Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whither The Praise For Intellect?

Rep. Stace Nelson leaves the following comment at the Madville Times.
I do not agree on all of the issues with our host Mr. Heidelberger or my friend Steve Sibson, who are both equally outspoken as to their views and concerns with issues. I would celebrate if they were both elected, not because I am fond of them both for their passion, honesty, and courage (which I am), but because I know they would be fearless public servants that South Dakotans deserve and need.
First, I'm sure that the Republican establishment is less than thrilled with Nelson's comment about Cory Heidelberger.  Dakota War College, an organ of South Dakota's Republican establishment has declared that Cory represents an entire wing of South Dakota's Democratic party,
When Democrats decide they want to be competitive again, they will need to choose between the Steve Hildebrand/Cory Heidelberger wing of the party and the Herseth Sandlin wing.
More importantly, Nelson, like many others, confesses that he admires politicians and commenters for passion, honesty, and courage but fails to mention intellect.  Let's be clear; Cory is an intelligent person, so why isn't intellect at the top of the list?

I would sooner have an intelligent political opponent than a passionate political ally of questionable thinking skills.  I know that view puts me in a minority.  All I have to do is read statement that some legislators make.  The comments certainly reflect passion, but they also make me believe that intelligent people serving in the legislature must feel like Christian missionaries in the middle of Iran.


caheidelberger said...

Better to be a wing than an organ. ;-)

Thanks for the kind words! I deeply appreciate the compliment. And you are absolutely right: ultimately, passion does not make up for not knowing what the heck you're talking about.

irishred said...

If I can teach the facts on any given subject. You can learn the facts. I honestly don't believe you can learn passion, honesty and courage.

I've always rooted for the guy with "street smarts" and moxie over the "book smarts" crowd.

Now don't get me wrong...I don't want a bunch of revved up brain dead zombies running around making decisions for the state; but I agree with Stace. Whether I agree with someone or not I can appreciate their heart and passion far more quickly than I do their "intelligence".

Not really referring to Cory or anyone else specifically here, just giving my other side of the coin point of view Leo.

LK said...


I'm not opposed to street smarts either. Intelligence of any kind is in short supply.

Emphasizing passion worries me for a couple of reasons. First, passion seems easier to twist into fanaticism. It also allows people to ignore the logical fallacies that frequently fill most passionate rhetoric.

Second, passion divides. Look at the Tebow phenomenon. Tebow is a "winner" or a bum; there's no in-between. No one ever talks about the guy who kicked two last second field goals of 50 plus yards. Reason would lead everyone to praise the kicker more and worry about Tebow and Tebowing less.

I read a lot of hard boiled fiction. I love the street smart guys. They use their heads and their hearts but trust their brains first. I don't think most of our legislators in Pierre do that.