More on just how stupid you’d have to be to claim stupid as a qualifying virtue for the presidency, and just how stupid we’d have to be to elect it:
It didn’t start out this way.
Once upon a time we had leaders who were both highly intelligent and intellectually curious. While our current president struggles with English, our Founding Fathers spoke four to five languages. They weren’t just politicians but diplomats and inventors, scientists, authors and public intellectuals.
And they were, to a man, extremely well read.
In college, Thomas Jefferson often read fifteen hours a day – and he read important works in the original – as it was a given that, along with mathematics, history and philosophy, an educated person should know Latin, Greek and French.
There was a crazy idea at the time that if you wanted to play a role in the affairs of the world, you should learn a thing or two about it first.
There was a time when America’s leaders neither aspired to be average nor pretended to be. They weren’t Joe Six-Pack . . . Courage is important, to be sure, but a cool head and a firm hand are important as well. Knowledge both wide and deep and the judgment to wield it- wisdom in other words – is perhaps the most essential quality of all.
Plato talked about the “philosopher king” …well we’ve had almost 8 years of an idiot-king who flew by the seat of his flightpants and it’s nearly ruined us; leaving us mired in two wars abroad with quaking markets and a gaping deficit at home.
Now, in a highly touted “change” election, one party is running a former D student who himself admits to being hot-headed and impulsive, whose low-road campaigning has tarnished both the electoral process and his own reputation and whose political ideas become less credible with every emerging reality. As his running mate this man has, either recklessly or cynically, chosen a woman who believes instead of thinking, who knows little of the world and whose every tortured sentence is an affront to the logic of language itself.
Forget the White House. The only public building these people should be heading for is the library.
At the worst of times we need to turn to our best. So bring on the bookworms, bring on the deep-thinkers, bring on the leaders who make decisions with their minds and not with their guts or their bibles.
It’s time to turn the page.
And p.s. —
I, Doctor JJ, am wearing a button this very minute that says “Booklovers for Obama!”