Thomas Sowell writes a good article answering a Nicholas D. Kristof piece in the NYT that lauds the election of Barack Obama as an end to anti-intellectualism in America. Sowell is not impressed with what is often considered intellectual.
He Are a Graduate
After reading the Kristof opinion I have a few observations of my own.
After his obligatory Bush and Palin bashing and lauding of complexity and nuance, Kristof writes:
As Mr. Obama prepares to take office, I wish I could say that smart people have a great record in power. They don’t. Just think of Emperor Nero, who was one of the most intellectual of ancient rulers — and who also killed his brother, his mother and his pregnant wife; then castrated and married a slave boy who resembled his wife; probably set fire to Rome; and turned Christians into human torches to light his gardens.I feel much better now about our intellectual President-elect. The Lord knows that we don't need another George Washington.
James Garfield could simultaneously write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other, Thomas Jefferson was a dazzling scholar and inventor, and John Adams typically carried a book of poetry. Yet all were outclassed by George Washington, who was among the least intellectual of our early presidents.