Obama too smart to be president
by Art Major
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2011 — President Obama is too intelligent to make a good president, according to a column by Dana Millbank, a left-wing columnist for the liberal Washington Post.
Millbank quoted three professors who profess to have professional experience enabling them to evaluate and profess the intelligence of professional politicians by listening to eight-second sound bites.
University of Virginia social psychologist Jonathan Haidt said his long-distance analysis scientifically proves that Obama is a brilliant social and political analyst, which makes it difficult for him to differentiate between reality and political correctness.
"Just as tenured professors and left-wing political columnists tend to do, overly intelligent politicians generally opt for political correctness," Haidt said. "The reasons are complex but usually center around a paralysis of thought. A surfeit of conflicting thoughts competing for attention in an overly intelligent person's integratively complex brain typically results in a response to adopt a premise that is held by a majority of educated peers."
Haidt said the president is too intelligent to understand simple truths, such as the first rule of economics — the law of supply and demand.
"President Obama is so smart, for example, that he cannot fathom the relationship between the supply of crude oil and the price of gasoline," he said. "He understandably believes that cancelling oil and gas leases in the West, preventing oil exploration and extraction in the Arctic, and placing a moratorium on new oil wells in the Gulf will lead to lower prices at the pump. That is because our great leader is so prescient that he foresees that a lack of fossil fuels will lead to a higher demand for less efficient sources of energy, such as solar panels and wind generators."
Haidt said a simple thinker, such as President George W. Bush, tends to make a better president because he adopts standards and sticks to them.
"Once a simple thinker adopts a belief, such as lower taxes lead to a more robust economy, he tends to take actions that support that belief," he said. "A complex thinker will constantly change his mind as he sorts through the pros and cons of every decision, and in extreme cases will postpone decisions indefinitely in order to avoid responsibility for taking a stand."
Harvard math professor Kent Count said he has calculated that President Obama is the most intelligent chief executive in American history. He did so by counting the number of words he uses to make a point, giving extra credit for using hesitation words that allow for deeper thought, such as "uh" and "um." His scoring system rewards the use of multi-syllabic, seldom-used words and incomprehensibility.
"Some uneducated people cannot understand why President Obama and former presidential candidates John Kerry and Al Gore received poorer grades and had lower IQ test results than George Bush," Count said. "The reason is simple. Bush sees things in black and white, which is how testing is done. Politicians on the far left tend to see things in shades of gray and, therefore, rely on consensus opinion of others who share their political tendencies. Political correctness, however, doesn't necessarily mean actual correctness."
Philip Tetlock, a professor of psychology with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, said politicians on the far left and far right tend to be simple thinkers, while those in the center right or center left tend to be complex thinkers.
"President Obama was the most liberal senator in Congress and has been the most left-wing president we've ever had," he said. "So he is probably an exception to the rule. He is obviously so smart that on most issues he disagrees with the majority of Congress as well as most of the American people."
History professor Kenny Reid of Howard University concurred that intelligence has never been the hallmark of successful presidents.
"Our least intelligent presidents have been our most successful presidents," he said. "Virtually all journalists and political commentators in the 1980s agreed that Ronald Reagan was stupid, but he succeeded in turning around the economy, freeing millions of people from communism and reducing the prices of airline tickets and phone service. If he had been any dumber, he would have accomplished even more."
Dr. Eve L. Mann, professor of social adaptability at the University of Oregon, said President Obama is so smart that he has no friends who can compete with him intellectually.
"The president's intellectual loneliness makes him socially inept," Mann said. "He often is the only one laughing at his own jokes because nobody else gets them."
White House Recreation Director Anna Graham said the president is so smart that his favorite pastimes are games that challenge the mind.
"He is always working on a sudoku, crossword, palindrome or anagram," she said. "He also likes golf because it's a mind game. He likes mind games."
Harvard pyschologist Baye Keane Sota said Obama's refusal to release his original birth certificate for three years was the result of his overly intelligent analysis of public opinion.
"The president perceived that declining to release his birth records would eventually cast aspersions on his political opponents, who would stupidly question his reasons," Sota said. "Now he is refusing to release his college records for the same reason. This brilliant tactic allows his supporters to call anybody who questions him a racist."
Tetlock points out that President Obama is so smart that, unlike most politicians, he seldom "updates his beliefs after finding evidence that disproves his preconceptions" and lacks the ability to "predict probable outcomes with accuracy."
"A really smart politician, such as our 44th president, is intelligent enough to think of a variety of explanations for various phenomena," he said. "
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