For one thing, the smartest people do not necessarily make the best political choices. William F. Buckley once famously declared that he would rather give control of our government to “the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” Bruce Charlton, a professor of theoretical medicine at the University of Buckingham, recently coined the term “clever sillies” to describe people who hold wacky political views seemingly because of—rather than despite—their high intelligence. Conservative writer John Derbyshire has also observed that political naivety exists at both extremes of the IQ distribution, not just the lower one. The reason is that brilliant people can sometimes be so consumed by abstract philosophy that they forget common sense.
It’s the “Bell Curve” argument all over again.
There’s no way to really answer this. It’s clever writing and fun with stats, but it’s a bogus argument. a) impossible to really categorize political beliefs in such binary way b) there are so many behavioral factors involved in your belief system that it’s hard to draw a cause strong enough to justify the distinctions here.
Fun read but fairly useless.
Unless it’s true.
I’ll leave the last words to the article author:
The bottom line is that a political debate will never be resolved by measuring the IQs of groups on each side of the issue. Even if certain positions tend to be held by less intelligent people, there will usually be plenty of sharp thinkers who take the same side. Rather than focus on the intellectual deficiencies, real or imagined, of certain politicians and their supporters, people should strive to find the best and brightest spokesmen for the opposing side.
There is a certain devilish fun to contemplating the intelligence of liberals and conservatives, but it should have no effect on how we think about issues. Political debates would be better without it.