There are a great many things, both large and small, that irk Walter E. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He discusses a few of them in his syndicated newspaper column:
One of them is our tendency to evaluate a presidential candidate based on his intelligence or academic credentials. When Obama threw his hat in the ring, people thought he was articulate and smart and hailed his intellectual credentials. Just recently, when Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy, people hailed his intellectual credentials and smartness as well.We can emphasize with Professor Williams. We have our pet peeves as well. Chief among them are those newspaper editors who endorsed Barack Obama for president and now complain that the man they declined to properly vet "stinks up the joint," without admitting how wrong they were to endorse him in the first place. We find it even more irksome when they have bashed Sarah Palin for more than three years and now complain about her taking her time deciding whether to jump into the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
By contrast, the intellectual elite and mainstream media people see Sarah Palin as stupid, a loose cannon and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal. There was another presidential candidate who was also held to be stupid and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal who ultimately became president — Ronald Reagan. I don't put much stock into whether a political leader is smart or not because, as George Orwell explained, "Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them."
All the evidence that I see is that academics and intellectuals have messed up the world. I challenge anyone to show me a major calamity that was engineered by a stupid, inarticulate person, but those caused by intelligent, articulate persons are too numerous to count, from the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao to Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Obama.
My vision of a good presidential candidate is a person with ordinary intelligence but great respect and love for our Constitution. Maybe Palin's and Reagan's respect and love for our Constitution qualified them as dumb in the eyes of the mainstream media, intellectuals and academics.