Is Barack Obama a Total Idiot?
So if the green rookie US President is not a total idiot, why is everything he does so utterly destructive to the country he leads? The answer lies within areas that an IQ test cannot probe.
The problem with IQ tests is that while they are effective at assessing our deliberative skills, which involve reason and the use of working memory, they are unable to assess our inclination to use them when the situation demands. This is a crucial distinction: as Daniel Kahneman at Princeton University puts it, intelligence is about brain power whereas rational thinking is about control. "Some people who are intellectually able do not bother to engage very much in analytical thinking and are inclined to rely on their intuitions," explains Evans. "Other people will check out their gut feeling and reason it through and make sure they have a justification for what they're doing." _NSSo that while persons of good judgment might look at radical and revolutionary changes in a nation's root operations in a skeptical and cautious manner, persons such as Barack Obama seem to be lacking basic good judgment.
Wändi Bruine de Bruin at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has shown that intelligence cannot be the only factor that dictates whether someone is a good thinker and decision-maker. In a study of 360 Pittsburgh residents aged between 18 and 88, her team found that, regardless of differences in intelligence, those who displayed better rational-thinking skills suffered significantly fewer negative events in their lives, such as being in serious credit card debt, having an unplanned pregnancy or being suspended from school (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol 92, p 938). Andrew Parker, now with the Rand Corporation in Pittsburgh, and Baruch Fischhoff at Carnegie Mellon found a similar association among adolescents. Those who scored higher on a test of decision-making competence drank less, took fewer drugs and engaged in less risky behaviour overall (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, vol 18, p 1). This suggests that rational thinking may be more important than intelligence for positive life experiences, Fischhoff says. _NSMr. Obama is not only a cigarette smoker, but he has also had his share of experience with other drugs such as marijuana. Such experimentation began in his youth and continued well into his college years -- and likely beyond. Knowing what we do about the adverse effects of marijuana on the developing brain, it is likely that Mr. Obama's brain did not develop along optimal paths.
Obama's early upbringing involved intensive indoctrination into a racialist, Afrocentric mentality by his mother -- a radical Marxist of rather uneven temperament herself. Obama's father was killed when he drunkenly drove head-on into a tree -- not the best example of good judgment. In other words, Mr. Obama's genetic compliment involving executive function and judgment was not the greatest to begin with. After many years of drug experimentation -- and never having held a responsible job until being elected US President -- it is unlikely that his brain ever had the opportunity to mature and develop.
So the answer to the titular question is "No, Obama is not a total idiot." He is capable of reading from a teleprompter and inserting a powerful emotive force into a well practised speech. This is his special talent which he has ridden into the most powerful office in the world -- thanks to an adoring US media and a gullible US public.
Now, we observe the aftermath.