Okay, here’s the CYA: I don’t mean the title literally. Take it like that Zen saying about killing the Buddha if you meet him in the road; I mean we should not listen to any more “C” students on any topic whatsoever.
The current trend of mediocre students actually running things reminds me of an old joke:
Three guys get to heaven. St. Peter interviews each one in turn. He asks each the same question, “What is your IQ?” The first guy answers, “145.” “Great,” says St. Peter, “You go over with that group that’s currently discussing the Unified Field Theory and Where Einstein Went Wrong.”
Then St. Pete asks the second guy, “What’s your IQ?” and the guy answers, “110.” “Okay,” says Pete, “you go over with that group that’s talking about sports and lawn care and family matters.”
Then St. Pete asks the third guy, “What’s your IQ?” and the third guy answers, slowly, “ummmm, 82.” And St. Peter says, “How ’bout them Broncos?”
That joke would be funnier if it weren’t for the fact that the “how ’bout them Broncos” guys are in charge. Why else would we be stuck in Iraq where the “quick war” was begun with no clear plan to ever end it, not to mention with no clearly justifiable excuse for starting it, and where “leadership” was made to be a synonym for “decicisiveness” even though the decisions made were, as is easy to see now and as was pointed out at the time, inappropriate and unnecessary? Why else would there even be a debate anywhere on whether something called “Intelligent Design” or “Scientific Creationism” should be taught in schools? Those are mediocre concepts, all three of them, but we’re deep into it all.
Saddam Hussein needed removed from office, that’s certainly true. But he could have been removed for a whole lot less money and effort if we’d been sneaky and quiet about it. For that matter, from the point of view of the USA, he didn’t need removed right then: it could’ve waited until after we captured Bin Ladin, which we might’ve done if we weren’t pouring so many resources into making Iraq over in our own image. (Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just that we’re doing it at a time when it would be better for us to concentrate our efforts on, oh, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, just to pull a couple examples out of my ear.)
Hussein and Bin Laden dream of a similar thing: Pan-Arabic unity and world influence. The big difference is that Hussein envisions a secular Arab state, whereas Bin Ladin pushes for the ultimate Jihad and triumph of Islamic law. The meetings between Hussein and Bin Laden’s people were almost certainly called by Hussein, and almost certainly came to nothing so far as he was concerned. He may even have been willing to budge a bit, but Bin Ladin, being the idealist that he is, was not and is not willing to concede a millimeter of philosophical ground. Thus, as was predicted by those evil leftists two years or more ago, we now have a fertile breeding ground for religious extremists in Iraq where before there was no threat from that quarter at all. This is all because we have been listening to “C” students instead of thinking for ourselves.
Another bad thing about “C” students is that they can’t really win by honest competition, so they resort to one form or another of cheating. In the past couple of decades this cheating has been in the form of disinformation, doublespeak in fact, promulgated primarily by one faction of one party. They got so good at it that they managed to almost elect their man once (they had to get the Supreme Court to finish the job) and then to actually elect him four years later. Note that the guys in charge of the disinformation aren’t “C” students, but “B” students with questionable ethical codes. They work for the “C” students, though, enabling the mediocrity to continue unabated.
There is some hope. Heck, there is always some hope. There have been articles recently about it now being cool to be a nerd. Harry Potter, best selling character of all time, is, as he says himself, “not cool.” He’s got brains though and he’s a role model for many millions. But that’s only a glimmer of hope. I was disheartened today to hear the congressional speeches given in regard to the recent Supreme Court nomination. None of the speakers could put words together in any compelling way. They all, on both sides, sounded either overly strident or, frankly, dead. I’m not sure how I know how a dead white guy sounds, except there are those examples in government that you can see every day on the news. Maybe they’re not really dead, but they look dead, and that’s all I have to go on. I remembered the great words from the founders of the Republic, and from Lincoln, Roosevelt, heck Kennedy (not much of a President but a great speaker) and Reagan (same as Kennedy, current deification campaigns notwithstanding.) Bill Frist couldn’t raise interest if he was reading a list of next year’s Triple Crown winners; Harry Reid is a bit better, but only a bit, even if he did grow up just down the road from where I live. It seems like anyone wanting to be a leader in government should learn to express himself or herself well, but obviously those who enter that sort of service don’t agree with my assessment.
I don’t know, but maybe that’s because they’re “C” students.