October 31, 2012
Vol: 19 No: 44

Dr. Wes

Mitt Romney’s well-meaning brainpower is the kind that really smarts

by: Dr. Wes Browning

There are many kinds of intelligence, but Mitt Romney’s well-meaning brainpower is the kind that really smarts

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Here we are voting for a president again. Are we having fun yet?

I had fun this week when I learned that some of you thought I had crossed the line recently when I said Mitt Romney was an uncaring, unfeeling jerk. I enjoy receiving such feedback. Since no one who complained about that objected to my characterization of Romney as a nitwit, I am in a better position to understand Romney supporters now.

They’re OK with him being a nitwit, as long as they can convince themselves he’s a well-meaning nitwit.

Well, maybe he is. It’s possible.

I may have been too hard on the man. Thinking back on my life, I realize that I have known many intelligent, well-meaning imbeciles.

It seems a contradiction in terms, “intelligent imbecile,” but they definitely exist.

For example, I went to high school with a guy who must have been bright because he got straight A’s. They don’t give A’s out to just any dummy, right? But at the same time he was such an imbecile that he thought it was God’s will that all males should wear bell-bottoms. He couldn’t grasp the concept of fads. He thought that if I didn’t wear bell-bottoms I was a failure as a human being.

Worse, he was a well-meaning, kind imbecile. So it was necessary that I be saved from myself.

I had to be turned around to the good news that God would forgive my non-bell-bottom-wearing past if only I went to Sears or Penney’s, bought a pair and finally started wearing them.

He cared that much about my soul that he repeatedly nagged me to get bell-bottoms, even after I told him what I was going to do with him and described how I would dispose of the body.

People have been trying to excuse Romney’s line about “Syria is Iran’s route to the sea” by insisting that what Romney meant by “sea” was “the Mediterranean Sea.” They say that’s what he had to mean, because that’s what makes sense.

I see it differently. I see a man who got an A in history or geography, once, by regurgitating lines from a textbook such as “X is Y’s route to the sea.” He’s intelligent. He got the A. He knows it. It worked for a final exam once. What the hell, let’s try it again.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s bs. It only matters if people are impressed with the line and vote for him, in spite of the fact that he knows less about geography than any two-year-old. It’s for their own good that they vote for him. He means well.

That’s what we care about, isn’t it?

So when Bain Capital, under Romney’s direction, guided one acquired company after another into bankruptcy while sucking resources out of them, that’s all on the plus side, because his heart was in the right place.

He cared about our economy, surely. The fact that he mostly only improved his own economy can be forgiven. He meant to improve the whole economy. He’s just a poor, little, intelligent imbecile who can’t see the big picture.

The paradox of intelligent imbecility is resolved by the fact of ignorance and the fact that ignorance comes in different packages. Ignorance can be selective. Someone can be very intelligent and even well educated, yet be extremely ignorant of other people’s realities and needs.

I’m willing to grant that Romney is such a man, a well-meaning man who doesn’t understand other human beings’ needs. Like, “Hey, look here, based on this Wikipedia article, our Navy today has fewer ships than it did in 1917. I can use that to make a point in a debate with Obama.”

This picking out of facts for advantage doesn’t have to be done out of meanness. It could be he just doesn’t know that we don’t need him to be president.

Let’s give Romney credit where credit is due. He may not be a jerk, after all.

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