Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Serious Question

When did it become bad to be smart?

People -- or, rather, those who aren't boggling in amazement -- are praising Governor Palin's down-to-earth soccer-momness.  When George W. Bush ran the first time, much was made of the fact that he was a regular guy and aspersion was regularly cast upon Gore for being too intellectual.

Prior to the VP debates, a commenter on NPR said the same thing about Joe Biden.

Here's the thing.

I want the president to be smart.

He is the leader of the free world.  I want a smart person to be in charge of the world.

But, seriously, when did intelligence become bad?

I remember being in school and feeling I had to apologize for the grade I'd gotten on an essay.

When I wrote "aspersion" above, I briefly wondered if (1) I should define it or (2) if people would be mad at me for using a word they didn't know.

I don't really have an answer here (as you can probably tell by the semi-incoherent rambling), and I'm not saying that intelligence is the end-all and be-all of the world.  Street smarts count for a lot.  They do.

But if you're going to be running my country, and therefore directly affecting my life, I would really rather you were smart enough to handle it adequately.

I don't get it.

The default "super awesome" jobs that everyone thinks of are "doctor" and "lawyer" -- two jobs which require degrees beyond a bachelor's degree.  Both of which require rigorous training that's not for the faint of heart.

So why do we honor jobs that require intelligence but turn around and complain that the potential vice president is too smart?

I just...don't get it.

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