Modern politics has reduced Democrats and Republicans into stereotypes, writes Kathleen Parker. Democrats are the Ivy League know-it-alls who think government can solve all, while Republicans prefer guts and self-reliance over book smarts. Too bad, she writes in the Washington Post. "Would it be too much to ask that a well-read mind come packaged in a human vessel that also has had some experience in the trenches of ordinary life?" After all, Americans of strong character "come in both Republican and Democratic flavors," but you'd never know it in these "hyperparatisan" times.
Witness all the talk about whether Rick Perry is dumb. He's not, but like George W. Bush, he's savvy enough to play up anti-Ivy sentiments, and it works in our current political climate. "Until someone emerges to remind Americans of who they are in a way that neither insults their intelligence nor condescends to their less-fortunate circumstances, smart money goes to the 'stupid' politicians, who are dumb as foxes and happy as clams when their opponents misunderestimate them." (Read more 2012 Presidential Candidates stories.)