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    Thinking: Not Just for "Elites"

    The pundits handicapping tonight's Trump-Clinton debate were slowly driving me insane, and now they've speeded up. The debate is not a fair fight, and should not be. A guy who doesn't know anything is supposed to lose a debate against a smart person who knows a lot. Anything that makes those people an "even" match is a fix. But the craven attempts to frame Trump v. Clinton as an even-money proposition has finally put my finger on something that's been bugging me for a long time: the insistence that being smart is elitist. That is not true, and never has been, because there are a lot more smart people than there are elite people. The idea that only "elitists" are smart is complete bigotry. It flatters people who consider themselves elite, and plays on their stupidity. 

    America was built upon a broad populace of basically smart and decently educated people. That is what makes the country work. The idea that average people are basically bright and remember things they've learned is not some fantasy. The idea that "intelligence" is confined to ten percent of the population, mis-defining intelligence as being in the top ten percent of the standardized test scores, is the shoddy thinking of the snobbish. 

    A majority of people in the United States are smarter and better informed than Donald Trump, who has enough money not to think at all. You don't need an advanced degree to know Mexico is not paying for any wall. You don't need to go to Harvard to see that guy is full of it. You need to be a pampered elite journalist to mistake that blowhard for one of the average people outside your little bubble.

    Now, we have been steadily neglecting or attacking most of the institutions that support our basically-smart country: the public libraries, the public schools, the public universities. There has been an enormous slant in this country toward monopolizing education for the elite, to the benefit of those elites and the undoing of our country. Underestimating the average person's intelligence is the basic error of all American elitists, but a mistake that benefits them in the short term. Of course, in the long run, being at the top of the pyramid because you've undermined its base is a sucker's move. But nobody said the elite were actually very smart. Well, except them.



    Doc, I corrected the spelling of "thimking" in the title--assuming that it was an error and not deliberate. I know you working-class rust-belt types aren't too bright, but we've got standards here at dagblog.

    Thanks, G.


    Ivy grads can be stupid, and I can provide all the proof you'll ever need.

    None needed. My brother is an Ivy grad.

    "Harvard makes mistakes too, you know.  Kissinger taught there." - Woody Allen

    Smart or stupid, knowledgeable or ignorant, able to remember or forgetful. There's something happening here and I just don't know how to explain it. I've read a dozen different articles with a dozen different explanations and none of the answers seem big enough for the size of the question.

    Here's one example, one out of many I could choose. How many times do we need to try giving tax cuts to the rich to learn the only sensible republican president in my life time was right when labeled Reagan's economic plan voo doo economics and told us it wouldn't work? When Brownback tried his grand experiment and it once again was a grand failure one would think the people would learn. But no. They re-elected him for another term.

    Was that smart or stupid? Did they know that Brownback's experiment with tax cuts for the rich had bankrupted the state without producing any increase in investment, jobs, or state GDP? Or were they ignorant? Did they remember the numerous times governments have cut taxes for the rich without seeing any increase in growth, or did they forget?

    I'll grant you that the average person is not stupid. That they are capable of increasing their knowledge. They can remember extraordinary amounts of data. The potential is there but unfortunately the subjects they choose to study and the data they file away in their memory isn't the data that's needed to make sound election or public policy choices. One cannot be forgetful and remember the names and data of most of the major football and basketball teams and most of the players. One can't be stupid and compare the stats on their favorite players. The average person can wax rhapsodically, long and sustained, on their favorite tv shows and movies. But that information isn't what's needed to make a wise choice for the next president, congress person, or senator of the US.

    Every GOP deregulation/economic/tax cut/trade proposal, including the 31 page one cleverly released today by the Trump 'team', not only pays for itself but is touted to immediately trickle billions or trillions down from corporate coffers to create hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs. In places like Flint, which the Trump plan actually mentions........Atlantic City is apparently beyond the scope of Trumpian resurrection.

    Unsurprisingly the Trump economists cite Hillary as a guilty conspirator behind rust belt job losses.

    The fact that over 20+ years of GOP policy and presidencies never did anything for Flint, or that the GOP wanted to bury GM for good in 2008 when the Republican administration crashed the economy, is, of necessity, never broached. 

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