A Dumb Blog

Okay, would everyone who responds to articles on the Internet please stop calling those they disagree with “Dumb?” Such characterizations aren’t helpful in the least. “George W. Bush was so dumb that (fill in the blank) had to do his thinking for him.” “Barack Obama is so dumb, he can’t read a speech without a teleprompter.” What provoked my ire today was that Newt Gingrich gave some kind of speech at a brain research facility, and some people started making jokes about Republicans and brain research.

It’s getting old.

Do you dislike Gingrich, Bush, or Obama? Fine. Explain why in a coherent and balanced way, and you might help someone else form an opinion. Indulge in personal attacks, and what have you accomplished? It’s divisive, and it’s unfair. Gingrich was a history professor, Bush has degrees from Harvard and Yale, and Obama was a law professor. They are not dumb.

Does Gingrich make extreme proposals, did Bush stumble through speeches, did Obama look lost without a teleprompter? Yes. So say those things, and let people decide for themselves.

Regarding the speeches: In fairness to both the Republican and the Democrat–have YOU ever tried to make a speech in front of cameras that would broadcast to millions of watchers? Have you ever had to give a speech with some kind of assistance (PowerPoint or cue cards) and lost it during your speech? Would you end up looking lost and confused?

Did Gingrich once suggest that the federal government should provide laptops for all poor kids? Did he more recently suggest that such kids should go to work as janitors, so they could learn responsibility? Yes. Is he a stupid man for having these ideas? Not necessarily. Even smart people can have flawed proposals. You can make the argument that some of Gingrich’s views undermine his claim to support the idea of limited government, but that doesn’t mean you have to engage in personal attacks.