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You Know the Difference Between Genius and Stupidity?
BernardGoldberg.com ^ | Bernard Goldberg

Posted on 03/24/2014 5:30:59 AM PDT by SJackson

Sometimes I wonder why pollsters ask the American people about anything. What’s the point? I mean, would Gallup ask someone from Uzbekistan if he thinks Mickey Mantle was a better centerfielder than Willie Mays? Would the NBC/Wall Street Journal polling outfit ask the average man on the street in Kabul if he prefers Canali or Hugo Boss? So why would a pollster ask Americans about almost anything not having to do with Dancing with the Stars?

If you think I’m channeling H.L. Mencken, who believed you’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, give yourself a gold star.

Still, we poll Americans on just about everything — even though a lot of folks don’t know much about anything.

Take several recent Rasmussen polls. In one, only 29 percent of likely voters said incumbent members of the House and Senate should be re-elected. That sounds smart, given that we now have more respect for bank robbers than politicians. Except come November, just about everybody in Congress will be re-elected – by these same people who told Rasmussen that that they wanted to kick the bums out.

This is from Politico after the 2012 elections: “Despite rock-bottom congressional approval ratings, voters reelected their incumbents at near-banana-republic levels in 2012.” And what were those “near banana republic levels”? Try 90 percent. That’s right, 9 out of 10 members of the House and Senate who sought re-election were re-elected.

So the Rasmussen poll tells us nothing because the people Rasmussen polled are either duplicitous or don’t know what the word “incumbent” means.

Then there was the question about taxes. A whopping 69 percent of the Americans polled said the middle class pays a larger percentage in taxes than do the rich.

Here are the facts: The top one percent pays about 37 percent of all federal income taxes and the top five percent pays almost 60 percent.

So what’s the point, I ask again, in polling people who don’t know what they’re talking about? Are we supposed to learn something from their lack of knowledge?

And then there’s this: despite the fact that most Americans give the president low grades on his handling of the economy; despite the fact that most Americans say they don’t like ObamaCare; despite the fact that according to Rasmussen only 29 percent of likely voters think America is heading in the right direction – despite all of that, about half (49 percent) still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing, according to Rasmussen. Huh?

Rush Limbaugh has a name for Americans who don’t know what’s going on. He calls them “low information” voters. Why in the world would a pollster ask these chuckleheads their opinions, for example, about how the president is handing the crisis in Crimea – a place many of them undoubtedly never heard of or probably think has something to do with crime.

I have long thought that dolts should not be allowed to vote. But that’s a discussion for another time. For now, let’s simply agree that Rasmussen, Gallup, Quinnipiac and all the others who ask low information Americans what they think about complex issues are wasting our time.

But I don’t want to leave any of you with the wrong impression. There most certainly are plenty of smart Americans out there whose opinions matter. And I would never suggest that most Americans are stupid. That would be rude. So I’ll leave the last word to some guy named Albert Einstein, who once said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

I for one have never heard of this Einstein fellow, who also said that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

I don’t get it — which makes me a perfect candidate to answer any questions Mr. Gallup or Mr. Rasmussen might have for me.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/24/2014 5:30:59 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

The difference between genius and stupidity?

Genius has limits.

CC


2 posted on 03/24/2014 5:35:03 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: SJackson

Actually a pretty stupid column.

Most congresscritters are in ideologically safe seats, so the Democrat or Republican is likely to get reelected simply for being a Democrat or a Republican. At the primary level, many within those parties who are located in a safe jurisdiction would likely prefer a candidate somewhat more tailored to their perspective, but getting a good, position-tailored opponent to run in a primary against a sitting congresscritter in a ‘safe’ seat is not an easy thing to do.

As to Americans’ opinions on Crimea, we don’t poll them in order to find the wisest course of action, but to see how it might play out in a political context, particularly for the upcoming election.


3 posted on 03/24/2014 5:39:05 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
Most congresscritters are in ideologically safe seats, so the Democrat or Republican is likely to get reelected simply for being a Democrat or a Republican. At the primary level, many within those parties who are located in a safe jurisdiction would likely prefer a candidate somewhat more tailored to their perspective, but getting a good, position-tailored opponent to run in a primary against a sitting congresscritter in a ‘safe’ seat is not an easy thing to do.

Which is why the tea Party should be focused on primary challenges to RINOs.

4 posted on 03/24/2014 5:46:17 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: SJackson

I have always believed that a very results of a “POLL” can be pre-determined by the proper selection of the people asked the question of the day.
For example—Poll the residents of the inner city as to their opinion of the “Fairness” of the tax burden on the “rich” and 99.7% of the respondents will say the “rich” do NOT pay their “fair share”.
The headline—”Poll finds 99.7% find “rich” highly favored by tax loopholes and breaks.”
As the very same question in an upper class neighborhood and guess what THAT poll would report.
It is not rocket science.


5 posted on 03/24/2014 5:50:16 AM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: We print the news as it fits our views.)
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To: SJackson


6 posted on 03/24/2014 5:50:28 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: SJackson

Stupid can’t be fixed and we are so screwed!
Freegards
LEX


7 posted on 03/24/2014 5:50:30 AM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: SJackson


8 posted on 03/24/2014 5:51:03 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: Celtic Conservative

Does the author seriously “not get” the Einstein quote?


9 posted on 03/24/2014 5:51:31 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: 9YearLurker

YOU are calling Goldberg stupid? Now there’s a prime example!


10 posted on 03/24/2014 5:56:56 AM PDT by abclily
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To: PapaBear3625

I agree. I’d like to go further and see the tea party organized to the national level so as to exert more pressure on the GOPe and, failing that, emerge as an outright replacement to the duplicitous, Establishment Republican Party.

Also, some RINOs in blue and purple areas need support from a simple majority-vote perspective. I don’t have a problem with being pragmatic in regions where pragmatic is the best we can hope for.


11 posted on 03/24/2014 5:59:23 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: abclily

I called his column stupid.

And I don’t shrink before your view of his massive brain.


12 posted on 03/24/2014 6:00:18 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

“Actually a pretty stupid column.’

Actually it is not. Perhaps you want to reread it.


13 posted on 03/24/2014 6:04:10 AM PDT by Shane (When Injustice Becomes Law, RESISTANCE Becomes DUTY.----T.Jefferson)
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To: SJackson

Great article! Thanks for posting!


14 posted on 03/24/2014 6:06:26 AM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: SJackson

There is a big difference between approving of YOUR congress critter, and approving of everyone else’s.


15 posted on 03/24/2014 6:11:36 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: SJackson
I for one have never heard of this Einstein fellow, who also said that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

Simply brilliant.

16 posted on 03/24/2014 6:27:46 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Shane

Apparently some of us can get more out of a single read than others can pick up at all.


17 posted on 03/24/2014 6:31:52 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: lepton
There is a big difference between approving of YOUR congress critter, and approving of everyone else’s.

Aye, there's the rub.

18 posted on 03/24/2014 6:33:13 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: lepton

There is a big difference between approving of YOUR congress critter, and approving of everyone else’s.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Old ‘Quote’ of mine:

“We are in agreement that ALL Politicians, Teachers, Lawyers are crooked and only have their OWN interests at heart.
EXCEPT ‘MINE’.”

So, in essence anyone I MAY vote for is great but anyone YOU vote for is worthless, unless, of course, YOU agree with ME.

Then ‘WE’ wonder why the same slugs get back into office every election.

I propose that if ‘THEY’ don’t give us what ‘WE’ want, remove all doubt and vote for the ‘other’ side with the ONLY exception being, say a Scott Brown is hands down better than Pocobeth Warren, if for nothing else getting the seat in ‘our’ column.
Sitting home and NOT voting for Brown just makes it harder in the long run.

Is a ‘somewhat’ R Liberal in a VERY LIBERAL D State worse than say a Markham, Warren, Reid, Biden, Franken etal?

Get the seat THEN ‘fine tune’ it.

But we definitely have to do something about the ‘establishment’ and their choice in Presidential candidates.
“WE” get stuck with McCain and Romney - both of whom demonized their opposition in the Primaries, McCain going on to ‘attack’ his VP candidate because she was more ‘popular’ than he and both McCain and Romney laid down for the Presidential election - for all practical purposes.


19 posted on 03/24/2014 6:39:35 AM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 --"I would agree with you BUT that would make both of us wrong".)
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To: SJackson
the Difference Between Genius and Stupidity

The difference is that you can't fix stupid.

An ignorant person can overcome their ignorance of a topic by verifying facts presented to them. A person who chooses to ignore facts that would relieve their ignorance graduates from ignorant to stupid, hence the expression “you can’t fix stupid”.

20 posted on 03/24/2014 6:39:49 AM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: abclily

“YOU are calling Goldberg stupid? Now there’s a prime example!”

Of genius or stupidity?


21 posted on 03/24/2014 7:15:10 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz ("Heck of a reset there, Hillary")
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To: SJackson

Polls:

Call a random person up at a random time.

Random person is interrupted doing some random thing, such as eating or watching TV.

Ask random person a profound question of lasting importance, such as “do you believe in God?”, or “is affirmative action unfair?” and you don’t get a profound, well thought-out answer of lasting importance. You get a quick impression, based on the emotion of the moment.

Then the fleeting answers are added up and presented to the world as the summation of deep and profound thinking.

Bull$hit. You would get better answers by scanning millions of Twitter tweets. (They already do that.)

The people who have worthwhile, well thought-out answers can’t be bothered with something as trivial as a poll.


22 posted on 03/24/2014 7:18:16 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: MrB

No...it’s sarcasm.


23 posted on 03/24/2014 7:31:17 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: xrmusn

In the case of McCain, I firmly believe that was a case of the media successfully hijacking the Republican primary. He has been popular in the media because he constantly attacks Republicans, generally with no actual support...just flinging dung at them generally and randomly.


24 posted on 03/24/2014 10:42:32 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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