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View Full Version : Intellectualism (or lack thereof) in American politics.


Salzella
10-30-2008, 03:50 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-election-obama-bush-mccain

I don't usually read George Monbiot, because he's incredibly pompous even by Guardian editorial standards, and is usually moaning incessantly about the environment, but this one piqued my interest. I think he makes one or two interesting points, though it does generalise, and it also begs the question of whether thinks those not able to handle voting should even have the vote.

Yay ou Nay?

edit: oops, i misspelt my topic title. can someone correct that? please and thankyou.

Web Rider
10-30-2008, 05:12 PM
There should be no limitations on voting based on intelligence. Why? because "smart" and "intelligent" and "wise" are not the same, and the specific areas in which you may or may not be smart can differ greatly.

I may know a lot about politics and not much about cars, does that mean I can't vote on a law regarding cars? Intelligence, "smarts" "intellect" are all far too variable, heck, somebody could simply not be smart because the opportunity to become smarter hasn't been presented to them or is beyond their reach.

Jae Onasi
11-04-2008, 10:14 PM
So, Christian fundamentalism, which does not represent the majority of Protestantism in the US by any stretch of the imagination no matter how much noise they might make, is somehow responsible for failing schools in places like Chicago and LA, which are about as far away from fundamentalism as they can get? Monbiot needs to use his great intellectualism to re-check his facts. Things like fatherless children, poverty, and the emphasis on self-esteem in schools rather than high achievement have nothing to do with education here, just religion. Yeah, that's brilliant, just brilliant. :roleyess:

Corinthian
11-04-2008, 10:30 PM
Wow, I could take lessons in sheer undiluted arrogance from this guy.

Let's break down his arguments, shall we?

1: Religious fundamentalism = Stupid Americans. Jae addressed that pretty well.

2: Democrats are smart, Republicans are stupid.

3: I hate George Bush and Sarah Palin, and they're dumb, too.

And to answer you, HELL no. We start denying people the vote because they're not smart enough, and what's to stop from denying people the vote because of other things?

"You can't vote, you weren't born here. You can't vote, you've got divided loyalties because of your race. You can't vote, you've spoken out against the Government. You can't vote, because there's only one candidate, and when there's only one candidate, there's only one choice."

You start denying people the right to vote, and you begin building the foundation for turning the United States into a dictatorship.

mimartin
11-04-2008, 10:49 PM
And to answer you, HELL no. We start denying people the vote because they're not smart enough, and what's to stop from denying people the vote because of other things? QFT

Wow, I hoped this would be a historic day, but I never imaged this, I agree with Corinthian about something other than games.

Salzella
11-05-2008, 12:23 PM
yes, Monbiot is an ass. but don't you think he has a point when he points out how intellectualism has come to be seen as a negative attribute in a politician?

[/devil's advocate]

Web Rider
11-05-2008, 12:35 PM
yes, Monbiot is an ass. but don't you think he has a point when he points out how intellectualism has come to be seen as a negative attribute in a politician?

[/devil's advocate]

I do agree with that point at least, intellectualism in general has come to be seen as bad.

Tommycat
11-05-2008, 01:06 PM
Most people who suggest intelligence tests for voting forget that intelligent people don't always make smart decisions. Sometimes they even tend to over-think a problem. On the boat we called it nuking out(nuclear technicians were some of the most intellectual people, but tended to over think simple problems).

If intellectualisim has come to be seen as bad it is the fault of the intellects. By making arguments that alienate a large majority of the people in the US they make it "us versus them" rather than working with the religious(not so much fundies, because there's no compromise with them) or at least not being so darn insulting to them.

Jae Onasi
11-05-2008, 02:17 PM
Being smart is OK--there are some Senators and Congresspeople who are extremely intelligent. Being arrogant and having a superiority complex about that intelligence is what offends Americans. The man who fixes my car would probably not pass some kind of intelligence test, and neither would my grandmother, who never finished high school. However, both have more wisdom in their pinky fingers than I have intelligence because they have such great life experience. I'd never want to disenfranchise these two, or others like them--they see things in politics that I don't always think about, and they're usually right. There's nothing that says intelligent people won't do amazingly stupid things, either.

Tommycat
11-05-2008, 02:30 PM
The man who fixes my car would probably not pass some kind of intelligence test, and neither would my grandmother, who never finished high school. However, both have more wisdom in their pinky fingers than I have intelligence because they have such great life experience. I'd never want to disenfranchise these two, or others like them--they see things in politics that I don't always think about, and they're usually right.
Hehe you might be surprised at how smart some mechanics are. My buddy used to design aircraft parts and went to being a mechanic because he just enjoyed it more. He had an IQ over 140. But your point is very well taken. Besides, If you eliminate them from voting, you have to remove them from being taxed. If they are no longer represented in the government then wouldn't taxing them be taxation without representation? And if you do that, wouldn't very intelligent business men intentionally FAIL the test so that they would no longer be taxed at all? So you end up with either taxation without representation, or an opt out system for taxes. hmmmm if they do that I might fail the test too haha. and I tested over 160 consistently.

There's nothing that says intelligent people won't do amazingly stupid things, either.
Darwin Awards have examples of this :D Also I remember some rather smart people confusing meters and feet and creating a new crater on Mars.