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Greatness of intellect vs. politics today

Greatness of intellect, or: megalonoia, as some Greek philosopher or other might have termed it.

Evidence that the key Founding Fathers - Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Washington - were great intellects is that they were all members of the American Philosophical Society.

It's plainly evident that today's politicians don't know jackshit about philosophy.

Which would be the most progressive and beneficial of the following proposals:

(a) Eliminate the electoral college
(b) Reduce the voting age to 16
(c) Increase the number of Supreme Court justices to 15
(d) Philosophy for Children
(e) Universal Basic Income
(f) 70 percent marginal income tax rate

If you didn't pick (d), you may be a fucking idiot.  And yet the self-styled "progressives" of today are selecting all but (d).

What do you suppose the Founding Fathers would have selected?

Why should we have a philosophically-illiterate populace voting at age 16 instead of 18?  I'd take a reduction in the voting age to 16 in trade for (d).  But Nancy Peloser doesn't have that trade on offer, because she and all the other "progressives" are fucking ignorant about the (d) option.

Or take (e), the Universal Basic Income.  The "progressives" are proposing this idea knowing that in many cases they'd be subsidizing outright sloth.  They know for absolute fact that some will use the UBI to sit around playing video games all day, not reading any books, eating junk food, and generally being fucking losers.  This is what the Founding Fathers had in mind for this country?  You just give people an income for free with no stipulations on what people should use their time doing (e.g., study philosophy and/or a trade, with competency tests, say; mandatory exercise and diet protocols, say; use your imagination...) while on the taxpayer dime?  Free up their time to "pursue their conception of the good" with no program of education in what the good consists in?  (Sure, in a futuristic utopia with so much automation that the economic goods of life will be cheap and abundant, making even the issue of a UBI moot, the subject of the meaning of life will still need facing up to, in a non-intellectually-small or lazy way.  Then what?  The politicians and pundits haven't the faintest.)

Picking all but (d) above betrays such a smallness of intellect that this alone should disqualify the so-called "progressives" from being in charge of deciding the course of this nation's future.

What is it about the political-activist landscape today that it seemingly encourages smallness of intellect?  They're out there fighting over crumbs compared to what (d) could accomplish long-term.

I'm not saying that the "conservatives" or even the "libertarians" who populate the political-activism landscape today are much better in this regard, but boy do they piss me off a lot less than self-styled "progressives" who are so philosophically ignorant as to focus their attentions on seemingly anything but (d) as the supposed solution to what ails the nation.  FFS already.

What would the Founding Fathers counsel?  Well, doesn't it help to know that they were self-consciously philosophers and hence in pursuit of wisdom or greatness of intellect as a ruling/organizing principle of life?  We don't even need to bring up Plato and Aristotle here (who counseled philosophical education for anyone who was capable of receiving it, in addition to contributing mightily to the philosophical canon); it's gobsmackingly plain that the very fact that the Founding Fathers were very much involved in the American Philosophical Society, tells us pretty much all we need to know about philosophy's importance for the health of a nation.  It's right there in front of our noses.

One of them was even president of the APS at the same time he was president of the USA.

Clearly the notion that we shouldn't expect our political leaders and activists to also be philosophically minded carries no weight here, no weight at all.

This is a no-brainer.

[Update 3/23: Now that it appears Special Counsel Mueller has found no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion narrative, what repercussions should there be for this teensy tiny intellect and overall slimy hack chairing the House Intelligence (sic) Committee?  And what to make of a major "news" network wasting countless hours of airtime on pointless speculations?  Note that when I say "political activists" I include a bunch of actors at all of the major cable so-called-news outlets.]

[Update 3/27: Sen. Kamala Harris professes to be "completely confused" by the dropping of charges against ("alleged") hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett.  "The facts are still unfolding," etc.  This is the same Kamala Harris who was so credulous as to believe Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, before hearing both sides, and even though Dr. Ford's friend Leland Keyser, in a sworn statement, couldn't corroborate Ford's story.  There's other evidence that Harris - currently running a close third in the '20 Dem nomination betting markets behind two other Ford-believers - is a typical slimy political opportunist.]


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