Can being thought of as stupid, be seized upon as advantage?


“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.”
― Bertrand Russell, New Hopes for a Changing World

Can being thought stupid, be used to one's advantage?

Sample non-answer from Rick Perry, while adjusting eye-glasses:
“Running for the presidency is not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual’s resolve; it is a test of an individual’s philosophy; it is a test of an individual’s life experiences,”
"I think everybody has some margin of error. I've got less than other folks, but that's OK,"

Have you an example to contribute for others?

Would Palin's quest to be truthful about what going on at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave be applicable? Or acclaim to never having read newspaper or magazine?
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leonstrykerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Perception does not make a fact. Lack of sophistication is often confused with lack of intelligence.  An astute person can surely take advantage of that.
tliottaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Jessica Simpson? Tommy Smothers? Jerry Lewis?

My intelligent and very successful father-in-law was not a follower of "rock'n'roll" music nor performers. He couldn't grasp at all someone like Alice Cooper. Cooper's music, his 'costume', his performances made no sense at all.

But a number of years ago he happened to catch an interview of Cooper on some news channel in a fairly serious business segment. The interview included Cooper dressed in common business attire discussing crafting his public persona, crafting his contracts, managing his finances and other elements of "Alice Cooper, rock star".

Afterwards, father-in-law said "He's a businessman!" Tone of voice indicated an epiphany. He had come to realize that Alice Cooper was far more than the "Alice Cooper, rock star" that he'd mostly ignored previously as a juvenile delinquent fool. A new respect had risen, and Alice Cooper was suddenly a peer (as well as essentially a serious potential competitor in some non-music related areas).

So far, those are all entertainment figures, and I'd expect that that's where it's most common.

Maybe I'd consider Harry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. President, as an example. Before his rise in national politics, he was basically midwestern farmboy. He owned a haberdashery before some political interaction that eventually led to election as Senator, then Vice President with Franklin D. Roosevelt. I suspect that his apparently humble and unsophisticated life kept him as being underestimated even after assuming the Presidency.

Now, he was (eventually at least) a politician. With a kind of parallel to entertainment, maybe politics is also common. Or maybe it's usually real in politics.

SunBowAuthor Commented:
re: tliotta,
Methinks history did less to help Ford than Truman...,
I was fond of Tommy, How about Marx Bros? Lucy? Dick Martin
Nice call :)
Reminds me of those stereotyped simple 'Southern Lawyers', Andy Griffith

Sam Ervin: gained lasting fame through his stewardship of the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Campaign Practices, also known as the Senate Watergate Committee, from the 1972 presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield chose Ervin because it was unlikely Ervin was going to run for re-election in 1974 (and in fact did not), because he had no aspirations beyond his office, because of his knowledge of the law and the Constitution, and because he was an even-keeled, conservative, independent-minded Democrat. President Nixon thought at first that Ervin might potentially be partial to him, but that turned out to not be the case.

He also famously said of religion and government:

Political freedom cannot exist in any land where religion controls the state, and religious freedom cannot exist in any land where the state controls religion.

re: leonstryker,
Leaves a lot of room for a good con game.
Reminds me (go figure) of those thinking incorrectly they are smarter, simply due to their own lack of understanding.§ion=45825
There is no proof that Phineas Taylor Barnum ever said, "there's a sucker born every minute." He did, however, say that "every crowd has a silver lining," and acknowledged that "the public is wiser than many imagine."

Rick Perry Quotes Jesus To Justify Income Inequality and Poverty - By: Rmuse - Thursday, December, 11th, 2014,
The subject was the crushing income inequality in Texas that, according to Perry, is something he, or the state of Texas, “just doesn’t grapple with.” Perry readily acknowledged that the state’s richest residents have seen the greatest spike in earnings, but that is acceptable to the avowed evangelical Christian because the bible tells him that is how it is supposed to be.

Perry’s message is clear; there is no reason to address poverty, income inequality, or make any effort to help those suffering, and people in Texas are suffering, but not because it is written in scripture. The state is ranked number one as having the nation’s highest rate of people who lack health insurance, and despite having so much wealth, it is in the top ten states with the highest level of poverty.

“For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always.”

tliottaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
President Nixon thought at first that Ervin might potentially be partial to him, but that turned out to not be the case.
That reminds me of numerous Supreme Court cases in the past couple decades where one or more of various Justices have given opinions that seemed contrary to the ideologies of the nominating Presidents. Most often, a Justice who was nominated because of apparent conservative and strict-constructionist views has voted with the liberal members of the Court to issue decisions that disappointed conservative groups.

Back to the original question, there is a variation. There are people who seem intelligent enough, even brighter than average, yet they're apparently extremely intelligent. James Woods is reported to have a 184 IQ. Perhaps some of the above mentioned Justices could fit there. (Not 184 IQ, but brighter than thought.)

SunBowAuthor Commented:
Closing, to move on. It took awhile, flipping for choice to 'accept' (best). Selecting the one closest to game of poker. All having value

Steven Spielberg was member of Mensa. It took most of his career for peers to acknowledge his ability in the industry.

Woods ultimately chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in political science" - Wiki

He seems ever a solid anchor in films, such as White House Down
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