The Corner

Presidential Quiz

Rick, everyone — What I’d like to know is, Who was the smartest president? I mean raw computing power, not wisest or most enlightened. I do think that many of the smartest presidents — again, in the narrow doing-long-division-quickly sense — were liberal. I assume that if all the Presidents took, say, the IQ test advertised on this site, that Wilson, Carter and Clinton would rank very high. Jefferson would too, but I leave it to others to answer whether he was a liberal.

I don’t think this is necessarily a point of pride for liberals either. Intellectuals tend to believe that their intellect can “solve” problems simply through brute reasoning. And, of course, that’s folly. I’ve always thought that many of Clinton’s problems — and certainly Carter’s — stemmed from an arrogance of the intellect which held that simply because one is smart one must also be right. Which is nonsense, of course. Hey, maybe Rich addresses that point in Legacy?

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