IQ joke e-mail undermines Bush

By Tyler Vincent

A recent e-mail that is making the rounds on the Internet is our focus for this week.

In it, a study by the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pa., stated that in their “report” on the IQ levels of presidents over the last 50 years, our current president George W. Bush has the lowest of any president that has served in the time period.

The survey states that Dubya has an IQ of 91, while his predecessor Bill Clinton ranked in the top position with a whopping 182 IQ.

The results of this “survey” were made with the “Swanson/Crain” method of criteria for intelligence, which, according to the e-mail, is determined via the presidents’ works in writing, amount of “white papers” published for academic purposes and the grasp of vocabulary that the president showed in his various speeches.

So why does Dubya have such a low level of intelligence according to this survey?

“All the presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush,” said Dr. Lovenstein, the director of the institute. “He has no published works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted public speaking.”

That’s really something, isn’t it? Especially when you consider that the survey, the institute that commissioned it, the people quoted in the survey and the system used to determine its results are a complete sham.

Yes, Virginia, there is no “Lovenstein Institute,” no “Dr. Lovenstein” and no “Swanson/Crain” criteria. At least none that anyone has heard of before this e-mail. When one looks at the e-mail and the “results” it possesses, one cannot get over thinking that the e-mail is nothing more than good old fashioned Democratic propaganda.

Note the results of this “survey.” Over the last 50 years, there have been six Democratic and six Republican presidents. According to this “survey,” all six Democrat presidents fall within the top seven on the intelligence test, with Richard Nixon, with an IQ of 155, being the only Republican among the cluster. The other five Republican presidents are at the bottom of the list.

The average IQ of the Democratic presidents was 156, which means if this were true, all of them could easily get jobs at Fermilab drawing diagrams on chalk boards once their term of office expires, according to this “survey.”

The Republicans, on the other hand, did not so not fair so well. Their average IQ totals 115.3.

This fallacy is unacceptable on a number of levels.

First, and most important, the producers of this e-mail lied when they talked about Bush’s lack of any published papers. Apparently “Dr. Lovenstein” did not consider Bush’s 1999 book, A Charge to Keep, which was published before he even assumed office, a worthy submission for consideration in their “survey.”

Second, it is meant to further politically undermine Bush (as if the late-night talk shows weren’t emphasizing his apparent lack of intelligence enough) and to enforce the faulty premise that Democratic presidents are above and beyond their counterparts in terms of intelligence. This “Democrat smart, Republican dumb” mentality may cause you and your liberal buddies to e-mail this to each other over in barely contained glee, but it hardly benefits public discussion when we talk about how dumb a man is rather than how destructive his policies are.

This column has weighed its overwhelmingly negative thoughts concerning Bush, his policies, and yes, his intelligence. But false e-mails and late-night talk show jokes are where the line is drawn. E-mails like this are the latest form of political sabotage which serve as nothing more than subversion for entertainment purposes only.

So why don’t you think about that before showing your friends the wisdom of Dr. Lovestein?

And let’s assume for one minute that this survey is true and Dubya is truly the simpleton that this survey claims.

So what?

The authors of this deception have assumed that IQ has a direct impact on the quality of the presidency. Are they truly suggesting that “the smarter the president, the better his presidency will be?”

Do they really believe that Jimmy Carter, who the authors weighed in as having an IQ of 175 and oversaw the complete collapse of the country, in terms of energy, gas prices and foreign policy, was a far better president than Dwight Eisenhower, who, with a so-stated IQ of 122, led the country through unprecedented prosperity and oversaw the country’s final leap into superpower status?