Sunday, October 05, 2008

From the Audacity of Hope to the Embracement of Mediocrity

Parents around the US regardless of their political affiliation can probably look upon the careers of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Kay Bailey Hutchinson and say that they would love for their little boys or girls to emulate them. These people are true glass ceiling destroyers. As Americans we are proud that we live in a country where people like the aforementioned can rise from humble origins to the heights of power based entirely on their innate capabilities, hard work and discipline. Anyone of these people would inspire us common folk by the sheer audacity of their own hopes. They understand the common man because they arose from families of "commoners" (to use a British term) but they are not necessarily common. In fact their talents and cerebral agility make them extraordinarily uncommon.

This however is not the case with Sara Palin. This is a woman who is extraordinarily ummmm....common. She has not really done anything worth mentioning that would qualify her to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. There is no public record of her spending even a minute thinking about anything important to this country or the world. Her choice was pure politics and McCains embrace of her is the final sellout of a former maverick and highly regarded contrarian. He has basically bowed to convention and joined the forces that he tried his whole life to beat.

The American people have seen over the last 8 years what can happen to the country when they elect someone who pushes his ordinariness as a qualifying attribute for the highest office. The country is too complicated and the world too dangerous to allow a rube to wield the reins of power. Americans more than anyone should now understand that curiosity is a necessary condition for the Presidency. This curiosity about the world is revealed in ones reading, writing and travels. In Sara Palins case the writing (no public record of any of her writings on any matter of importance to the Presidency) and travel (she only got her first passport in 2007) is non existent and the reading based on her vacuous answers in her interviews and her debates is probably also non existent.

Sara Palin's elevation is the final act in the embracement of mediocrity and anti-intellectualism which we have allowed to permeate our national politics and thinking. Therefore one hopes that this Hail Mary pass that McCain has thrown either ends up as a fumble or an interception. If Sara Palin scores a touchdown and achieves the vice presidency then the meltdown that the country has faced in the last 8 years will look like a Sunday morning stroll by comparison.


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