Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – June 1, 2012

Perhaps Mitt Romney isn’t as smart as he wants us to believe. Upon clinching the Republican presidential nomination he thought it was a great idea to stand next to Donald Trump and push his personal mute button while The Donald resumed his birther rant. And speaking of Donald Trump, what is wrong with this man anyway? Does he just think that the American electorate is dumber than the proverbial bag of hammers? And this just in….anthropologists have discovered that the heads of Americans have gotten larger in the past one hundred years. What we need to know is whether Americans have gotten any smarter.

The Contagion of Stupidity

We can assume that Rick Perry was nowhere near Mitt Romney when he won the Texas primary this past week because he got lost on the way. But why Mitt Romney thought it was a good idea to stand hip and thigh and cheek and jowl with The Donald is beyond comprehension.

An alleged billionaire who wears horrendous hairpieces and produces reality television shows while finding a way to monetize his failures by promoting his eponymous brand seems to be an odd help mate on the road to the White House. Donald Trump has made extensive and brilliant use of the bankruptcy laws of this country, but I am not certain how this qualifies his endorsement to be of great value in these challenging economic times.

What is even more puzzling, and troublesome, is that Mitt Romney stood by silently while The Donald exhumed the long dead and buried birther controversy. Like Frankenstein, this monster of a myth just won’t die, at least on the Planet Trump.

The reasonably sane people of America, even those who will vote against Barack Obama, have departed this theater of the absurd a long time ago.
Mitt Romney could have showed some courage, leadership and common sense by distancing himself from the truly stupid stew served up by The Donald. But he chose to pass on making any comment.

This was not Mitt’s Profiles In Courage moment.

The Trouble with Trump

Ever since he shrewdly used his father’s fortune and political linkages to promote his first real estate project, Donald Trump has relentlessly flogged the self-made legend of his own genius. Failed ventures, half baked and half finished monuments to his own ego, multiple bankruptcies, and armies of irate bondholders, phalanxes of disappointed investors and legions of abandoned contractors have done nothing to deter Donald Trump from proclaiming himself The Greatest of All Time. Trump makes Muhammad Ali look as modest as a Buddhist monk.

All this would just be more good clean fun in the United States of Stupid except that some people, too many people, take this pompous blowhard seriously. Donald Trump comes from the school of thought that says if you make a lot of money, no matter how, that means that you are smart and are entitled to bestow your opinions upon the poorer, unwashed masses.

Why anyone would value The Donald’s opinion on the anything other than the finer points of three card Monte is incomprehensible. Perhaps the mainstream media should try refraining from regurgitating the noxious spew that emanates from The Donald and see if anyone really misses him.

Big Heads in America

Sometimes a news story comes in that leaves me scratching my head – literally. Anthropologists have determined that the size of American skulls has increased significantly during the past one hundred years. A late twentieth century American head is just a lot bigger than an American head in the early nineteenth century.

This begs the question – have Americans gotten any smarter? During the nineteenth century Americans established the primacy of the federal government, abolished slavery and began to institute compulsory, free public education. I wonder how any of these initiatives would fare in twenty first century America.

Of course nineteenth century Americans engaged in the wholesale genocide of Native Americans and the Ku Klux Klan was founded in that same century, so it wasn’t all good by any means.

Still the question remains, have Americans gotten any smarter?

Have a great weekend!