A Nation of Intellectual Pygmies

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Listening today to the candidates for the upcoming presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry, each driveling their lackluster verbal pablum, it suddenly hit me as to just why our choices for President have been increasingly disheartening, disillusioning, and demoralizing.

We are raising a nation of intellectual pygmies.

People no longer choose the best candidate – they choose the least bad candidate. It’s like the junkie channel surfer, clicking desperately from channel to channel, hoping to find that one show which doesn’t suck too badly until they can repeat the process at the top of the hour.

So too our choices for president – we as a nation are now being forced to vote not for the best candidate, but for the candidate who will suck the least. Because these are men who offer sound bytes, not wisdom, and whose trade is in insults not intellectual discourse.

Blather, rinse, repeat.

And do you know why? It’s because you simply can’t get a good, classical education in America any more. Our candidates are but a product of the educational environment we have created, and what we have created doesn’t even begin to teach true critical thinking, philosophy, reflection, values and ethics.

We no longer value real scholarship.

We no longer train intellectuals.

Presidents past, and I mean way past, were men of deep thought as well as action. They were well-educated, well-versed, and well-rounded. They were deep thinkers.

The candidates of today have no idea how to be deep, critical thinkers. That is what made Clinton such an attractive candidate to so many – he was, in fact, one of the few intellectuals to run in modern day (and I say that as someone who did not vote for him).

We have created a nation of intellectual pygmies.

We deserve the president we get.

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