Interesting point of the day

As it happens, I know the opinion of two prominent past politicians held by someone who had had considerable first hand interaction with both. His view was that Barry Goldwater was an intelligent man although not an exceptionally intelligent one, and that Teddy Kennedy had a subnormal IQ. That is not the view of the two men that one would have gotten from the media back when they were active politicians.

So maybe the left are correct?

That money and connections will, in politics, take you a long way while intelligence doesn\’t seem much to matter?

Yet if they are correct in this then of course we should be paying even less attention to politicians than we already do……

9 thoughts on “Interesting point of the day”

  1. What does he mean by “subnormal”? If it’s just IQ < 100, then you didn't need to know Teddy Kennedy to know that.

  2. Politicians score high on EQ (or the feral cunning component). Rare to find that combined with high IQ.

  3. “we should be paying even less attention to politicians than we already do…”

    Can attention be measured in negative numbers?

  4. Teddy Kennedy didn’t even seem to be the brightest of the Kennedys.

    As for Goldwater, it seems even “intelligent but not exceptionally intelligent” made him far too bright to be President.

  5. Philip Scott Thomas

    That’s difficult to reconcile with the Left’s apparent assumption that only they are intelligent enough to govern, and that the farther one is to the Right the stupider one must be. In fact, ‘stupidity’ seems almost to be their default criticism.

  6. For what it’s worth, in terms of raw cognitive power here’s how I rank US presidents since the war, highest to lowest:
    Jimmy Carter
    William Clinton
    Dwight Eisenhower
    John F. Kennedy
    George W. Bush
    Lyndon Johnson
    Ronald Reagan
    Harry Truman
    George H. W. Bush
    Gerald Ford
    Barack Obama

    Note that, in my estimation, possession of a stellar IQ in way correlates with being a good president. The three best post-war presidents were Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan. They were all of significantly above-average intelligence, but none of them was considered a genius. Carter is an astoundingly intelligent man
    (nuclear reactor engineer) and a preposterously extravagant failure as a President.

    I think Obama is a cretin. We’re supposed to marvel at his massive brain but he’s always struck me as having that surface, glib sheen of cleverness without any underpinning. He’s a car salesman, not a scholar. Dubya is incomparably better read and a damn sight cleverer. Carter must be breathing a sigh of relief as Obama steals the crown of ‘worst President ever’ and rides off whooping into the sunset.

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