However, a Smart Politics analysis of nearly 70 oral State of the Union Addresses since the mid-1930s finds the text of Obama’s speech on Wednesday evening to have one of the lowest scores on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test ever recorded by a U.S. President.
The Flesch-Kincaid test is designed to assess the readability level of written text, with a formula that translates the score to a U.S. grade level. Longer sentences and sentences utilizing words with more syllables produce higher scores. Shorter sentences and sentences incorporating more monosyllabic words yield lower scores.
I take this as not so much an indictment of Obama’s intelligence as it is one of his penchant for lying and lecturing. Understand this well folks, he has to lecture because no man on Earth can articulate a principled, rational, intelligent defense of modern liberalism borne of a Marx/Lenin/Mao collectivist ethos. It’s simply not possible. It cannot be done.
So instead of trying in vain to do so, he lies. Instead of trying to do so, he uses short soundbite lies to lecture us like a scolding parent. I’m quite certain that often when I used to get lectured by my parents (usually before I talked back and got my ass kicked), they lied through their teeth. Parents don’t have to rationally explain to their kids why they screwed up; they just tell them that they screwed up and to not do it again…or else. Obama uses this method often in his speeches. The SOTU was only the longest, most clear expression of this to date:
As such, the speech by ‘the professor’ stands in contrast to his predecessor, ‘the cowboy,’ George W. Bush, who was frequently skewered by the left and late-night talk show hosts for his public speaking abilities, his intelligence, and his misuse of the English language.
Bush averaged a Flesch-Kincaid score of 10.4 across his seven State of the Union Addresses – or nearly two full grades higher than Obama’s speech. Bush’s speeches also averaged 2.4 more words per sentence than Obama, at 19.0.
In other words, the text of George W. Bush’s speeches are expected to be understandable (in written form) by an average sophomore in high school, whereas Obama’s speech should be understandable by a junior high school student.
One could also make a strong argument that adherents to the modern progressive ethos are far less analytical than those of us who adhere to the ‘classic liberal’ school. Modern progressivism is a soundbite philosophy: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorace is Power. There’s no thinking required. Just get into college, get lectured and regurgitate the professor’s lies ad nauseum. That’s the playbook from which very few deviate. Whether in the halls of power, the media or the classroom, no attempt is made to critically analyze the foundations of and irreconcilable internal inconsistencies within the collectivist dogma. Why would they when it’s so much easier to just berate your political and intellectual adversaries with ad hominems and label them every vile insult in the book. Keith Olbermann sums up this approach nicely with his “[i]n short, in Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees.”
Your average, stupid 8th-grader understands that. There’s no need to understand why it’s true or not true because it’s so much easier not to. Modern progressive-liberalism is the penultimate expression of lazy thinking, which is literally perfect for the times in which we live today.
The best thing about the tea party movement, for me, is that millions of people who otherwise may never have seen this ethos for what it truly is have taken a profound intellectual interest in understanding what makes people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama tick.
The vast majority of them, I predict, will not like what they see. That is how you build a “permanent” majority.