Generally national leaders tend to be gifted with high IQs, but that doesn't mean they the experience and common sense to know how to govern. In fact, professional politicians are often highly educated individuals that have spent years working a problem, a thesis, that required aggressive defense in the highly competitive world of ideas. Sometimes they are practical, but often the masses suffer as politicians work to promote their own brainchild as the solution for the world's problems.
Thomas Sowell at Front Page:
Many people, including some conservatives, have been very impressed with how brainy the president and his advisers are. But that is not quite as reassuring as it might seem.
It was, after all, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brilliant “brains trust” advisers whose policies are now increasingly recognized as having prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s, while claiming credit for ending it. The Great Depression ended only when the Second World War put an end to many New Deal policies.
FDR himself said that “Dr. New Deal” had been replaced by “Dr. Win-the-War.” But those today who are for big spending like to credit wartime big spending for bringing the Great Depression to an end. They never ask the question as to why previous depressions had always ended on their own, much faster than the one under FDR, and without government intervention or massive government spending.
This half-baked idea has been promoted in the United States by brainy people since the administration of
Brainy folks were also present in Lyndon Johnson’s administration, especially in the Pentagon, where Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s brilliant “whiz kids” tried to micro-manage the Vietnam war, with disastrous results.
Mac Namara was "believed to be a member of the Council on Foreign Relations". Even if he wasn't a member, he is known to have worked closely with other members.
There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.
Such people have been told all their lives how brilliant they are, until finally they feel forced to admit it, with all due modesty. But they not only tend to over-estimate their own brilliance, more fundamentally they tend to over-estimate how important brilliance itself is when dealing with real world problems.
Many crucial things in life are learned from experience, rather than from clever thoughts or clever words. Indeed, a gift for the clever phrasing so much admired by the media can be a fatal talent, especially for someone chosen to lead a government. Make no mistake about it, Adolf Hitler was brilliant. His underlying beliefs may have been half-baked and his hatreds overwhelming, but he was a genius when it came to carrying out his plans politically, based on those beliefs and hatreds.
Starting from a position of Germany’s military weakness in the early 1930s, Hitler not only built up Germany’s war-making potential, he did so in ways that minimized the danger that his potential victims would match his military build-up with their own. He said whatever soothing words they wanted to hear that would spare them the cost of military deterrence and the pain of contemplating another war.
He played some of the most highly educated people of his time for fools— not only foreign political leaders but also members of the intelligentsia. The editor of The Times of London filtered out reports that his own foreign correspondents in Germany sent him about the evils and dangers of the Nazis. In the United States, W.E.B. Du Bois— with a Ph.D. from Harvard— said that dictatorship in Germany was “absolutely necessary to get the state in order.”
In an age when facts seem to carry less weight than the visions of brilliant and charismatic leaders, it is more important than ever to look at the actual track records of those brilliant and charismatic leaders. After all, Hitler led Germany into military catastrophe and left much of the country in ruins.
Even in a country which suffered none of the wartime destruction that others suffered in the 20th century, Argentina began that century as one of the 10 richest nations in the world— ahead of France and Germany— and ended it as such an economic disaster that no one would even compare it to France or Germany.
Politically brilliant and charismatic leaders, promoting reckless government spending— of whom Juan Peron was the most prominent, but by no means alone— managed to create an economic disaster in a country with an abundance of natural resources and a country that was spared the stresses that wars inflicted on other nations in the 20th century.
Someone recently pointed out how much Barack Obama’s style and strategies resemble those of Latin American charismatic despots— the takeover of industries by demagogues who never ran a business, the rousing rhetoric of resentment addressed to the masses and the personal cult of the leader promoted by the media. But do we want to become the world’s largest banana republic?
To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.
Brainy folks promoting half-baked ideas have been are the forefront of changes in our educational system, our churches, and our bureaucracies, to name just some areas where they are creating havoc.
Members of the Council of Foreign Relations have been prominent in every administration since World War II. And if even the President isn't a member, cabinet members and even Vice-Presidents (Cheney and Biden) are members.
Ex-President Jimmy Carter was a member who was "groomed" by the Council.
Bill Clinton is a member, which means that Hillary Rodham Clinton has been infused with the idea of world government. George Herbert Walker Bush is a member. Thus, George W. Bush was sure to have heard of the notion, and of course with Dick Cheney, a past president of the Council, W's policies must have had a tinge of contagion.
Could this be why we have wide-open borders?
Some past and present members: Defense Secretary, Timothy Geithner - Senior Fellow, Richard Haas - current president, Robert Gates - Secretary of Defense, former co-Chair of the Council, Bruce E. Babbitt, George Mitchell, William Holbrooke, Tom Daschel, Shawn Donovan, ERic Shineski, Peter Orsag, Paul Volker, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Porter Goss, Alan Greenspan, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Gen. Richard B. Myers, Henry Hyde, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr., Sandra Day O'Connor, George Soros, Christopher Dodd, Diane Feinstein, Gerald Ford, Bill Frist, Newt Gingrich, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Katherine Harris, Teresa Heinz, Antonia Hernandez – President of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Gen. John P. Jumper – former Air Force chief of staff, Merrill McPeak - Air former Air Force Chief of Staff, now head of NASA, Joseph Lieberman, John McCain, Rupert Murdock, David Rockefeller, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Diane Sawyer, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis, Tony Snow, Rear Admiral Chester Ward.
A brainy bunch indeed!
Former Congressman John R. Rarick warned:
The CFR, dedicated to one-world government, financed by a number of the largest tax-exempt foundations, and wielding such power and influence over our lives in the areas of finance, business, labor, military, education and mass communication media, should be familiar to every American concerned with good government and with preserving and defending the U.S. Constitution and our free-enterprise system. Yet, the nation's right to know machinery – the news media – usually so aggressive in exposures to inform our people, remain conspicuously silent when it comes to the CFR, its members and their activities.
The CFR is the establishment. Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also finances and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high-level decisions for converting the United States from a sovereign constitutional republic into a servile member of a one-world dictatorship.
The late presidential candidate and senator, Barry Goldwater wrote about the Council:
"In September 1939, two members of the Council on Foreign Relations visited the State Department to offer the council's services.
"They proposed to do research and make recommendations for the department without formal assignment or responsibility, particularly in four areas - security armaments, economic and financial problems, political problems, and territorial problems. The Rockefeller Foundation agreed to finance the operation of this plan.
"From that day forward, the Council on Foreign Relations has placed its members in policy-making positions with the State Department and other federal agencies. EVERY SECRETARY OF STATE SINCE 1944, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF JAMES F. BYRNES, HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL.
"Almost without exception, its members are united by a congeniality of birth, economic status and educational background. The organization itself began in 1919 in Paris when scholars turned their attention to foreign affairs after the end of World War I. It remains a non-governmental private grouping of specialists in foreign affairs.
"A NUMBER OF WRITERS, disturbed by the influential role that this organization has played in determining foreign policy, have concluded that the council and its members are an active part of the communist conspiracy for world domination.
"Their syllogistic argument goes like this: THE COUNCIL HAS DOMINATED AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY SINCE 1945. ALL AMERICAN POLICY DECISIONS HAVE RESULTED IN LOSSES TO THE COMMUNISTS. Therefore, all members of the council are communist sympathizers.
"Many of the policies advocated by the council have been damaging to the cause of freedom and particularly to the United States. But this is not because the members are communists or communist sympathizers. This explanation of our foreign policy reversals is too pat, too simplistic.
"I believe that the Council on Foreign Relations and its ancillary elitist groups are indifferent to communism. They have no ideological anchors. IN THEIR PURSUIT OF A NEW WORLD ORDER, THEY ARE PREPARED TO DEAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE WITH A COMMUNIST STATE, A SOCIALIST STATE, a democratic state, a monarchy, an oligarchy - its all the same to them.
"THEIR GOAL IS TO impose a benign stability on the quarreling family of nations through merger and consolidation. THEY SEE THE ELIMINATION OF NATIONAL BOUNDARIES, THE SUPPRESSION OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC LOYALTIES, as the most expeditious avenue to world peace. They believe economic competition is the root cause of international tension.
"Perhaps if the council's vision of the future were realized, it would reduce wars, lessen poverty and bring about a more efficient utilization of the world's resources. To my mind, THIS WOULD INEVITABLY BE ACCOMPANIED BY A LOSS IN PERSONAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RESTRAINTS THAT PROVOKED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
"When we change presidents, it is understood to mean that the voters are ordering achange in national policy. Since 1945, three different Republicans have occupied the White House for 16 years, and four Democrats have held this most powerful post for 17 years. With the exception of the first seven years of the Eisenhower administration, there has been no appreciable change in foreign or domestic policy direction.
"THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT TURNOVER IN PERSONNEL. BUT NO CHANGE IN POLICY. Example: DURING THE NIXON YEARS, HENRY KISSINGER, A COUNCIL MEMBER AND NELSON ROCKEFELLER PROTEGE, WAS IN CHARGE OF FOREIGN POLICY. WHEN JIMMY CARTER WAS ELECTED, KISSINGER WAS REPLACED BY ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, A COUNCIL MEMBER AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER PROTEGE.
Popular media an the churches are affiliated:
You should know already about how many leading members of BOTH parties are members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Michelle Obama was the leader of the Chicago chapter of that group. Oprah Winfrey has ties to the Council on Foreign Relations, and she met Obama at Jeremiah Wright’s church. But that is not all. Bill Clinton is a longtime member. But that is not all! Newt Gingrich is a member. So is Rick Warren, who has EXTENSIVE business dealings with Rupert Murdoch and gave Obama’s inaugural prayer. (Warren is a leading figure for religious pluralism and ecumenism.) Mike Huckabee hired a Council on Foreign Relations type to be his foreign policy expert. And both Bushes have long ties to that group as well.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against "undue influnce" in amilitary industrial complex, a complex of companies that "need a constant client base" to keep up profits, thus "need for war." Creating a "perceived need for war and then creates the products," and government officials believe that the health of weapons manufacturers is necessary for the "health of the country," and media conglomerates were acquired to inculcate this concept in the minds of the public from childhood. Or think tanks are "for profit agencies" established to create policies that are made into law. Cycle continues as war advertising masquerades as news.
Think tanks can promote other policies besides war.
Upcoming posts will treat the involvement of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and other Americans in the gradual assimilation of the United States through public policy put into place by un-elected U.S. bureaucrats that mostly by-passed Congress.