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View Poll Results: What is your opinion on George Bush's Intelligence?
He is a genius the idea that he is dumb is perpetuated by a liberal media bias 6 6.19%
He is smart 3 3.09%
He is smart but doesn't come across as such in speeches 22 22.68%
He is a person of average intelligence 38 39.18%
He is a person of below average intelligence 28 28.87%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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George Bush's intelligence...

This isn't meant to start a flame war, and since Iím a newbie i wouldn't want this to be my first impression. However, many people at least here in a blue state seem to believe that Bush is not smart, that is to say dumb. My opinion is that Bush is smart just not a very good speaker, I mean he does have a degree from Yale, and he did well in his SATs. I guess what Iím trying to get at is, what is the importance of a leader that can speak well and/or is smart? Can surrounding yourself with smart people be just as good as having a good leader? In my opinion it is what's missing in the presidency, there have been so many chances for greatness in this administration but I believe they have been wasted by a President that doesn't have the natural leadership skills that transcend party lines, I think that rhetorical skills are very important in that respect. Anyway, I would be interested to know what others think.

P.S. if this has already come up Iím sorry, I tried searching but inputting "George Bush Not Smart" gave something like 500 hits from the ones I saw they didn't seem like the topic I was thinking about.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Note of Warning:

If this thread degenerates into silly name calling, it will be closed and depending on the degree, possible warnings issued.

You veterans know exactly what kind of behavior I am talking about.

If you can actually make a coherent thread worth reading, then go for it.
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Why is it that all the Bush threads get warnings??

I haven't seen any serious childish name calling yet. But I don't monitor this site 24/7 like the mods do so I can't really say.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Seriously I think you should add an option. I'm actually surprised 4 people at this point have voted "he's a genious." I tend to think those responses may have just been in jest.

To be fair, the polar opposite should have been included. Something to the effect of "He may well be the the most retarted person on the face of the planet." I think you'd have many more responses to the poll, and have better insight into how the participants of this thread think. A simple "he's a person of below average intelligence", I think may be somewhat too benign for most who "dislike" President Bush to bother with. 3 positive options for Bush's inelligence for what probably amounts to 7-8 Bush supporters on this board.

I do think it's a good question, but just to encourage the "other side" there should be 3-4 neg. options including:

"He's so dumb,I want him dead - and I want to kill him myself"

"Osama's really grown on me in the last couple of years, I think I might like him a lil bit, he seems like a smart guy, relatively speaking"

things to that effect.

As a Bush supporter, I'm going with he's got at least average intelligence, but he doesn't always look like the sharpest tool in the box whilst speaking in public. A fact exploited by his opponents (as it should be - not a great quality in a president).

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I personally think that Bush is either not very smart at all, or else has used a very interesting political tactic in making himself appealing to a lot of Americans. It is extremely difficult for me to imagine someone growing up in a house with that much money, a father who was involved with the cia, attending yale (and harvard) who speaks that poorly. It really blows my mind. I occasionally wonder whether he essentially speaks "in dialect" so that "average" people aren't intimidated by him. It's one of the top things I hear Bush supporters say "He sounds genuine. He sounds like a regular person. So what if he's not a great orator."

I personally think that it is a very important skill, one that he either lacks or intentionally eschews, and I think it's a major drawback of his. We are supposedly in the middle of a cultural war, a war of democracy and liberty facing the tyrany of a backasswards quasi-middle ages extremist opposition. I think it is very important that the leader of the country be able to articulately express these ideals we are fighting for. I personally feel shortchanged.

The scariest thought to me is when I consider the notion that he really may be all the things I fear: silver spoon elitist spoiled kid grown into an arrogant deluded fundamentalist/imperialist who made it where he is more by $$$ and family connections than merit.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardknock
Why is it that all the Bush threads get warnings??

I haven't seen any serious childish name calling yet. But I don't monitor this site 24/7 like the mods do so I can't really say.
If you think it's only "Bush threads" that get warnings like this, then you haven't been paying attention.

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Overall, I think Bush is about average when compared to the general population, but below average when compared to other modern Presidents.
I think we all know why Bush got into Yale and it wasn't because he was a genius. His SAT score of 1206 was better than the average American, but well below the average Yale student. Of course, the average American probably didn't attend prep school at Phillips Academy.

He majored in History and graduated with a 2.35 GPA. That's not exactly top of the class, but somehow (again, probably not because he was a genius), he got accepted into Harvard Business School.

Of course, that proves very little about his lack of intelligence, which is a hard term to define, much less measure. I think more telling than his lack of academic qualifications is his lack of intellectual curiosity. He just happened to be the son of a future President and that helped propel him to where he is now. I don't think there are too many people who believe George W. Bush would be President were it not for that.

I actually think Bush is a pretty good communicator when it comes to dealing with the people around him. He's not bad at giving speeches when he has to either. He's just not very good when answering questions or doing debates. His failure in that respect is more significant in my opinion than any of his rhetorical missteps.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, someone just sent this to me. Twilight Zone spooky.

/not really.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think he's relatively intelligent, and the way he speaks is a political tactic. I also think it worked; after all, it got him elected twice. Both Gore and Kerry sounded like elitist snobs when speaking and I think it turned off a lot of Americans come voting time.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is an example of what I DIDN'T want.


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Old 10-10-2005, 10:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote removed - lebell
Wasnt the first reply to this a warning about NOT doing that?

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Old 10-11-2005, 04:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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by a number of objective measures (with the exception of speech patterns), the only logical conclusion is that Bush possesses an above-average intelligence. for myself, i believe that Bush is capable of learning to speak well... but simply chooses not to.

for example, both he and his father both say "nukuler" in place of "nuclear". it simply takes a single reminder to inform anyone that they've pronounced the word wrong, but both Bush's continually say the word in error on the world stage. it's either a calculated tactic or something they choose to ignore.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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How do you get a 2.35 at yale? Honestly yale, harvard, and other big ivy league schools are leading the nation in grade inflation. They hand out 4.0s to everyone.

To get a 4.0 at one of these places you need money and influence to get in and an average intelligence.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I voted average intelligence. He has one rare trait. He picks his friends. This is both bad and good. It's mostly served him well, with some glaring exceptions. Personally, I would have voted for a lactating wombat over Bush, both times. But I think we're better off with Bush than Kerry.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew330
To be fair, the polar opposite should have been included. Something to the effect of "He may well be the the most retarted person on the face of the planet." I think you'd have many more responses to the poll, and have better insight into how the participants of this thread think. A simple "he's a person of below average intelligence", I think may be somewhat too benign for most who "dislike" President Bush to bother with. 3 positive options for Bush's inelligence for what probably amounts to 7-8 Bush supporters on this board.
I was thinking about that but I decided to include only one joke option that I thought would satisfy the issue, it's slanted towards he is genius because if I slanted it the other way there might as well not be a poll, I know that many people vehemently hate(loath?) Bush and anyone that wasn't serious about discussing it would simply skew the poll to render it meaningless. Although, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this poll is definitive or even the best poll that could have been made.
Anyway, to the point on hand it wouldn't seem logical at all that if Bush could learn to speak well he wouldn't. I think that Bush like some people just isn't good at giving really big speeches especially ones that are televised, although I have heard from many people that he is supposed to be pretty good in person, don't know if that is true.
As to the idea that George Bush is doing it to sound like a regular person, again that doesn't make sense to me. How could you not want someone who is great at speaking in the white house? I mean what possible advantage could speaking badly have over someone who can actually pronounce words, and get his point across clearly. Is this truly what most people believe, that we need an average Joe president or one that seems like he is? I thought good and great presidents were the ones that inspired, not the ones that confused people by their speeches. If I want anyone to run the country it wouldn't be someone who I believe is average, I want the best qualified and most apt, isnít this what other people want as well?
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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He's either just smart enough or of average intelligence. This is not a slight on the man. Who ever said you had to be a genius or really smart to be President of the USA?

As Poppinjay points out, the man is well connected. THIS is what it takes to get into power.
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pigglet
I occasionally wonder whether he essentially speaks "in dialect" so that "average" people aren't intimidated by him. It's one of the top things I hear Bush supporters say "He sounds genuine. He sounds like a regular person. So what if he's not a great orator."
I can't find any documentation right now, but IIRC, Bush intentionally developed a Texas accent and the speaking rhythms. Again, I recall that he did this after losing his first political race? You certainly don't pick that accent up in Maine or at Yale.
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If Bush had been just any guy, from an average middle class family, I think he probably would have risen about to the level of a Wal Mart manager. Or something equivalent. But not much farther. That assumes that his alcoholism didn't get in the way, and it probably would have.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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By default, democrats think all republican presidents are stupid, about the only one they give any credit to, ironically, is Nixon.

I think of it as substance over style. Talking a good game does not make one smart, but style seems to be highest on the democrat criteria list. You would think that Kerry was a straight A student the way democrats speak of Bush's GPA at the same school, but it turns out they were pretty much both average students. Kerry presented himself as more than he was, and that was enough for people of average intelligence to think he was 'smart'.

I don't want leaders who are good politicians, I want leaders who get the job done.

So please keep thinking that Bush is below average, it makes it easier.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I honestly voted average for the fact that he can handle all of the menial tasks that a president has to go through, but can't really fathom larger issues or at least view them from another perspective. He, or his father, does have te ability to pick his friends and i think that's been good for him, just not good for everyone else on the planet.

And yeah, i don't think i've ever heard of someone getting below a 3.0 at Yale, smart or not.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I do not believe that acting "common" is indeed a strategy of George Bush, although we'd likely all agree that feigning intelligence is much more difficult than feigning ignorance.

That said, I do think that the previous election (since its been discussed previously) was not as directly influenced by Bush's percieved lack of intelligence as it should have been.

Communication and percieved intelligence are one of the most important metrics I have for someone I wish to represent me, as well as lead me. I have never and will never feel comfortable being in a subservient role to someone with less percieved intelligence than me. Likewise, I think this is indicative in the nearly 50/50 split that Bush and Kerry enjoyed. While some prioritize action above communication, some prioritize communication over action. It is more clearly emphasized in comments like "Bush is an idiot" or "Kerry would sit there and talk about it for an hour..", responding respectively to their percieved traits.

Why have I consistently used "percieved intelligence" in place of intelligence? The answer is simple -- intelligence, as I see it, is simply a measurement of how much knowledge you have. An intelligent person can recount facts and details with little to no effort. They've studied many areas, and they're experts or near experts in a variety of disciplines.

What then, is "percieved intelligence"? Percieved intelligence is one of the most important characteristics I believe a person can have, and it is the sum of actual intelligence with communication ability. After all, what use is that intelligence if you cannot effectively share it with your peers? It is of VERY little use.

Coming from a Quality Assurance background, I can offer tons of personal experience with what happens with communication breaks down. It is the glue of our society and our industry, and without it we dissolve into strife and conflict. In my field, programmers are often understandly upset when they program a solution based on a Project Requirement and it is met with "this isn't right!" The problem, however, was the specification -- it was ambigious or unclear and it lead them to reach false conclusions about the purpose of the software. This failure in communication leads to CONFLICT. The process benefits most when more time is spent in communication before an action is started.

This is true in every aspect of life, including one of the most imporant - intimate relationships. If the communication fails, or there is misunderstanding -- it can lead to massive conflicts and even dissolution of the relationship. Again, effective communication BEFORE action can often resolve the issue before it becomes problematic. Therefore, I put a large degree of importance on our ability to communicate with other humans.

What does this mean for Bush? He might be a very intelligent individual, and I believe he has at least average intelligence in order to garner the support he does indeed have. His percieved intelligence? Very far below average.

Why should Bush's overall intelligence be unfairly linked to his communication skills? Because it is everything that an intelligent effectie leader needs. If he can clearly tell underlings and peers what his desires are, how he plans to achieve them, and how they can help -- he becomes far less dominating and much more understanding. Any failure in this communication, via ambiguity or simply incorrect language, appears to be less intelligent. Any other self respecting leader will similarly discount his opinion because he appears to be less intelligent. This causes problems domestically as well as overseas. Anyone who can have a 365 day calendar created of his speech blunders does not deserve to be our communcation liason with the rest of the world.

Why did I vote for Kerry and mark "below average intelligence?" Simply put, I'd rather have a leader capable of discussion before action than action before discussion. I've seen the latter situation dissolve into conflict, where the former resolves into compromise.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:38 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ustwo
By default, democrats think all republican presidents are stupid, about the only one they give any credit to, ironically, is Nixon.
as opposed to the love republicans have for democrats...

I believe the terms Newt Gingrich instructed GOP house members to use were, "sick", "perverted", and my favorite, "evil".

Conservatives spend an enormous amount of time hating. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) got caught up in it and actually manned up about it. He apologized for his part in the legal lynching of Clinton, and said he was too involved in a "culture of hate" that developed. I have to respect him for that even though he is far from my ideology.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:41 AM   #23 (permalink)
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^^ Honestly? What was that, other than an attack on Republicans?
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:01 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I voted smart but doesn't come across as such. To become president you at least need drive, that isn't a quality that is commonly found with people of below average intelligence.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:07 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JinnKai
^^ Honestly? What was that, other than an attack on Republicans?
If that was an attack, it was with a nerf billyclub. I can only hope that I'm attacked in a similar manner, if ever.

I used a quote from an extremely conservative republican where he admitted he was not living correctly because he got caught up in what he described as a "culture of hate". That culture consisted of conservatives.

How was this an attack on republicans?
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:18 AM   #26 (permalink)
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How was it relevant?
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:25 AM   #27 (permalink)
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It was in response to the post that ustwo believes ALL democrats think ALL republicans are stupid.

Whereas CONSERVATIVES portray all democrats as evil and in conflict with America.

Now for a real attack on a republican: George Bush Jr. would place a five dollar whore in the cabinet if she were his friend. Probably FEMA.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:27 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppinjay
It was in response to the post that ustwo believes ALL democrats think ALL republicans are stupid.

Whereas CONSERVATIVES portray all democrats as evil and in conflict with America.

Now for a real attack on a republican: George Bush Jr. would place a five dollar whore in the cabinet if she were his friend. Probably FEMA.
Perhaps you should follow your sig, I smell yellow text on its way.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:33 AM   #29 (permalink)
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If it happens it happens.

I'll be sure not to commend any conservatives for doing the right thing again.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:47 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Please let's stick to the topic at hand, this thread shouldn't degenerate to Republicans Vs Democrats.
Anywhoo, that being said, i believe Jinnkai's post echoes my feelings as well. What do people think? What is your view on the rhetorical skills that a president should have?
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Old 10-11-2005, 12:23 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Old 10-11-2005, 12:47 PM   #32 (permalink)
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As for Bush's intelligence, I don't know how to vote.

I think he has coasted through life and has never had any true challenges. I believe he's above average but that he doesn't use or perhaps know how to use it, he would rather have people do his thinking for him.

And I think that is his biggest problem, he has surrounded himself with "yes men" and people who blow smoke up his ass while being corrupt and using their influence on him to get what they want.

But I also think he's not as dumb or as blind as the press or his "yes men" seem to believe. I just think he feels as long as he isn't involved or nothing can be pinned on him he'll be okay. I think his blind loyalty and devotion, while being great qualities for a friend, impair his judgement to do the best job possible.

So, I guess my vote would have to be intelligent but somewhat out of touch with some issues and just wanting to coast through life believing he doesn't have to work.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:26 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Excellent topic, Albania, and I also agree with Jinnkai's assessment. I find it interesting that Kerry and Bush went to Yale and both had mediocre grades, so we might assume that they are of equal intelligence. The perceived intelligence of each in their first debate would never have suggested that. Kerry was communicating clearly, whereas Bush struggled throughout the debate.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:34 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Elphaba
Excellent topic, Albania, and I also agree with Jinnkai's assessment. I find it interesting that Kerry and Bush went to Yale and both had mediocre grades, so we might assume that they are of equal intelligence. The perceived intelligence of each in their first debate would never have suggested that. Kerry was communicating clearly, whereas Bush struggled throughout the debate.
Grades and having similar GPA's mean nothing. Kerry could have taken far heavier courses, not saying that in fact is what happened just saying it is a possibility as is Bush taking harder courses than Kerry.

My 8th grade English teacher told me once when she saw me doing just enough to get C's..... "The measure of a man and his intelligence is not what he has, but how he uses it. The man who may not have it, yet works hard is by far truly the more intelligent man then the man who has intelligence, yet coasts through life expecting his intelligence to get him through."

It took me many years to realize exactly what she meant, but I can see the latter in Bush and the former in Kerry, but that is just my opinion comparing the 2. Not that my opinion or the comparison of the 2 matter.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:49 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Pan, I agree that grades reveal little about a person by themselves. I was just following JinnKae's distinction between "intelligence" and "perceived intelligence", in my usual lazy manner.
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:36 PM   #36 (permalink)
It's all downhill from here
 
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Well, I think Bush makes a fool out of himself in public a lot. Of course, if I were being filmed 24 hours a day, I probably would, too. That wouldn't make me stupid. Follow anyone around with a camera and you'll see some stupid shit. But a camera shouldn't make you forget how to speak.

I think he tries too hard when publicly speaking. It makes him look like an idiot. He does it pretty consistently. Stagefright? I have no idea. But he's not stupid.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:02 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Pan, I agree that grades reveal little about a person by themselves. I was just following JinnKae's distinction between "intelligence" and "perceived intelligence", in my usual lazy manner.
That's cool I knew.

BTW that English teacher used to say if I kept just doing the minimal I'd be a floating protoplasm through life..... she was my favorite teacher, she was the first to push me in a productive way to do better, to be the best I could be.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:10 PM   #38 (permalink)
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"Floating Protoplasm" just has to be made into a sig line, somehow. You instructor sounds like she is a credit to her field.

Sorry for the aside, folks.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:35 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I believe GW to be of average intelligence with above average political skills. Smart enough to realize (or take other's advice) that elections are popularity contests and position himself as the most likeable candidate compared to those running against him. The same skills that Reagan and Clinton used so well against their opponents.

I would guess that his IQ is higher than Reagan's and lower than Clinton's and his communication skills somewhat less than Clinton's and way less than Reagan's.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:18 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf

I would guess that his IQ is higher than Reagan's and lower than Clinton's and his communication skills somewhat less than Clinton's and way less than Reagan's.
Bush smarter than Reagan?

I'd recomend this before you make the perception of the left your reality http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074...83155&v=glance .

"And that is the reason why this book is so important. It provides a key to unlocking the mystery of Reagan that has baffled so many for so long. How could a man of supposedly limited knowledge and limited intelligence accomplish so much? How did he get elected and reelected governor of our largest state? How did he get elected and reelected president of the United States? How did he preside over a time of unprecedented prosperity, the winning of the cold war, and the demise of communism worldwide? How?"

"Well, maybe he was a lot smarter than most people thought."
-Reagan's Secretary of State, George Shultz
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Last edited by Ustwo; 10-11-2005 at 05:21 PM..
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