Wednesday, September 29, 2004

In Canada They're Called "Smarties"

Earlier this week Bush mocked Kerry by saying that the latter could "debate himself." The administration got a lot of mileage out of that one, but what a sad comment on their attitude toward intelligence. I mean, I get the joke, but isn't this also a roundabout way of trashing introspection, deliberation, critical consciousness? Shouldn't we have the ability to "debate ourselves" before making any important decision? Otherwise, aren't we just going through the motions?

Speaking of the role of intelligence in this campaign:

Scientists Appear to Tilt Toward Kerry

"First came the report accusing the Bush administration of politicizing science. Then came the letter from a bipartisan group of Nobel laureates endorsing John Kerry for president.

Now, from laboratories, classrooms, and boardrooms, comes Scientists and Engineers for Kerry, a group of researchers intent on unseating President Bush. Its goal: to recruit scientists and students to write letters and deliver speeches supporting the Kerry campaign."

Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1

And then there's this great piece by David Corn. A sample: "The Bush team has done a marvelous job of infantilizing the campaign. With Bush the Big Daddy you will be safe; with Kerry the Big Weenie, you are in peril. It’s that simple, and Bush and his lieutenants push simplicity as the ultimate virtue. They promote strength and steadfastness as the Olympian ideals—regardless of the ends to which these traits are applied—and deride thought, analysis and re-evaluation as evidence of impotence." And: "In my darker moments, I’ve often said that human interaction doesn’t evolve all that much past high school. In this campaign, the Bush clique is doing all it can to prove this theory correct. But it is the rest of the kids—I mean, the voters—who will determine if the politics of derision, big lying, fear mongering, simplicity and immaturity will work."

Smart guy.

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