Don’t we WANT someone smarter than we are?

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  • #2587

    Dot
    Member

    Listening to media coverage of the US Presidential election, one would think Americans actually want a not-very-bright “common man” type to be in the White House. Is this true? I personally WANT a President who is smarter and better educated than me. Isn’t this just common sense? Are we just being manipulated by the media into believing Americans want some “Joe Sixpack” type in there? The vast majority of us aren’t qualified to conduct sensitive diplomatic negotiations, or to unravel the complicated economic mess we’re in… So why would we want to elect just some guy/gal from down the block to the most important job in the land?

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    Name : Dot, Gender : Female, Age : none, City : L.A., State : CA Country : United States, Social class : Middle class, 
    #21404

    ShirleyAvery
    Participant

    Yes & No? I certainly want someone who’s smarter. One thing a lot of people said about Bush before his first & second term: Yeah, I’d like to see him as my president. He’s the kind of guy I’d want to have a beer with. I thought that was idiotic and I was right! HOWEVER, Bill Clinton succeeded because although he is very intelligent &, educated, he is very personable and relates well to everyone, including the common person. Apparently, Adlai Stephenson lost his Presidential election because he sounded “too educated”. I guess people are afraid that a “brainiac” wouldn’t understand the problems of those who are less educated. Just Curious

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    Name : ShirleyAvery, Gender : F, Disability : none, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 52, City : st. louis, State : MO Country : United States, Occupation : writer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #20914

    JasonS
    Member

    The problem is, I think, largely because of a stereotyping of “eggheads” as being either unemotional and distant (a la Spock) or a little bit crazy (every “mad genius” ever, good or evil). It’s kind of understandable, since one of the hallmarks of truly well-educated people is the ability to think and speak calmly about things that are actually quite upsetting, even to them. Another is to become very involved in their subject of specialization, which may very well make no sense to anyone who doesn’t follow it. So “smart people” seem able to dispassionatly discuss major problems, while simultaneously getting all hot and bothered about what sounds like total nonsense to 90% of the population… It’s just a fundamental misconception which has, unfortunately, been used too often to discr

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    Name : JasonS, Gender : Male, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 25, City : Bloomington, State : IN Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #21170

    JerryS
    Member

    While I agree that we should have a president who is smart, I don’t think that is enough. Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover were both engineers, but they don’t have reputations for being among our best presidents. (Personally, I think Jimmy Carter is our best EX-president ever, and we should all be very proud of what he’s accomplished since leaving office.) Theodore Roosevelt is generally ranked among our best presidents. I don’t doubt that he was smart, but it was more important that he surrounded himself with intelligent, experienced people and that he had the personality to sell their advice to the people.

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    Name : JerryS, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 52, City : New Britain, State : CT Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #21661

    MichaelP
    Member

    But I also want someone who can empathize with a diverse group. Everything you said is true. However, until our elected leaders start legislating for the good of the nation instead of their re-election it won’t matter. Smarter is not always better.

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    Name : MichaelP, Gender : Male, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 30, City : Pelham, State : GA Country : United States, Social class : Middle class, 
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