In a column last week, 19FortyFive.com senior writer Harrison Kass asks why, since the presidency is considered “the hardest job in the world,” America doesn’t elect smarter people as president.
Well, that might depend on how someone defines “smart.”
What matters more for a chief executive and commander-in-chief, a college degree or common sense?
Kass argues that in the last 40 years, American presidents have been “concerningly” “trending away from intellect.”
That’s only “concerningly” if one believes having intellectuals as President is a good thing.
There is always a risk in falling into the trap that the only people who should lead are the ones who excelled enough in university to become an “expert.”
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that expertise and all the degrees in the world don’t make for good policy decisions.
Kass believes this “pivot” “away from intellect” began when Americans overwhelmingly elected Ronald Reagan, the guy who ended the cold war and ushered in an economic boom that lasted well into Bill Clinton’s first term in office.
While Kass concedes that Ronald Reagan wasn’t by any measure a stupid man, he argues that Reagan wasn’t “generally regarded” as being smart the same way Woodrow Wilson was.
Thank heaven for that.
While Woodrow Wilson might have been a university president, his tenure in office ushered in deeply dangerous “progressive” policies that have done long-term damage to the country.
The same could be said for Harvard Law grad, Barack Obama.
From his column, it doesn’t appear that Kass is claiming the presidents since Reagan were all stupid. Instead, he seems to view them as men who downplayed their intellect or had their intellect downplayed by the media.
Although, he does argue that former President Trump had “questionable intellect,” but adds that the media’s portrayal of Trump as a complete idiot is over the top.
You can read his column HERE.