Monday, March 30, 2009

Dump the Political Clowns

What's wrong with being smart?

Republicans used to like smart people, back when they offered effective leaders. Even Ronald Reagan gave insightful radio addresses while governor of California, and he wasn't afraid to work with strong intellects.

But the previous administration had such a severe anti-intellectual bent that presidential advisor Karen Hughes  "rarely read books and distrusted people who had," bemoans the Economist. Speechwriter David Frum noted that 'conspicuous intelligence seemed actively unwelcome in the Bush White House.'

We may be glad that president is gone, but have we left him behind?

We're still holding up GOP candidates who drop their g's and tout their down-home qualities. I don't mind a politician of the people, whether a boy from a log cabin or a peanut-farmer, and 'rural' doesn't mean 'dumb.'

So why do we support the yokels in dunce hats? Do we really want only one party in America to offer intelligent candidates?

Glenn Beck, a rising star for FOX News, recently asked aloud if disaster relief agency FEMA was setting up concentration camps, calling it a rumor he was unable to debunk. That's the oldest, lamest journalistic trick of all, applicable to any stupid statement you wish to make. I, for instance, am unable to dispel rumors that Glenn Beck is French.

He's full of nutty comments. Take the recent one that 'the U.S. is on the road to socialism,' and compare that to your feeling about Wall Street bailouts.  Would you describe a president who hands money to investment banks as 'socialist'?

Comedian Dennis Miller noted when Ann Coulter says such things, she's acting like a dunk tank clown 'trying to sell more baseballs.' The goal isn't to inform or instruct, but just to incite.

We have enough clowns. Give us thinkers, too. Please.

In April, each Monday's post will be about society and technology. We'll return to economic issues in May, with Who Pays the Taxes?

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