America’s anger with intelligence
By Jerry Mazza
Oct 14, 2008, 00:21
I’m not talking about the CIA-brand of intelligence. I’m talking about the Barack Obama brand of intelligence, a gift that won him scholarships to America’s top colleges, that brought him to the classroom as a professor, that left his Democratic presidential hopefuls in the dust, and last Wednesday night left John McCain clenching his jaws in palpable anger, stalking off the stage shortly after the debate’s end, while Obama lingered with his wife, talking, joking, posing for pictures, signing autographs with members of the audience.
It’s that feeling Obama has of being comfortable in his own skin, no mean feat as pundits predict his blackness gives him a built-in six-point deficit. Nevertheless, there was Obama, unflustered by the lies or half-truths McCain was serving up. Obama was serving up his truth, articulate, thoughtful as ever, bonding with his audience. What was it all about, McCain’s rage? Was it America’s rage at intelligence?
The Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain document the fact McCain lost five US Navy Aircraft. Their opening sally is that “Navy pilot John Sidney McCain III should have never been allowed to graduate from the U.S. Navy flight school. He was a below average student and a lousy pilot. Had his father and grandfather not been famous four-star U.S. Navy admirals, McCain III would have never been allowed in the cockpit of a military aircraft . . .
“Robert Timberg, author of The Nightingale’s Song, a book about Annapolis graduates and their tours in Vietnam, wrote that McCain ‘learned to fly at Pensacola, though his performance was below par, at best good enough to get by. He liked flying, but didn’t love it.’”
Additionally, McCain’s fourth lost aircraft was responsible for the USS Forrestal mishap, in which 134 sailors were killed in 1967. Was that the source of McCain’s anger? He wanted to be allowed to fail in peace and not have to follow in the footsteps of a four-star admiral father and four-star admiral grandfather?
Is that why McCain grimaces at the all-grown up, jovial Barack, once a poor kid whose Kenyan father abandoned him, who was raised by his white mom (who died of cancer at 53) and raised with his sister by dutiful grandparents, the kid who climbed over every obstacle life handed him, while McCain stumbled over every privilege put in his path to succeed?
Haven’t we learned after eight years of a 91 IQ for president, that there was some relation to that number with all the bad, half-thought out decisions to rush into the War on Terror without an investigation, to preemptively invade Afghanistan, then veer off course after failing to catch the Bin Laden boogeyman and jump into a preemptive, illegal war in Iraq, and then do our best to irritate Iran, North Korea, and Russia no less in the infamous South Ossetia incident, blaming Russia for attacking Georgia, not Georgia for attacking South Ossetia, which was under Russia’s protection, a sphere of influence like Georgia itself.
How many dumb, dumber and dumbest decisions do we have to suffer from, go broke from, including the latest: the $700 billion must-have-right-now bailout of Wall Street that sank the market a net 292 points the next business day? Why does America, including the Congress, buy the lies? Why do the smartest people in Congress, which include Dennis Kucinich, get ignored, and passed over for the dummies? Do Americans feel more comfortable with a president who can barely form a sentence let alone an original thought? Do they identify? Are they more comfortable with Bush’s proven Iraq lies, 9/11 myths, faux “surge” success?
Does Obama, dispensing facts gracefully, without skipping a beat, holding the syntax of his sentence, the agreement of subjects and verbs, insult an undereducated audience somehow, even as he reaches out to help them; this while a lying trash-talking Sarah Palin, winking, grimacing, clucking her lips, playing cutesy grabs their attention, seemingly so much “them,” a sister in the dumb-hood, having used up six colleges, including two junior colleges, to get one degree. Have you noticed she says “nucular” too, not nuclear, duh. Is it that hard?
Why don’t we embrace intelligence? Look at our country’s forefathers, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, on and on, brilliant men. And look at Lincoln, self-educated, a lawyer by porfession, author of the Emancipation Proclamation that finally freed all those souls the Revolution had left behind.
Intelligence is a good thing, not a thing to fear. Perhaps the so-called faith-based folks feel too challenged by the weight of science, philosophy, great literature, anything that’s not out of the intellectual microwave and that took 60 seconds to heat and eat. In New York City, Sarah would be surprised how many hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball moms we have with multiple degrees, full-time, high-powered careers, who love their kids deeply. Maybe that’s why people keep coming here. An incredible diversity of people, languages, cultures, and religions, and a remarkable shortage of witch doctors to help us climb the ladders of success.
But then Barack Hussein Obama ended up in Chicago, the New York of the Midwest, thriving with a similar diversity. Perhaps that diversity aids in constructing intelligence. From an early age, we see how different people have wonderful gifts, contributions to make, songs to sing and poems to write. And we all have to squeeze together in 305 square miles of city, flowing into nearby suburbs, bedroom communities. We ain’t out on the tundra a-helicopterin’ for wolf and moose prey. Maybe if we didn’t have nearby markets, we would. But to do it for sport, hell no.
It is integral to real intelligence to reach out for the new, the different, the diverse. Yet there has been a reaction against intelligence, from science to the arts, in the past eight years that’s rolling us back to the Stone Age. A witch doctor casting a spell on a poor woman in an African village, chasing her out, and then crimes goes down? Really? Another pearl from Palin. No wonder she made Saturday Night Live in about two weeks.
So, let me say it, this anti-intelligence, anti-intellectual attitude can only weigh us down. I’m not talking about a nation of 170 plus I.Q.’s like Clinton or Carter either. I’m talking about acceptance of the gifted as the gifted must accept the hearts and souls and lives of others. Intelligence in fact is programmed to know that, and not exploit the differences. It’s a determining factor of intelligence. Not the other way around, purposefully exclusionary.
So John, Senator McCain, sir, your anger, your rage is actually a national security concern. See the DVD right here of what your friends, colleagues, and constituents say. You scare them. They don’t want you near the button or the red phone at 3 a.m. Smarts counts. Erratic behavior does not. Make peace, with yourself and the rest of the world. Learn to speak not bomb, bomb, bomb. You’ve got the whole world in your hands, maybe. It ain’t a grenade. Look at your opposition, his proud wife, two lovely kids, his tolerance even of you as you glare at him. That’s smart. That’s intelligence. And I wish to hell America, from top to bottom, appreciates it. One more dummy and we’re done for, prey to the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, and the whole backstage cast of would-be masters.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at email@example.com. Look for his new book, “State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com.
Outside the Box
The road to truth is long, and lined the entire way with annoying bastards.
The Universe has an obliging nature and is reflexive. It can provide proof for any cosmological scheme, scientific or mystical, foisted upon it.-Mann & Sutton, "Giants of Gaia"