Given the quality of some individuals who claim to represent conservatives, I can understand why so many intelligent and cultured individuals equate conservatism with backwards, anti-intellectualism and buffoonery. It's a shame that the works of brilliant advocates of economic freedom and limited government, like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are not given greater attention. Part of the blame lies with public schools and other institutions that do very little to expose students to conservative thought. And part of the blame lies in the awful marketing decisions of the Republican Party, who have consistently chosen spokesmen (such as GW Bush & Sara Pailin) who certainly do not represent the best and brightest of conservatism. As painful as it may be, we have to look beyond the marketing, look beyond the figureheads and focus on three things: policy, policy & policy. Because as intelligent, articulate and urbane as Obama is, his policies are accelerating our race to financial insolvency.