Not often thought about... Rod Dreher: What if they're not smart enough? | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Points "Yes, we can!" says Barack Obama at every turn, and why shouldn't he? It's a deeply American sentiment. We Americans are romantic egalitarians by nature. We like to think that ours is the land of opportunity, where anyone can succeed if he just works hard enough. But what if it's not true? No rational person would believe that every child born has the same chance to become Tony Romo or Tiger Woods. Some have more opportunity to develop their athletic talents, of course, but it's obvious that there are natural limits to an individual's physical abilities. This is not even controversial. But we aren't allowed to say openly that some people are flat-out more intelligent than others, though it's not hard to find evidence for this. In fact, you wouldn't have to look much further than my math grades in high school to see that I was not MIT material and never would be. I barely passed college math. So what? I excelled in classes that required verbal skill and found my vocation as a writer. Had I been pushed to go into engineering or a field that required a mathematical mind, I would have been fighting my own natural limits and miserable. There's no shame in discovering one's limits and learning to succeed within the boundaries set by nature. The fictional town of Lake Wobegon and the candyland of No Child Left Behind are the only happy-clappy utopias where all children are above average. It is a false, even cruel, egalitarianism that leads people to believe otherwise. If it's true that quite a few Americans are incapable of doing serious college work, our nation has to face some serious moral questions. In fact, the social justice of the globalized economic system comes directly into play. Globalizers of the left and right keep saying that American workers have to be re-educated and retrained to compete in a world market in which manufacturing jobs move overseas. But what happens to workers who lack the cognitive abilities to do the higher-level "knowledge" work the new economy requires of them? A thought experiment: What if staying competitive in the globalizing economy required developing a stronger back? What if the economists told lawyers, professors, paper-pushers and other nerdlings they were going to have to spend a lot more time at the gym to develop the muscles of longshoremen – or get left behind? Would this be the insult that made a man out of Mac? As if. The nerdling would be able to improve his strength to a certain degree, but to tell him his physical limits are defined only by his desires and will to succeed is to play a cruel hoax on him.