Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IQ or BS?

After following a series of links, I wound up at the Volkh Conspiracy and an article by Todd Zywicki with the title “Glibness vs. Intelligence.” If you do not visit the site frequently let me share that Volkh is a law professor, with other legal eagles as contributors, read by many with connections to the law, and commenters also largely drawn from that profession.

Personally, I was very sympathetic to Zywicki’s observations and thought his presentation entirely reasonable. But then, I do not have the nuanced sensibilities of the elitist coastal inhabitants. I also think that Palin is a breath of fresh air in the current political debacle. In consideration of my mid-western upbringing I feel led to remember the oft heard advice of my youth: “listen to your mom.” Palin has unassailable credentials in that department.

By the time I got to it, the comments on the article had reached 533. As I scrolled down through them at random, I came away with a sense that most of the readers did not really fully understand what Zywicki was writing. For many, their backgrounds, educations, and life experiences had not prepared them to be willing to accept any aspect of Palin’s qualifications as appropriate to the job she was seeking. They were also flummoxed by her unwillingness to fire off some offhand, made-up palaver to fill the empty space in the air and plead she needed more research or information on the subject. This concept is not one frequently observed by the “know it all” elites either in the academy or the halls of congress.

One commenter suggested that when a certain senator from Illinois starts an answer to a difficult question with the word “actually” one needs to be especially wary of whatever follows. Try it and you will find his observation quite telling. There are other signs as well; er, um, uh, and other impediments to flowing speech when deprived of a fully functioning teleprompter. While addressing the “unwashed” (that would be you and I) he is careful to drop the “g” from nearly ever gerund in an everyman approach to his lifetime devotion to bowlin’, eatin’, smokin’, preachin’, organizin’ and shootin’ hoops. I happen to find this affectation especially condescending and offensive. It presumes a lack of intelligence and laziness on the part of his audience.

When actively engaged in management of a sales force years ago, we often pointed out to the guys who “worked” the floor the importance of subtlety in achieving their goals. To illustrate the point, we pointed out that the only difference between rape and rapture was salesmanship. It is a crude example but absolutely true. Those who failed to understand the needs of their prospect were doomed to be seen as aggressive, clumsy, and rude.

My chief disappointment was the attitudes revealed by those who routinely read the ramblings of a law professor and his colleagues. Although not an exact sampling it does indicate a definite leaning from lawyers in their antipathy to Palin. Since many are guided by self-interest why are so many inclined this way? I have apparently missed something in the general appeal of the Obama/Biden ticket. Could it be that both are lawyers? My only suggestion would be to beware because it is a well known fact that some species eat their own.

Speaking of that, I have failed to continue my string of “not exactlys.” I apologize and offer the following to try to make up:

"Because I lived in Indonesia, I have more foreign experience—Not exactly, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn’t speak the language. What did you learn except how to study the Koran and watch cartoons?

I am stronger on foreign affairs—Not exactly, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise) you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

I blame my early drug use on ethnic confusion—Not exactly; you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify. You classmates said you were just fine.

An Ebony article moved me to run for office—Not exactly, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t and never did, exist.

A Life magazine article changed my outlook on life—Not exactly, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t and never did, exist.

I won’t run on a national ticket in ’08—Not exactly, here you are despite saying live on TV that you would not have enough experience by then, and, you are all about having experience first.

Voting 'present' is common in Illinois Senate—Not exactly, they are common for YOU but not many others have 130 'present' votes.

Oops, I misvoted—Not exactly, only when caught by church groups and Democrats did you beg to change your 'misvoted.'”

One of the biggest problems with geezers is they are continuously carping about how it used to be. When we had a free and un-obligated press, they would diligently report every false response, regardless of candidate or party, and actually seek the truth. Lying from a candidate is “business as usual.” I’ll admit that I am having difficulty adjusting to the new posture of the media in abetting the liars. Thank God for the internet and talk radio or we would never even get a hint of the truth.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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