Showing posts with label Thomas Sowell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas Sowell. Show all posts

Monday, September 03, 2012

In this regard, he is not very different from many people.

Knowledge is boring; it's the narrative that matters.

Thomas Sowell remarks on Obama's erudition:

As Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School has pointed out, Obama made no effort to take part in the marketplace of ideas with other faculty members when he was teaching a law course there. What would be the point, if he already knew the truth and knew that they were wrong?

This would be a remarkable position to take, even for a learned scholar who had already spent decades canvassing a vast amount of information and views on many subjects. But Obama was already doctrinaire at a very early age -- and ill-informed or misinformed on both history and economics.

His statement in "Dreams from My Father" about how white men went to Africa to "drag away the conquered in chains" betrays his ignorance of African history.

The era of the Atlantic slave trade and the era of European conquests across the continent of Africa were different eras. During the era of the Atlantic slave trade, most of Africa was ruled by Africans, who sold some of their slaves to white men.

European conquests in Africa had to wait until Europeans found some way to survive lethal African diseases, to which they lacked resistance. Only after medical science learned to deal with these diseases could the era of European conquests spread across sub-Saharan Africa. But the Atlantic slave trade was over by then.

There was no reason why Barack Obama had to know this. But there was also no reason for him to be shooting off his mouth without knowing what he was talking about.

And so it goes with so many of Obama's mistakes, such as "corpse-man," "Austria is a language," and this classic, queing the band to play during the middle of his toast to the Queen of England:

Mistakes happen, and they happen if you think that you are as good as your press clippings say you are. Sowell concludes:
Barack Obama is one of those people who are often wrong but never in doubt. When he burst upon the national political scene as a presidential candidate in 2008, even some conservatives were impressed by his confidence. But confident ignorance is one of the most dangerous qualities in a leader of a nation. If he has the rhetorical skills to inspire the same confidence in himself by others, then you have the ingredients for national disaster.
 
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