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In whom can we place our trust with such power? Thoughts on the 2012 Race


Clifford F. Thies in Libertarian Republican: All Sarah – All the Time

Superwoman Sarah Palin is everywhere. Not only changing the political landscape, but also the English language. Teaching Ben Bernanke a thing or two about monetary policy as a Fox News infobabe. Star and executive producer of a smash hit miniseries on The Learning Channel. Coming out with a new book, “America by Heart.” And, through her daughter Bristol, winning over viewers on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Will Sarah run? Perhaps. I rather hope she does. She must: Her candidacy would put many vital questions on the table. From the comments of the Libertarian Republican post emerged one particular, very important question:

Where is it written that one has to be an intellectual heavyweight to be President of the United States?
Abe Lincoln? The guy didn’t even have a high school education. But he was common sense smart… as is Palin.
Is Sarah the next coming of Lincoln? Yup! And then some. – Eric Dondero

Alaskan Beauty. (photo Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images)

“It’s been judged that Lincoln had an IQ of around 150. Education is not a measure of IQ necessarily. Many super smart people get frustrated with the standard fair they have to endure in public education … Interesting.

You could argue though, and it has been, that a high IQ is a prerequisite or necessary to be an effective leader. Sometimes a high IQ comes with communication deficits to relate to the common man. In politics, this is very important.” – The Right Guy

Is “IQ” really important? We have estimates of one form of talent – without margins of error or data about who made the estimates – concerning a single factor that seems to play a significant, but not the primary, role in determining the strengths of a leader. History is replete with geniuses who fail spectacularly in war, politics, religion, business… Success with power isn’t about being “smart” so much as being wise.

…the vital question left out of Noonan’s list is this: In whom can we place our trust with such power?

Michael Ledeen, in “Freedom Betrayed“, warns Americans against electing advanced geniuses for political office. Rather he advises that our finest leaders have been those with wisdom and values appropriate to protecting Liberty. 

Experience shows that those whose self-perception is that of possessing “higher intelligence” and “intellectual heft” tend to be those with a taste for acquiring power.  Worse, they tend to be people without the honesty to recognize their own errors and the maturity to learn adjustments.  (Anyone who has spent time in graduate school or the upper ranks of the military knows the phenomenon very well.)

From this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan’s regular Declarations column: To Run or Not to Run, That Is the Question

All of this means that for Republicans, the choice of presidential nominee will demand an unusual level of sobriety and due diligence from everyone in the party, from primary voters in Iowa to county chairmen in South Carolina, and from party hacks in Washington to tea party powers in the Rust Belt. They are going to have to approach 2012 with more than the usual seriousness. They’ll have to think big, and not indulge resentments or anger or petty grievances. They’ll have to be cool eyed. They’ll have to watch and observe the dozen candidates expected to emerge, and ask big questions.

Who can lead? Who can persuade the center? Who can summon the best from people? Who will seem credible (as a person who leads must)? Whose philosophy is both sound and discernible? Who has the intellectual heft? Who has the experience? Who seems capable of wisdom? These are serious questions, but 2012 is going to be a serious race.

We were promised by supporters on the Left that this president’s IQ is “through the roof.”  He is even hailed today as having “extraordinary intelligence” by some purportedly on the Right, and yet the staggering loss of security and prosperity felt by the majority dogs him.  Either his “brilliance” is a troubled asset, or he lacks the asset. The Left and it’s sycophants on the Right can’t have it both ways. Surely he has it; Surely then we ought to heed Michael Ledeen’s warning.

That “intellectual heft” noted by Peggy Noonan is proving to be more of a liability.  More to the point, the vital question left out of Noonan’s list is this:  In whom can we place our trust with such power?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010/11/21 06:25

    Is Palin the next Lincoln? I have no idea. I do believe that if Lincoln had had to contend with the modern Mainstream Media, given his background and history and character, he would have never made it to political office of any kind. He would have been mocked, ridiculed, despised, lied about, vilified, misrepresented, misquoted, and caricatured on SNL until the majority of the American population had no clue as to what the real Lincoln was like or what he stood for. In that respect then, he and Palin are alike. The nature of the MSM in this country today makes it virtually impossible for those people who have the best attributes of leadership (genius level intellect is not one of those) to succeed in public life, and we are left to choose form the best of what’s left over. How we fix that problem in a country with freedom of the press and of speech, I have no idea. I guess we can only try to counter the lies with truth (as this blog does an excellent job of, by the way) and hope that is enough.

    • 2010/11/21 17:52

      Thanks EM for the thoughts and the kind remarks. Freedom of the press includes us, here, yes?… ’tis the answer. Besides, the dino media are going extinct, slowly. They were as much the losers in 2010 as the Democrats.

  2. 2010/11/21 16:26

    Whoever it be in 2012, let it not be a preening narcissist.

    Alas, that effectively rules out nearly all who actually want to run for office and certainly precludes all Ivy League alumni.

    • 2010/11/21 18:02

      Thanks L.! Yeah, that narrows the field. I think to zero. Is there someone who’s narcissism is susceptible to accusations of failure should they fail? Who cares to do the Constitutional thing enough that we can forgive the ego trip? Maybe Palin. Maybe.

      All I know is that proven RINOs need not apply: Nix Thune, nix Romney, nope to Newt, fuhgedaboudit Pawlenty. Not even veep, gentlemen. Let this be a genuine battle of good v evil. I’m sick an tired of the RINO game of mendacious v evil and I’m not entirely alone.

      • themadjewess permalink
        2010/11/27 16:21

        Nix Thune,

        I wouldnt be too quick to push Thune out, his voting record is EXCELLENT, and he does not quit his job.

  3. palintologist permalink
    2010/11/21 18:09

    You can see by my nic that I’m for the ‘Cuda. She’s got integrity and determination. When she says she’ll do something, I believe it. The others? Not so much.

  4. 2010/11/23 05:13

    Obama’s extraordinary intelligence is likely a myth like everything else about him. I believe there are no records, that’s zero records to explain what is going on this man’s head. Our only clue is Rules for Radical.

    The key word you used is “wise.” What better than a wise president, paired with “genuine” and “strong”. I don’t know who I want to be our candidate in 2012, but one thing strikes me, this woman is fierce. In her book she boldly takes on race, if what I’m hearing is correct. We have never, ever had a politician step up to it as she is doing.

    She will be a force. G-d bless her. I like her more everyday because these days she is spot-on focused. I do hope she doesn’t peak too quickly.

  5. themadjewess permalink
    2010/11/27 16:19

    I wouldn’t vote for ANY woman, even on pain of death.

    • 2010/11/28 00:00

      Devorah. Boadicea. Golda. Maggie.

      I certainly would. History shows that women are perfectly capable of leadership, statecraft and of being victorious warriors. Sarah can take-down and field-dress a moose.

  6. themadjewess permalink
    2010/11/28 00:34

    Devorah. Boadicea. Golda. Maggie.

    You forgot Queen Eliz the 1st. That makes, what?
    5 in a thousand years?

    Golda was asleep at the switch. Maggie was attacked, b/c Argentine thought she was a ‘mere’ woman, which is precisely WHY they attacked.

    Men that are roguish will test a woman, and I am not willing to risk that. We have enough testing going on with these missiles that nobody knows about b/c of the MSM.

    Nope.. IF women were honest, they would NOT push for a woman as the leader of the last remnants of the free world as we head toward some battle of Armegeddon.

    Palin can wrestle a moose? Wow.. I can wrestle a bear with my 12 gage riot gun, and hunt turkey, but I cannot handle my time of the month, as cant most women with emotions out of control.

    It has nada to do with ‘hating’ Palin, and everything to do with knowing the limits that women can reach.

    But, Ran, your devotion is endearing 😉

  7. 2010/11/28 03:02

    Well, Sarah can take down the critter with her .338 Winchester. I figure, if she can handle the .338, she knows how to shoot.

    But I see your point, and it is an important one. You’re making me think. In fact, that’s my problem with Mitt and so many others, including Lil’ Barry. Nothing about these guys strikes fear in the heart of an enemy.

    Fred Thompson is the ONLY candidate out there I truly wanted. He dropped out.

    Damn, but if Fred ran – even as Veep – I’d feel a whole lot safer.

  8. themadjewess permalink
    2010/11/28 14:41

    Ran; I really LIKED Thompson! A LOT! These people really dont give us a whol lot of choices!!
    I wish we had a Reagan again. I truly do. I would feel safe if Thompson was there as well- old school.


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