Guest Commentary / January 20, 2022

Fareed Zakaria’s Perplexity That Biden’s Approval Rate Is So Low

One of the hardest things for most intellectuals to understand is their own limitations.

By Richard McDonough

“In every disaster throughout American history, there always seems to be a man from Harvard in the middle of it.” —Thomas Sowell

A few weeks after the Biden administration reportedly secretly met with various media companies to request more favorable coverage, Fareed Zakaria, Harvard-trained host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” obligingly “confessed” on Twitter that he finds it “puzzling” that “President Biden’s popularity is so low.” In fact, Biden’s approval at the time was about 45%, but it has now fallen to an embarrassing 33%.

In fact, it is Fareed’s perplexity that is actually perplexing.

It couldn’t be that Biden pretends he has FDR-like majorities in Congress while he tries to ram things through that horrify half the population.

It couldn’t be that on his very first day in office, he destroyed our energy independence by killing the Keystone pipeline.

It couldn’t be that he has surrendered to Iran in its quest to obtain nuclear weapons.

It couldn’t be that when campaigning he promised to “shut down the virus, not the economy,” but doing the exact opposite after being elected.

It couldn’t be that Biden promised a return to normalcy after the Trump years but delivered chaos and incompetence.

It couldn’t be that Biden laughed and walked away when asked why he hasn’t pressed China on the origins of COVID.

It couldn’t be that Biden reacts angrily and refuses to answer questions about his son Hunter’s laptop.

It couldn’t be that the Biden administration shows its contempt for the law and the American people when it transparently lies that the southern border is secure.

It couldn’t be that inflation, which destroys people’s lives, especially the lives of the poor, is at a 40-year high.

It couldn’t be that Biden has been exposed as “callous and dishonest” for his response to his botched Afghanistan withdrawal that saw 13 American servicepersons murdered, over 100 more injured, and 169 Afghan’s killed.

It couldn’t be that after leaving a massive amount of U.S. military equipment behind for the Taliban terrorist regime, the Biden administration is sending the Taliban millions of dollars in U.S. aid.

It couldn’t be that Biden regularly turns his back on reporters and walks away refusing to answer questions.

It couldn’t be that when criticized, Biden regularly blames everyone but himself.

It couldn’t be that Biden is constantly so incoherent that even a New York Times columnist “begged” him not to run for reelection.

It couldn’t be that his administration and vice president have supported such a ridiculous policing policies that homicides and crime are spiking across the country to the point that even former “Defund the Police” Democrats are now calling to reverse course.

One could continue indefinitely, but that should suffice for present purposes.

Although intellectuals perform an absolutely essential role in societal and cultural advance, they tend to dramatically overestimate their ability to solve real world problems. On his CNN show, Fareed condescendingly gives his pupils (audience) little quizzes and reading assignments of the books that support his “liberal” worldview as if he is teaching 9th graders.

Unfortunately, wisdom is not found on quizzes.

Everything always works out wonderfully in the classroom — in fact, so wonderfully that “intellectual” elites simply cannot let reality interfere with their fancies. As philosopher/mathematician A.N. Whitehead points out in The Function of Reason, solving “real world” problems requires a different kind of intelligence, not that of a Plato, a “philosopher,” but that of a Ulysses, a doer — perhaps even a rough and tumble businessman who is incomprehensible to closeted intellectuals.

One does not acquire real-world wisdom in the classroom (although one sometimes does so in opposition to it). The real moral of Fareed’s puzzlement is that one of the hardest things for most intellectuals to understand is their own limitations: “Intellect is not wisdom” (Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society).

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