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It's the IQ, stupid
August 27, 2004 4:28 AM   Subscribe

"Innate intelligence has to do with capability and ignorance to do with variables such as educational opportunity and personal diligence. But the conundrum remains. Is intellect important in presidents? If Americans can't solve the question definitively in the matter of John Kerry and George Bush, we damn sure ought to make an educated guess."
posted by acrobat (30 comments total)

 
It's the lack of curiosity that bothers some of us. The current president seems to not really care about history, current events, or in anything that seems to contradict his own, already made-up views and opinions. It's not certain that the contenders to the office are any better in this regard, but the current occupant has demonstrated this incurious, my-way-or-the-highway nature.
posted by moonbiter at 5:24 AM on August 27, 2004


I think talking about Bush's lack of intelligence lets him off the hook too much. It reinforces the lack of accountability/responsibility/"the buck stops here" thing that ends up giving him a free pass. Whether we're attributing that stuff to Cheney or Rove or whoever, the fact is there's only one president, idiot or not, and everything that happens under his watch is ultimately his responsibility, and he should be held accountable for it all.

His lack of flexibility is a crock, since he's flipflopped continuously, due to public pressure/polls, like most presidents, except when it came to Iraq. He talks like he's steadfast and determined and steady (and his supporters do too), but it's not so.
posted by amberglow at 5:35 AM on August 27, 2004


Whatever his IQ, George Bush as a candidate is a one-trick pony.

Can we have a pony too, Matt? Can we?
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:41 AM on August 27, 2004


John Kerry was stupid enough to enlist for 'Nam. Jus' saying...
posted by PenDevil at 5:43 AM on August 27, 2004


It's not just what it says about the president; it's what it says about the people that vote idiots to power that worries me most.
posted by acrobat at 5:46 AM on August 27, 2004


Yep, Bush sure is stupid. Not curious at all. I know this because I have had close contact with him for years and years. I'm not saying this just because I don't agree with his politics or the decisions he's made.

But somehow, he usually winds up getting his way on things. Damn those stupid proles who keep electing him!
posted by CRS at 6:19 AM on August 27, 2004


It's not just what it says about the president; it's what it says about the people that vote idiots to power that worries me most.
posted by acrobat at 7:46 AM CST on August 27


This is, indeed, the point I keep trying to make to those around me. Noone understands.

Idiots.

This election is going to be a turning point in my life. The fact that the election is even going to be CLOSE absolutely terrifies me.

This should be a 1984 landslide in Kerry's favor. The fact that almost half of the citizenry thinks Bush is a swell guy and doing a great job makes me extraordinarily suspicious of my "fellow American".

I'm afraid that after this election, I'm never going to look at my neighbor, co-worker, family member, whomever, the same way again.

I'm not in awe of Kerry. He doesn't set my heart aflutter or anything. But Bush has a total lack of merit, virtually no results on anything of merit, complete inability to lead, to speak publicly, or to instill confidence.

I swear to God Almighty, I cannot find a single redeeming quality of Dubya that qualifies him to be the leader of the United States.

Maybe he's a great guy to play poker with. Maybe he can rustle up a cow or two. Maybe he can work barbed wire fences with the best of them.

But the man is an embarrassment as a head of state. And his incompetence is no longer amusing or cute. It is dangerous.

I hope it is worth it. I hope it is so important to conservatives that gay people not get married that they allow a fool to run the country into the ground. I hope it is so important to conservatives that a woman not be able to terminate an unwanted pregnancy that we not only allow but encourage the destruction of the environment and the emptying of the Treasury into the pockets of the President's friends.

The complaint I have about blind Naderites, I now hold to conservatives as well.

It's about maturity. It's about knowing when to spout rhetoric and when to actually affect results.

Bush voter, look deep into your heart. Think of how it used to be. Think of the days before Bush. Think of the level of tension and the level of discourse, both at home and abroad. Remember when the most pressing issue in our nation was whether or not Clinton got a BJ in the oval office?

Times have changed. If you think "for the better" you are either mentally ill or retarded. We are more immersed in violence, hatred, economic peril, and intolerance than at any time since at least the precious Vietnam war that everyone is so worried about.

Bush is not a smart man. He doesn't want to be a smart man. His wife is PROUD of the fact that he's not a smart man. His associates revel in the fact that he's not a "deep thinker" and "shoots from the hip" and "makes quick decisions based on his feelings".

Kerry may not be a smart man either. But at least he doesn't wallow in ignorance and intolerance.

So, Bush voter... I implore you. Say whatever you must in forums and chat rooms and over coffee and at the country club and at the water cooler.

But when you're alone in that voting booth, where noone can see you (probably not even Diebold), why not do the right thing? Why not vote for change? Why vote to continue this mockery of the American executive branch?

You can make a difference. All your friends and family members will be none the wiser, and you can still root for Bush on election night, and noone will know.

It is your duty as a citizen to help do the right thing. You know what the right thing is. Or more precisely, you at least know what it isn't.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:39 AM on August 27, 2004


I usually avoid posting in political threads, but I have to delurk to say you summed up my feelings better than I could have, Ynoxas
posted by TedW at 8:30 AM on August 27, 2004


I had no idea so many people here knew Bush personally?!

As long as we are voting media steretypes, Kerry has more than a whiff of Dukakis about him.

Given a choice between a portrayed dumbass and an apparant pussy, I think most will vote Bush.

latimes Bush now leads even before the convention
posted by dand at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2004


I'm afraid that after this election, I'm never going to look at my neighbor, co-worker, family member, whomever, the same way again.

i want to say something funny. but there isn't anything funny.

i so strongly identify with Ynoxas observations.

i despair as my own brother, a born-again christian, laid off for months, sits there in his 25 year old trailer with his borrowed truck and his inoperable car out front and sends me freeper-ganda from his webtv.

i cringe at the endless parade of outwardly normal appearing people mindlessly parroting phrases like "flipflop" and "traitor" and "stay the course".

i'm dejected. and though i've always cultivated an aura of outrageousness and eccentricity, i'm disturbed at the extent to which i find myself alienated from the apparent mainstream, at the gaping depths of my pessimism and cynicism and contempt for the people around me, my 'fellow' americans.

let the jeering begin.
posted by quonsar at 10:11 AM on August 27, 2004


I agree with Ynoxas.

And, at this particular moment in time, I love quonsar.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:28 AM on August 27, 2004


CRS:Yep, Bush sure is stupid. Not curious at all. I know this because I have had close contact with him for years and years.

dand: I had no idea so many people here knew Bush personally?!

i'm happy to see central command is giving you guys variations on the lines in your scripts nowadays. it was quite boring back when they had you all say the same things in the same ways. kudos to your latest bunch of writers! (never mind that the man has admitted he's not well-read, is not well-traveled, once bragged to a young girl "i'm a c-student and look at what i've accomplished, has been described by people who have been in meetings with him as not really being present and involved, etc).

there's no doubt that part of bush's "gosh, boy-howdy, awshucks, i can't not hardly speak no proper english, i'm just a regl'ar guy" thing is a shtick, but if it's a role he's playing, he's like ice cube in boyz in the hood : he's been well-cast by his directors, and he doesn't have to try very hard to play the role that's been assigned to him.

nuff respect to Ynoxas and quonsar.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:59 AM on August 27, 2004


Bush is a big stupid head!

har har
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2004


As George Carlin once said - "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that".

I am really glad that my wife will be over here by November. I honestly think that this will be one of the most important elections of recent times and will certainly affect how the rest of the world perceives the American populace. If they really are stupid enough to vote Bush in then most of us will simply write the US off.

On preview, Steve - can you do me and my Euro-buddies a favour and give me five reasons why Bush is a good leader and deserves to be elected? I trust that you will use sensible links to do so.
posted by longbaugh at 11:18 AM on August 27, 2004


i despair as my own brother, a born-again christian, laid off for months, sits there in his 25 year old trailer with his borrowed truck and his inoperable car out front and sends me freeper-ganda from his webtv.

that's the biggest shame in all of this--so many people who Bush only sees as cannonfodder or as part of the servant class still will vote for him. He's actively hurting your brother, and all of us. How many more people will be living in trailers (or shelters) at the end of another 4 years?

And well said, everyone. Steve, i'd like to see that too.
posted by amberglow at 11:42 AM on August 27, 2004


What quonsar said. And Ynoxas.
posted by soyjoy at 12:04 PM on August 27, 2004


I was having a conversation along similar lines to Ynoxas and quonsar this morning, specifically about the effect the Swift Boat crapola is apparently having on the voting populace. I said, put aside the veracity of the SB4T accusations and think about how much criticism anti-war protesters (Vietnam and now) get for "not supporting the troops." The protesters ARE NOT criticicizing the troops, they are complaining about the policies set by the Administration, but most people (per Carlin) are just not willing, or capable, of thinking at the appropriate level! Laziness, stupidity, blinded by the light, whatever, most people just don't read past the headline and so we get what we've gotten.

In a completely different context, Nicholson once said: "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" But now the vast bulk of America gets to be what it really wants to be, Tom Cruise.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:01 PM on August 27, 2004


But now the vast bulk of America gets to be what it really wants to be, Tom Cruise.
A sad, lawsuit-happy closet case?

Have a little faith, people. We may be a stupid country, but we're not that delusional. Too many people are hurting financially and jobwise--and not better off than they were 4 years ago.
posted by amberglow at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2004


> So, Bush voter... I implore you. Say whatever you must in forums and chat
> rooms and over coffee and at the country club and at the water cooler.

Ynoxas, let me understand this. You come here--to metafilter--to address Bush voters? You really like to hide your light under a barrel, don't you?
posted by jfuller at 5:13 PM on August 27, 2004


Bush is a big stupid head!

See, this is what happens when you let the drones wander off script.
/Rove
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:22 PM on August 27, 2004


I think I'm going to start referring to those I don't agree with as 49%'ers.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2004


We may be a stupid country, but we're not that delusional.

Don't underestimate the power of spite.
posted by homunculus at 8:07 PM on August 29, 2004


i remember reading that, and while it has a point about white straight guys who are unhappy, i still believe that there are more of the rest of us that don't, and won't, vote that way. (and more of us voted for Gore anyway last time, showing that there are less of those angry, bitter, spiting people voting.)
posted by amberglow at 8:13 PM on August 29, 2004


I hope you're right.

Seemed Like a Good Idea, and Still Does
posted by homunculus at 9:39 AM on August 30, 2004


homunculus - what an utterly fascistinating piece of research!
posted by troutfishing at 10:28 AM on August 30, 2004


"....i despair as my own brother, a born-again christian, laid off for months, sits there in his 25 year old trailer with his borrowed truck and his inoperable car out front and sends me freeper-ganda from his webtv." - Oh boy. I have a "born-again" brother too. He's outbred me 4 - 0. His children have been taught to reject Evolution and Global Warming, as politically motivated hoaxes.
posted by troutfishing at 10:35 AM on August 30, 2004


I'm afraid that after this election, I'm never going to look at my neighbor, co-worker, family member, whomever, the same way again.

And can you begin to remove your cynicism for a split second to realize that those on the opposite side of the aisle are feeling just the same way about you?

I'm not in awe of Kerry. He doesn't set my heart aflutter or anything. But Bush has a total lack of merit, virtually no results on anything of merit, complete inability to lead, to speak publicly, or to instill confidence.

And can you accept that there are people who can replace Kerry with Bush and Bush with Kerry in this statement and mean it as wholeheartedly?

I swear to God Almighty, I cannot find a single redeeming quality of Dubya that qualifies him to be the leader of the United States.

And are you capable of recognizing that there are people who heartily say the exact same thing about John Forbes Kerry?

Have we, at long last, become so entrenched that we're incapable of accepting that people have divergent political opinions? Can we not rise above rhetoric and feelings (all this fear coming from the left, and despair -- despair!?! -- but it's the right that's constantly being accused of emotional manipulation?) to substance? Are we to a point where the best we can do is wring hands and prattle about fears and woe and our scary Republican-voting neighbors?
posted by Dreama at 11:18 AM on August 30, 2004


What you are describing Dreama is a kind of Political Realitivism, which avoids placing judgements on ideologies. Just because someone feels positively about a leader doesn't make that leader any good. The majority crucified Christ, the Nazi's where quite popular, hell I believe it was a minority that started the American Revolution. I don't think anyone disputes that some people feel strongly positive for Bush (and hate Kerry), but that doesn't mean that Bush is fit to lead.
posted by edgeways at 6:17 PM on August 30, 2004


Dreama: I cannot explain my position to you any better than I did above.

I honestly don't care if you empathize with me. There are people who "get it" and people who don't.

And yes, despair is quite an accurate description for what I feel. It is well, well past anger.

And I am very fearful I will be forced to reach acceptance the day after the election.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:33 PM on August 31, 2004


I am not enthused about voting for Kerry and think I will go independent.

But, I agree with Ynoxas in that I don't see Bush doing anything positive for the country. It seems he is just there as a choice for either those who want to be taxed less (I want that too, but it's a secondary concern to the overall well-being of the nation) and for those who seem intent on blaming their fellow Americans for Sept. 11. People are frightened and Bush talks a lot tougher and has the support of people who look tough and want to fight. A lot of people think that 'weakness' caused Sept. 11th and the only way to make sure it doesn't happen again is to be 'strong'. I really disagree on their definitions of weakness and strength.
posted by cell divide at 2:02 PM on August 31, 2004


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