Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
Asker Anonymous Asks:
I just saw a website that said, Harding, Coolidge, Reagan, Ford, and of course 43 were the dumbest presidents. Any disagreements? Were there any other presidents that weren't particularly bright in the head?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Maybe I am naive, but I genuinely don’t think that it’s possible for a dumb person to be President.  In fact, I don’t think they’d get as far as their party’s convention.  No party is going to nominate a dumb guy to be President.  It’s too important of a position.  And it’s not a job that a dumb person can do.  It just don’t work that way. 

Clark Clifford once referred to Ronald Reagan as an “amiable dunce”.  It’s a good line, but it’s not fair.  Anybody who thinks that Ronald Reagan is dumb needs to read his diary or the letters that he wrote.  They aren’t the words of somebody who is an intellectual liability.  Even Reagan’s farewell letter to the American people announcing that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and beginning the journey into the “sunset of his life” is clear, concise, and beautifully written.  At that point he was 83 years old and the disease was beginning to darken his memory, yet the letter is written by him, in longhand, and the words are clearly his.  The style matches his personal diaries and his love letters to Nancy.

To be sure, not everyone was a Jefferson or a John Quincy Adams or a Bill Clinton.  But no party is going to put a dumb guy forward as a candidate.  No public is going to elect a dumb President.  And, no staff is loyal enough to prop up an empty suit and risk everything by allowing a dumb guy to be the most powerful person in the world.

We’ve never had a person run for President because they were evil and wanted to do a bad job.  And there’s no way an intellectually deficient person can rise to the Presidency on their own, and there’s damn sure no way that others would install a dumb guy to do their bidding.

  1. neutralangel said: Being the “dumbest” President is like being the least successful astronaut.
  2. deadpresidents posted this