Who Is The Smartest?

Discussion in 'History' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    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?
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. glew
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    glew BANNED

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    Great question PC! I'm not sure Reagan was the smartest, but he had the perfect combo of brains and integrity...Not a lot of people know that he was an FDR democrat. He changed to Republican when he started educating himself and realized that communists were trying to infiltrate the Dems through the labor movement...He was also the president of the screen actors guild and saw communists trying to use propaganda in Hollywood...He was part of the blacklisting of Hollywood. One thing is for sure...the man never wavered in his principles and I have the utmost respect for him because of that. Also, I have this sneaking suspicion that behind that "awe shucks" persona, was the mind of a VERY shrewd man.
     
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  3. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    Smart is an elusive word. Certinly intelligance does not mean smart. I think to quantify someone as smart you have to catagorize the area in which they are smart; street smarts, political smarts (Which is what I take it you are talking about here), buisness smart, money smart.

    IQ is not a real good measuring stick for smarts or for intelligance.

    Politically, Reagan was very smart, he surrounded himself with smart savvy people. FDR was politically smart too but so many times Presidents are defined by things that they have no control over. Without WWII, FDR and his governemtnal expansion may have put him with Grant or Hoover. But WWII rescued FDR and paved the way for the global explosion of US domination.
     
  4. mdn2000
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    I shook Senator Moynihan's hand, it was outside the Smithsonian, he was going, after it closed, on a Sunday. A woman was begging for money to help the movement to help the Arab/Palestinians, Moynihan stated he was a Senator, new the problem better than her, and walked away.

    I walked up and thanked the Senator for his work and he shook my hand.
     
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  5. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    George H. W. Bush, for me, was the 'smartest' of political beings. Tremendously experienced in a variety of positions and tasks and leadership in business and government. Tried to be a Centrist before Bill Clinton was a Centrist. Marvelous coalition builder. Undone by economic conditions beyond his control. Looks good at Houston Astros games.
     
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  6. mdn2000
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    mdn2000 BANNED

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    And just like his dad gave my money from my pocket to Savings and Loans to bail out the bad loans, George jr. did the same for banks.
     
  7. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Are you sure?
    Check this out:
    Consider the following pluses for FDR( from The Hundred Days of FDR, by Schlesinger)

    "Who can now imagine a day when America offered no Social Security, no unemployment compensation, no food stamps, no Federal guarantee of bank deposits, no Federal supervision of the stock market, no Federal protection for collective bargaining, no Federal standards for wages and hours, no Federal support for farm prices or rural electrification, no Federal refinancing for farm and home mortgages, no Federal commitment to high employment or to equal opportunity - in short, no Federal responsibility for Americans who found themselves, through no fault of their own, in economic or social distress?"
    http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/11/26/specials/schlesinger-hundred.html
     
  8. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Hate to say it....but in ability to understand the world political climate, economy, American political system. I'd have to go with Nixon. His extreme paranoia was his downfall

    In understanding the political system and how to drive home a deal....LBJ

    In terms of overall political saavy, integrity, honesty and vision...Hubert Humphrey
     
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  9. JakeStarkey
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    Nixon was a towering mind that had dark corners in which thingies skittered. The greatest foreign policy president bar none. The greatest communist hunter who had no use for McCarthy, though he knew better than to oppose him. A pragmatist who was willing to gamble on price controls during stagflation. And absolute will to do what needed to be done in his twisted mind.
     
  10. mdn2000
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    Nixon was not radical, nor paranoid, Kissinger worked for Rockefeller, Kissinger got rid of Nixon, Rockefeller became vice president under Ford.

    A politician's paranoia is based on the fact that the opposite party is out to get em.
     

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