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Ed Driscoll

You Can’t Make an Omelet Without Frying a Few Eggheads

October 15th, 2013 - 2:54 pm

“Why are intellectuals, sometimes the most intelligent among us, so dumb?,” asks Wes Pruden in the Washington Times:

This is the question that confounds everyone; some intellectuals most of all. The late William F. Buckley Jr., a certified egghead, once said he would rather be governed by the first 50 names in the Boston telephone book than by the professors at Harvard.

Another wit observes that an intellectual is someone who so prefers theory over experience that he would sit down on a red-hot stove, twice. You can be too smart for your own good, and have the blisters on your bottom to prove it.

The intellectual romance with the clever Barack Obama continues. Having invested so much in candy and flowers, they must ignore all the evidence of being dumped.

His cultivated demeanor and carefully applied patina of synthetic sophistication, fraudulent as it may be, is what attracted the adoration of intellectuals from across the political spectrum in 2008, says Charles Murray, the social scientist and an intellectual with impressive books, studies and learned papers. He admits that he’s a dumpee.

“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.

“It’s his whole way of presentation of self … of a little self-deprecation in the argument and picking out a nuance here, which is all the ways that we overeducated people have been socialized in the same way. It’s the way we carry on discourse. Along with [seeing] what was a very engaging personality, I kind of ignored things which … a lot of working-class people glommed onto right away.”

Perhaps it helped that the revulsion was mutual. Or Troy Senik recently noted at Ricochet, “Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People.”

And as the late  Kenneth Minogue noted in 2010, “We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.”

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And let's not forget our Orwell: some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual would believe them.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
People who consider themselves clever are suckers for flattery especially when it comes from the powerful. I don't think there is any vanity like intellectual vanity.

Sincerely considering yourself stupid is a sign of wisdom.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me."

In other words, Obama is not really someone very smart, he just plays one on TV.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Also, in other words, Murray listened to the inflection and paid no attention to the words. I have admired Murray since the publication of __Losing Ground__ and I guess I should admire this confession of error, but how smart is it to admire an accent? That's on a par with David Brooks' salivating over the "crease" (he meant "lump") in Obama's pants. The Powerline boys also had more respectful things to say about Senator Obama in 2008 than about Governor Palin.
Thomas Sowell never fell for it. http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2009/02/25/not_one_of_us
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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