Ignorance (Of Liberalism) Is Bliss
By: David Bozeman
Too often, presidential primaries resemble American Idol auditions and bear about as much ideological substance. How alarming that our cherished liberties can rest on the whims of focus groups and the same Madison Avenue machinations used to sell toothpaste. Politics regularly sells style over substance, and the temptation lingers to select our leaders breathlessly hopeful of the approval of those who deem themselves the final arbiters of electability — the mainstream media.
Thanks to the media’s incessant prattle about, among other attributes, his towering intellect, Barack Obama was elected president and now presides over an economy careening ever closer to a double-dip recession. And while no one would argue that intelligence is undesirable, it is over-esteemed by some in the bloviating classes (both left and right) as a noble trait unto itself. Just calling someone intelligent confers stature unattainable merely by displaying goodness or prudence or to-the-death loyalty. A lack of intellectual finesse, despite one’s convictions and ability to inspire, makes her fodder for ridicule and marginalizes her beliefs and her staunchest followers.
After the 2008 election, Sarah Palin was advised by the media’s armchair political consultants to read more and brush up on foreign policy. Excuse me! Brush up on foreign policy? Did any pundit ever demand that Barack Obama brush up on foreign policy? Or economic policy? Where would America be today if someone had offered candidate Obama the works of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman?
Palin, of course, recently offered a garbled account of Paul Revere’s ride, and Michele Bachmann placed Concord in the wrong state. But would either one of these so-called dim bulbs have removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House to the dissatisfaction of our staunchest allies in Britain, like you know who? Would the majority rather be led by the historically ignorant who promote the original Constitution (as Palin did on her tour, handing out copies) or by those who stretch a ‘living’ Constitution, as liberals do, to cunningly enact electorally unpopular ideas?
Again, no one is endorsing ignorance, but maybe if more leaders were a little less in tune to the leftist orthodoxy, our country would be a freer, more prosperous nation. Sarah may well possess a near-childlike understanding of our founding, but her general interpretation is closer to the truth and more in line with the thinking of her fellow citizens. While many Americans can cite only a cursory knowledge of the fact that George Washington owned slaves, enough liberals can recite the facts like gospel, so that the father of our country’s name has been removed from some schools and his birthday has been diluted as a national holiday. But it is the ignoramuses of flyover country who grasp the larger truth — Washington and our founders, imperfect though they were, laid much of the groundwork for ending slavery in this country, thus they still deserve our admiration. It is these larger truths that unite Americans behind shared history and values. Obama sycophants, on the other hand, only want to be the smartest kids in the class, and you know what you can do with your American greatness.
The leadership for which this country is starving is predicated upon conviction, common sense and community of like-minded, inspiring individuals, thus if Sarah Palin doesn’t read, at least she isn’t reading Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky or the collected sermons of Jeremiah Wright. Leadership is also about assuring others that you ‘have their back.’ Finally, more than two years into Hope & Change America, people crave a re-affirmation of our founding values of freedom, accountability and limited government. It’s bold, it’s brilliant, but it doesn’t take a Harvard degree to understand. Ultimately, hyper-intelligence in pursuit of bad policy is national suicide, while common sense in defense of liberty is idealism in action.