Accuracy in Media

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce,” Karl Marx once asserted, and this is especially true of Democratic Party election strategies.

Marx’s comment accurately describes the farcical way Democrats and many media outlets are going back to the method used for the last 80 years: pretend the Democrat is smart, while the Republican is a primitive, an idiot.

“How the ‘Stupid Party’ Created Donald Trump” (Max Boot, NY Times) is the latest installment in this farcical production, and it sums up how many in the media (and some anti-Trump conservatives) would like to frame the 2016 presidential election.

Remember how presidential historian Michael Beschloss announced that Barack Obama was the smartest president ever—an analysis Beschloss made without looking at Obama’s IQ scores or academic record (which are still being kept secret).

It was also an analysis made even before Obama served one day as president—almost as dumb as giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for brilliant peace making that has now moved the world to disaster on so many fronts.

“This is a guy whose IQ is off the charts—I mean you cannot say that he is anything but a very serious and capable leader,” declared Beschloss in a radio interview show with Don Imus, before Obama took office.

“He’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President,” said the historian, surveying history before it did not happen.

Such stupidity in describing or predicting Democrats as brilliant is nothing new.

In the 1930’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt was described as brilliant, while Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover (blamed for the Depression) was depicted as a bumbler, though FDR’s economic policies are now seen as making the Depression worse.

Actually, people who got to know FDR well were less convinced of his intellectual brilliance and more his conversational sparkle—the reason Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said FDR had a first-rate attitude and a second-rate mind.

If racism is a mark of second-rate mind, then Roosevelt fit the bill. FDR held racist views towards Japanese and towards Jews, and he largely ignored reports sent to him by ex-President Hoover, an expert on refugees, about Germany’s Holocaust polices in 1941. Hoover, it seems, was not a bumbler, but a prescient and conscientious observer.

In 1952 and 1956, Adlai Stevenson was depicted  by the press as ever-so much smarter than Dwight Eisenhower, the man who ran the invasion of Europe on D-Day, and the media did not quite reveal the story that Stevenson flunked out of  Harvard law school—a secret protected by Harvard’s dean who did not release Stevenson’s records.

Does Stevenson’s Harvard story sound a bit like Obama’s Columbia story?

After the Democrats’ Harvard-trained Stevenson came Harvard-trained John Kennedy whose book “Profiles in Courage” was actually researched and written by Kennedy’s speechwriter Ted Sorenson.

Does the questionable authorship of Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage sound a bit like the questionable Obama authorship of his two semi-fictional auto-biographies which seem to have a great deal of input from Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright? Do smart Democrats really need that kind of help writing books?

Over the years, many TV entertainers have also contributed to the Republicans-are-dumb-Democrats-are-smart myth.

David Letterman led nightly jokes about President George W. Bush’s ability to mangle words, but this did not prove that Bush was stupid, only that he was not a good speaker.

Conversely, Barack Obama’s sonorous voice and his or Michelle Obama’s ability to sing karaoke songs does not prove they are brilliant thinkers—only that they can do karaoke and teleprompter.

On a weekly basis, Saturday Night Live’s Chevy Chase opened his show by depicting President Gerald Ford as a clumsy bumbler falling over himself—something which helped the election of Jimmy Carter, a man whose smart and nimble policies included believing in the moderation of Soviet chief Leonid Brezhnev and Iran’s ayatollahs.

“I learned more about the Soviet Union today than I ever have before,” Carter reportedly said after learning of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Somehow we never heard jokes about Carter’s stupidity or naiveté.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have shown similarly naïve trust of Vladimir Putin and the Iranian ayatollahs, even as both pursue aggressive policies—Putin invading his neighbors, the Iranians directing terror attacks as well as atomic bomb and missile programs. Does this make Obama and Clinton smarter than Donald Trump?

Cartoonist Thomas Nast, created the image of the Republicans as ponderous elephants, with Democrats as stubborn donkeys—an image both parties accepted.

Today, Democrats and their media pals keep pumping the idea that GOP elephants are all dumb, and that Trump is a failed version of “Dumbo”—an elephant that could have flown but crashed under the weight of dumb self-inflicted error.

Further, the Democrats would have us believe that all the Donkeys are wise, but the people may decide that they prefer NOT to be led by smart asses.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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