Today we are hearing echoes of the old sneers and jeers at Reagan's mind when the smartness of people like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are contrasted with the supposed lack of smartness of President George W. Bush. As in the past, the standard for smartness is not achievement but glib rhetoric, smug airs and presumptuous proposals.
By this standard, someone who always has a quick answer, like Al Gore, has been rated far above someone like George W. Bush, who often stops to think before he speaks, instead of trying to give the impression that he has all the answers at his fingertips. By the standard of snappy responses, Einstein would have been rated a chowderhead, if we didn't know of his historic accomplishments.
But rating people by what they have accomplished is rare today. Take Al Gore -- please. Just what has he actually done, aside from talking a great game? Bush was a jet pilot. How many dumb jet pilots do you know?
As an undergraduate at Harvard, Gore took a soft course to fulfill his science requirement, instead of tackling chemistry or physics -- and he still got poor grades, as he did later at the Vanderbilt law school, having failed 5 out of 8 courses at divinity school in between. In the 1970s, he bought the hysterical Club of Rome report, which was full of pretentious mathematical models that foretold the world's economies grinding to a halt in the 1980s -- the very decade in which an unprecedented era of prosperity and economic growth began.
Hillary Clinton has been portrayed by liberals and radical feminists as the very epitome of smartness and sophistication. But just what has she ever achieved, aside from using her husband's political clout to advance her own career, whether from shady land deals in Arkansas or winning an election in a state that traditionally elects Democrats to the Senate? Hillary's one great initiative was her health care plan that was shot down in flames.
Smartness is not wisdom, either now or back in the days of the Reagan administration. But many in the media have yet to learn that
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