The confidence of the stupid

Mini-column ‘Alison in Wonderland’, published in the Observant, Maastricht

After ‘Super Tuesday’ in the US last week, it looks likely that Mitt Romney will bring home the Republican nomination. It hasn’t been an easy race. Critics were quick to jump on Romney’s casual mention of the ‘couple of Cadillacs’ his wife owns; not something that will endear you to a country still deep in economic crisis. Still, all he had to do was seem less stupid than his rivals. We saw Rick Perry forgetting the name of a government agency he would cut if elected, and Herman Cain forgetting what Libya is. But no-one can top the claim by former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin that ‘we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies’. The philosopher Bertrand Russell said it best: ‘The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident, while the intelligent are full of doubt.’

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