Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Does anyone have an IQ test at the ready? I ask, because apparently challenging someone to an IQ duel is now a thing that is happening in the highest levels of our government. Lord, help us.

I have no desire to watch elected officials on either side of the aisle brag about their intelligence. No matter how smart you think you are, it’s hard to look like anything but an ass when you are basically screaming: I’m smarter than you and I’ll prove it if I have to! And let’s be clear, there are plenty of terrible smart people in the world. Being smart does not make you good. It doesn’t even make you competent. You can be smart on paper and a complete idiot about things that really matter. I have known a number of advanced degree holders who can barely navigate the world. I have known laborers with no degree who read six books a week and have insightful ideas about philosophy. I do not need an IQ score to determine if someone is smart.

One thing I do know for sure: the person who claims to be smarter than everyone else in the room never is. If you want to find the smartest person in a room, find the quiet person, the humble person, the person saying, “I don’t know.” There’s the smartest person in the room. The person challenging other people to IQ comparison contests? Not smart. Also the person calling his boss a moron in a forum where it is leaked to the press? Not smart. So I say the jury is out on whether Tillerson or Trump would win that IQ contest. And I don’t really care. It would be nice to have smart people at the helm of our government, but that ship has sailed.

Right now I’d settle for having adults in charge. Watching the evening news is like tuning in for the worst sort of reality television. We have Trump’s first wife saying she is the real First Lady—a silly comment and not worthy of a response. But did we get a response? Of course we did. Even Melania, it seems, cannot let one thing go. And the feud between lame duck Sen. Bob Corker and Trump seems to escalate by the minute. Trump has now taken to calling Corker “Liddle Bob,” which would be ridiculous under any circumstance, but is particularly pathetic given the lack of originality. I guess Trump has run out of nicknames and is now recycling insults from his campaign (remember “Liddle Marco”?).

And though Corker seems to believe he is speaking truth to power, it would have been nice if he’d found his voice before he had nothing to lose. Maybe Corker is smart, I don’t know. But he is surely a coward, just like the rest of the toadies in government who don’t dare point out that the emperor is buck-freaking-nekkid.

This weekend, Trump sent his veep out to stage a one-man counter protest at a sporting event. The whole stunt cost American taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars, which seems mighty steep when people in Puerto Rico are literally dying of thirst and yet another hurricane was slamming into my home state of Mississippi. Who signed off on this fool’s errand? And how did Pence not understand how bad this would look? Clearly he’s not all that sharp.

I keep hearing that Chief of Staff John Kelly is a smart and disciplined man. Maybe it’s true, but he doesn’t seem to be smart enough to keep the White House toddler from throwing public tantrums and engaging in public feuds and making our entire country look very, very stupid.

Maybe those IQ tests are a good idea, after all.

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Tiffany Quay Tyson

THE PAST IS NEVER, a southern gothic novel steeped in local lore, is available now. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance deemed it an Okra Pick. Tyson's debut novel THREE RIVERS was a finalist for both the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and now lives, writes, and teaches in Denver, Colorado.
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One thought on “Stupid Is As Stupid Does

  1. This is what is making me so upset. There are many smart Republicans who could have stopped this along the way or at least could now. But I think they are just trying to ignore and govern without him, which won’t work. They want the power more than they want a functioning government

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