Reflection upon Intelligence

3 min readJan 10, 2021


Writing on intelligence seems timely, based upon a particular set of events this past week. I am sure you are all aware of the events that took place this past week in Washington DC, you don’t need me to rehash them for you. But there are two parts to the greater story I see coming down to intelligence or loss thereof. In context, I offer observations and how it relates to my perspective on matters — I am not one in a position to offer judgement on my fellow humans.

Challenge the results but Stop the Steal

Since the results of the Electoral College were finalized in December, there has been a growing push of legislators to “challenge” the results, as is allowed by Federal law. These men and women sought to challenge results that they claim were fraudulent, from states that they do not represent, without credible evidence to back their positions. On the surface, this has the appearance of desperation mixed with a bit of lunacy … below the surface, however, is the intelligence.

These are calculated moves with a self-serving purpose in mind — to raise one’s status in the eyes of their chosen audience. While we can (and do) claim that politicians are “dumbasses”, the majority are cold and calculating (and more than a little desperate to keep their status). Rarely does a politician make a move without self-benefit, either in the present or the future. Moves are not made without forethought and planning … and intelligence.

Which brings us to the likes of Representatives Brooks (AL) and Gaetz (FL), Senators Cruz (TX) and Hawley (MO) (4 of the 147 who voted against the certification) … they knew that their challenge would fail, that they would lose “today”. However, their actions weren’t about “today”, but they are all looking ahead for their own futures. They are pandering to the Trumpist base (and the man himself), calculating that their actions were “in support” of truth in what President Trump claimed will gain them future support.

US Capitol, 6 January 2021; image courtesy of

The intelligence in pandering to “populism” is not something done lightly, push too hard, too far, too fast and they will turn against you. This is true on both the right and left of the political spectrum — from “Occupy Wall Street” to “Stop the Steal”. You must know when, where, and how to get the message to the people that you are “on their side” and keep that going (whether truth or charade). People like Senators Cruz and Hawley are banking on the populist right to look upon them in the same way that the left looks at Senator Sanders or Warren. They look to garner that “grassroots” support to push their political careers to the next level. They want to be the king, but there are lessons to learn from the French.

After all, the French Revolution would eventually cannibalize itself, tearing down many of its own intelligent leaders as one turned against the other. It’s a strong message, a strong warning for those who seek to seize upon the Populist vote … once the energy builds to a crescendo, it is not easily dismissed with a thought. No matter how intelligent one is, seeking to exploit this “greater intelligence” against the momentum built by the movement will not turn out well in the long run.

After all, it’s the amassed energy that causes momentum …




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