Joined: Jul 2002 Posts: 1356 Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Unreason, anti-intellectualism, & anti-rational in the n
It might be fun to pick out some of the issues Jacoby discusses from current new stories.
Regarding intellectuals and the Presidency, here's one about Obama.
Obama, electability and the backyard barbeque factor
We had three glimpses into Obama's personality this week which may convey the impression to some that he's a prissy intellectual. Prissy intellectuals from Adlai Stevenson to Michael Dukakis don't become president.
Even George McGovern, a World War II B-24 bomber pilot with 35 missions, couldn't overcome his image as a Ph.D. history professor.
Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 5397 Location: Berryville, Virginia
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A lack of the common touch is deadly for a politician, probably has been this way for a long while. It did seem that the Kennedys succeeded in having it both ways to an extent, that is promoting culture while still projecting that informality and sports interest that Americans like to see (remember their touch football games?) But the image of the commoner that comes from way back in our history is much more viable in politics. Putting on airs by acting conspicuously intelligent can doom a candidate. There is also relentless pressure ever since the TV age began for every candidate to "show his human side", meaning show us how very much like us he is. Remember Bill Clinton telling the MTV audience that he wore boxers?
Joined: Oct 2007 Posts: 3158 Location: Cheshire, England
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Isn't it a shame that we cannot bring ourselves to support those who have a better education and who have the ability to think.
Being educated doesn't mean that you have the capacity to 'think'...but there are those....admirable people who have been educated....who can compare history....and foreign cultures....and have the privilidge of a birds-eye view on the present situation.....and, sometimes, they have compassion.....
But we can't bring ourselves to trust them......
I do keep wondering what is the matter with us!
I think we have begun to admire people for the wrong reasons.....if they have nice teeth....if they are well dressed and are charismatic......Oh, the media are responsible for so much.......I saw them destroy a wonderful man here in England....his name was Anthony Wedgewood Benn.....the newspapers destroyed him.....by saying he was a lunatic....but I used to read what he wrote and think, 'well, I must be a lunatic too', because I agreed with everything he said. He was a man in favour of moral rearmament....that is an old fashioned phrase now. Please think about this....this is the power of the media. And why Rupert Murdoch is a man to be reckoned with.
Yes, DWill, I keep waiting for someone to ask Hilary if she wears boxers or briefs! Or maybe she'll play the saxophone on Jay Leno. Or Chelsea will dance for us. Nothing should surprise us anymore.
Mrs. McCain has her own private jet and Anheuser/Busch and millions. I'll bet she's a boxer lady.
And Penny, I do think we should have candidates who are smarter than we are, don't you (I sure hope they'e smarter than I am)? The common man is common - do we really want him for a President? But, as DWill mentioned, literacy does not go over too well with the American public. Hence, we have bowling, basketball and shot-drinking soundbites pervading the media. If they really are trying to appeal to everyone, I wonder why none of the candidates have yet endorsed the legalization of pot, lowering the age of consent, or cock-fighting? Something for everyone, right?
There's a real elephant in the room here in America - and nobody is addressing it, but it will come up eventually. O'Bama is getting up to 90% of the black vote while getting a large portion of the white vote as well. Clinton is getting a large portion of the white vote, but very little of the black vote. Do all of the blacks really think that O'Bama is that much more qualified than Clinton, or are they voting for him simply because he is black? I think it's the latter. If all the blacks voted for O'Bama (which they are largely doing) and all the whites voted for Clinton (which they are not doing), she would win by a landslide.
I remember when I first joined the Navy - I had had very little inter-action with blacks up to that time. But I remember vividly going to the chow hall and noticing that it was probably 90% white and 10% black, and that all the blacks, as they came into the hall, got their food and immediately went over to the table where the other blacks were sitting. That's a natural instinct, don't you think? And I think that's why the blacks are voting for O'Bama - they're going to the table where the black man is sitting.
These are huge generalizations; I know there are blacks who consider the issues and just prefer O'Bama, just as there are a smaller number of blacks who consider the issues and prefer Clinton. But 80 or 90% for O'Bama?
If Clinton was getting up to 90% of the white (or non-black) vote, I wonder what the pundits would be saying. I think it would then be out in the open - we are a racist nation. Still.
Of course we admire people for all the wrong reasons. Today's politicians must be charismatic, TV friendly, and all things to all people. I have heard it said many times that Abraham Lincoln could never be elected today. That's a real shame; we just can't get past the facade.
Enough, already. How was your holiday, Penny? And you never did say just how you did at the races.
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