In another thread, our friend Jillian suggested “maybe if you picked smart people???” In the context of the post, and in the usual parameters of the USMB, this means ‘my side is smart, yours not so much.” So, I thought we should discuss what ‘smart’ means… 1. First, let’s dispense with the usual claim by the left that their pols are brilliant…case in point: Jimmy Carter. His IQ is regularly quoted to be 175. Based on his performance as President, and since, either IQ is meaningless, or his number is bogus: brother Billy was the savant in that family. 2. Bill Clinton is considered way up there as well…and I find little to quibble with there…But I would place Clinton in…to coin a phrase, the “Political Arista,” (In New York, we call our school honor society ‘Arista.’ based on his acquiescence to the wisdom of the people, his use of ‘Triangulation.” 3. Some choose to define smart based on insufficient data, and superficial characteristics…such as speaking ability, or lack thereof. This and the previous administration will be seriously re-evaluated as time and distance from them increases. My criterion for admission to the Political Arista centers on these three individuals, their vision for the country, within the context of history. 4. FDR, a master politician, who left his mark on our nation, in many propitious directions. But one glaring error diminished FDR... a. FDR, in trying to apply the equality voiced by the Constitution to economics, had to modify the free-market system: capitalism, with its focus on individual wealth, not equality of wealth. b. The two views: the rights of man vs. the rights of men. FDR fought for the latter. 5. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, for me, the smartest Democrat ever elected. A self-described ‘birthright Democrat,’ and deep thinker in social policy, many of the problems we face today could have been resolved had Democrats absorbed Moynihan’s ideas. See Daniel Patrick Moynihan | The Economist 6. And, the smartest politician….Ronald Reagan, the most brilliant based on vision and an understanding of history… a. Reagan saw the Cold War as the pivot of history: “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” Ronald Reagan, “Speaking My Mind: Selected Speeches,” p. 26. b. “Look, I am the President of the United States…If we don’t have our security, we’ll have no need for social programs. We’re going to go ahead with these [defense] programs.” Peter Schweitzer, “Reagan’s War: The Epic Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism,” p. 139-140 So, who’s your ‘smartest,’ and why?