I got into a bit of a tiff the other day on MMFA over the idea of CREDENTIALS. Now I, perhaps unwisely, bragged about my MBA, from the Univeristy of Michigan, which I recieved with honors. Now... I was NOT trying to say "Look at the big brain on me!" That's what my BLOG is for. ;) I was merely pointing out a few credetnials that I had to show that I had SOME idea what I was talking about in refuting the SPECIFIC POINTS of Glenn Beck's grand master plan. Also, I pointed out that Mister Beck had only his HS diploma to go on.
Now... WHY is this important?
Well, for a start, they don't teach much in ther way of Macroeconomics in most High Schools in this country, and the only bits you're going to pick up doing AM Talk Radio and hosting a show on Fox are easily debunked RW talking points. (Easily disputed by liberals with MBA's who paid attention in MacroEcon, anyway!)
Now, a poster called Poproxx77 attempted to refute my points by saying George Bush (and a few other RW'ers) must be smarter than me because they went to Harvard or had PhD's, where as I went to U of M and have only a Master's. Now... I wasn't suggesting Glenn Beck was stupid because he didn't graduate from college. Neither did Bill Gatres. But where as Gates built a trillion dollar empire and changed the world prfoundly. Beck, OTOH, is paid a lot of money to spew talking points that someone else wrote for him, or that he cribbed from RW sources. As usual, the Right continues to listen to the LOUDEST voice, rather than the most well infomred or educated.
And besides: I don't care who's smarter, or if Harvard in better than U of M or who got C's and who got A's. The economic facts remain on MY side, and not on Beck's. And being STUPID isn't the reason he's backing this plan. (Just the reason his audience is buying it!) It's because he's EVIL. It's becuase he wants to screw over the middle class and working class and poor (you know... 90% of America?) by drastically cutting spending, and save the RICH by drastically [their] cutting traxes. (And, of course, HE'S RICH.) The fact that Geroge Bush went to Harvard has no bearing on the fact that this BS plan would destroy the economy while doing NOTHING to fix the defiict or pay down our natinal debt! OTOH, it may go a long way towards cringing about that civil war he keeps predicting. Maybe he's just hoping all that Ammo and canned food he stocked up on doesn't go to waste!
But at no point did Poproxx really dispute what I was SAYING about Beck's plan! In fact, at one point he even admitted we were saying the same thing! (But somehow reaching radically different conclusions, I'd like to add!) It seemed to really bother him that I was educated. So I did some digging and found a few oldies, but goodies.
First was this 2000 classic from Slate: Don't Hate Bush Becuase He's Dumb. In this case "classic" is a bit of a dubuious distinction, because while it's dead-on regarding Bush, it takes the typical cowardly Slate route and tries to create artificial equivalencies in a effort to achieve [unecessary] balance. Sometimes thigns just aren't balanced! Bush was an idiot, and his presidency was a disaster. See how easy that is? But THAT wasn't the article I actually had in mind.
THIS piece of RW Garbage was! Did any of you guys get this in you in boxes back in 2000? My favorite line might be:
"In his sophomore year at Harvard," the Post reported, "Gore's grades were lower than any semester recorded on Bush's transcript from Yale."
Do you know what they're leaving out? Well, that Gore went onto to graduate from Yale Cum Laude. See how that works - the guy with the better OVERALL record is the loser, because between the two he had the worst single semester. He may have had also the best 4 or 5 - and he woudl have HAD to to graduate cum laude after such a slow start - but that's no too important, is it? (Why let facts get in the way of good propaganda.)
The thing is, that between the two articles emerges a critical point. It is not how SMART or EDUCATED you are, but whether or not you recognize that trait in others, and which policies you want to pursue that matter. It matters the VISION you have. Gore foresaw the potential of the internet and made creating it a legislative priority. Did he INVENT it? No. (And as we all know, he also never claimed to have!) But he was smart enough to recognize the vision of the people that DID. He likewise recognized the dangers posed by global warming. Is he a climate researcher? No. But he's smart enough to recognize the work being DONE in that field and, unlike Bush, actually LISTENS to REAL SCIENTISTS rather that industry whores who just tell him what he wants to hear.
And THAT'S really why conservatism is so dim, intellectually speaking. They can never see the way forward. They can never see the potential rewards or risks of anything that not in there immediate sight. They operate under the constant assumption that we know all there is to, and that thsi is the best it gets. Or really, that we peaked about a generation ago, and we need to get BACK to that.
You know, back to when before we knew any better. The good old days. When women couldn't vote, Jews and Blacks weren't allowed on Golf Courses and seperate water fountains meant shorter lines for everyone!
Maybe it's not intellignece that Gore possessed, so much as WISDOM. It seems even a bit more high-falootin' to put it that way, but that the difference being BEING a scientist, and recognizing that these guys know what the hell they're doing!