Monday, October 4, 2010

Intellectuallism vs. Wisdom

 Could the reason the Iffy Waffle is not resonating with Canadians is that he's smart but not wise?
Monte Solberg is spot on again in his  commentary pointing out that being an intellectual is not the same as being wise. He says Iffy may be smart but not necessarily wise.
Lately several commentators have criticized the Conservatives for being anti-intellectual, citing the attacks on Michael Ignatieff’s Harvard background.
I certainly can’t speak for all Conservatives, but in my case it’s totally true! I’m guilty as charged. I’m anti-intellectual.
However, in my defence, I draw a sharp distinction between meddlesome intellectuals, and those sensible and learned people who, conservative thinker Russell Kirk argued, should really be described as scholars.
Conservatives are not opposed to people who spend their lives doing research, writing, teaching and reading books. Society is immensely better off for their contributions. Personally, I would be quite happy to read books all day in my unscholarly way.
The real problem is those people who read the wrong books, arrive at the wrong conclusions, and who would foist their weird theories on the rest of us. You know, garbage in, garbage out, followed by now we have to live in the dumpster.
Those commentators don’t seem to get that being intelligent is not necessarily the same thing as being wise. Yet we’ve all met that well-educated person who would be proud to be called an intellectual and was, in fact, a pontificating fool.
That’s why Conservatives believe we should rely on humanity’s experience to guide our lives, as opposed to listening to intellectuals. Intellectuals are always prepared to toss out the wisdom of the ages for a new system that some social scientist cooked up last week. They think that makes them progressive.
Thank goodness that, most of the time, intellectuals just find ways to make government bigger, which is bad enough. Sometimes, though, intellectuals are wildly successful and we end up with everything from communism and the Soviet gulags, to the belief all cultures are equal, at least until someone gets stoned to death.
Now, understand that I am not at all suggesting Michael Ignatieff falls into that unpleasant category where all the murdering took place. I’m just saying intellectualism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. At best, it’s big government busybodies telling us how we should live. At its worst, it’s a scourge.
In Canada, the last intellectual prime minister we had was Pierre Trudeau and both Liberal and Conservative governments have spent years undoing his ruinous economic policies, and reversing his centralizing tendencies. His once ballyhooed policy of official multiculturalism is clearly destined for the dustbin.
Only the Charter has survived, more or less unscathed, though it vomits up new surprises almost every week.
In the end, I’ll take wise and measured over brilliant intellectual any day, and, right now, so will the Canadian people.
The Liberals have figured that out too. That’s why the Liberals are trying hard to cover up Harvard Iggy by putting him in that plaid shirt and teaching him to say “double-double.”
Unfortunately for him, it’s not working. In Question Period he’s still as dry as toast. He still seems to be without humour, the human touch, and, by definition, humidity.
Being as objective as I can be, he still comes across as the same lecturing intellectual, no matter how many times he poses with that cup of Tim Hortons’ coffee.
I agree with Monte, I'll take wise over intellectual any day too!
Here is just the latest example of Iffy's smarts that aren't particularly wise.
  OTTAWA — Come Jan. 1, federal Liberals will face a gaping $1.8-billion hole in their election platform.
That's because the new year will ring in a 1.5 percentage point cut in the corporate tax rate.
The imminent reduction has Liberal strategists wrestling with how best to make up the resulting loss of tax revenue, which the party has been counting on to pay for leader Michael Ignatieff's promises to invest in things like child care and homecare.
What he and his party want to do would be job killing that's for sure. To roll back the tax cuts would force companies to not hire new employees even most likely cause them to lay off the ones they have.  Not smart or wise!

There is a reason he's not resonating with the public and that is he doesn't have the real life experience that regular people like you and I have.  He's an elite ivory tower academic Russian aristocrat who has never had to struggle to pay the bills or put food on the table.  Yes he's written books, studied and worked at Harvard etc. but that's all he knows. He's arrogant, and condescending.  He doesn't talk to us, he lectures us.  Monte's right no matter how many plaid shirts or how many Timmie's coffee cups he poses with, he'll always be an elitist intellectual.

A successful politician has to be wise not just smart to play the game these days.  That describes our current Prime Minister.  He's both smart and wise. He always catches his opponents off guard wading through the political mine field in a minority government. That's why he's been able to stay in power for the last four years.  He's more in touch with the Tim Horton's crowd than Iffy will ever be.

My husband always quotes this Bible verse each time we pray for PM Harper and his team:

Matthew 10:16 (King James Version)

 16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

For those of us who believe in power of  prayer, pray that PM Harper and his team have the wisdom of Solomon as they  wade through the political mine field each day as they are sheep amongst the wolves.