Field of Science

How dumb is too dumb? We still don't know!

A very excited out-of-work sports caster called TPP on the phone last night.  “Now’s the time!”  And after reeling off the current set of anti-Obama sound bites asked me to sign a petition in support of Sarah Palindrone (someone who sounds just as dumb forward as backward) running for the Senate from Alaska.  Oh, yes, and a little donation to the effort would be nice too.  However the response that TPP wanted to leave was not an option.  
Now this raises quite an interesting question about politics that this recording could not answer.  How dumb is too dumb in ‘Mercan politics?  TPP figured that we’d bottomed out and people would come to their senses after electing Reagan.  This shows TPP's political acumen.  And then along comes W who made Ron sound and look like a Rhodes Scholar.  In the next election cycle, the afore mentioned Palindrone was given way more attention than anyone with so little to say and so little reason to say it and who will then say it anyways with so much dumbth should ever be given.  And she hasn’t improved.  Perhaps it was Gov. Perry of Taxes who so lowered the bar that Ms. Palindrone’s IQ rose in comparison because now some near breathless people want her in the Senate. 
"The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself." Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today's very different United States (from an old WashPo article).  What would Ralph think now about our virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism, ideology, and low expectations?  There are smart capable people in the USA, but almost none of them are electable in this era of you-can’t-be-too-dumb politics.


Bend said...

I won't disagree with you on your characterization of the intellect of the former almost one-term governor of Alaska, but I do find your quoting of RWE odd. The man who wrote, "I heartily accept the motto,—that government is best which governs least” would arguably be more at home in the Tea Party than he would be with progressive, educated public servants.

Bend said...

I do disagree with your assertion that almost all smart capable people aren't electable. While we may remember that Santorum seemed to have suggested that having a college degree made you an elitist, it wasn't that long ago when our President was a Rhodes Scholar. We now have a President who was president of the Harvard Law Review. He defeated a man who had two advanced degrees from the top ranked programs in the country (Obama, in ridiculing the aforementioned Santorum, called Romney an elitist for just that reason). There have always been idiots in government and there always will be. For every John Q. Adams there's an Andrew Jackson. But I don't think you've justified an assertion that politicians are statistically significantly stupider than they were 50, 100 or 200 years ago. Although, I think the 17th amendment may have made it easier to get real doofuses in the senate.

The Phytophactor said...

OK, OK, it was an over-generalization. Guilty.