticized him , even anyone he thought would oppose him …result 20 million of his own country-men were murdered . And Hitler ? Are you serious ? You obviously dont know the difference between intelligence and sheer unmitigated brutality .
    There's TWO examples . TWO of the world's recent GREAT CALAMITIES . No wonder you're " irked " .

  • john in cheshire

    When I see someone described as an intellectual, my immediate thought is that the person is a communist/socialist. My experience here in the UK is that all socalled intellectuals originate in mainland Europe; we don't have a history of calling our thinkers intellectuals. And all the European intellectuals were to a man leftwing idealists. So, I have an innate distrust of anyone who considers himself or is considered by others, to be an intellectual.

  • palidin48

    The wizards of smart always think they can reinvent the wheel. These people's assumption that they have greater mental firepower than previous generations is pure arrogance.

    Obama, the cool urban hipster, with his academic pedigree has given us an old discredited idea, only repackaged. And that is, that man can save himself. He is so smart, he does not require God's help.

  • guest

    Really? This gets published? Must be a slow day. Or are the editors slyly trying to show by example what an unintelligent, inarticulate post looks like? If so well done, but I want my 60 seconds back!