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Monthly Archives: October 2008

I will say right now that I can’t stand Sarah Palin. I just watched the vice-presidential debate, and I’m already super hormonal, so I had an excruciating time watching it. I yell at the TV during football and during debates. And I really yelled at the TV this evening. But that’s not really what I want to talk about.

The issue the debate analysis brought up is what I want to discuss. One of the analysts said something along the lines of “Sarah Palin was trying to show that she’s just like everyone else”. And it’s the dichotomy of the presidency. One of our national principles is that anybody can be anything if they work hard enough, including president. You tell your kids that if they work hard enough, they can be president.

But would you really want that?

I know plenty of people who I think are perfectly nice, pretty damn smart people that I don’t want running the country. In fact, I am really glad that most of my friends are not doing so right now. I love my friends and I don’t doubt their intelligence, but I also know that many of them are easily bored by details of governance like coverage options of health plans, exactly what kind of aid we send abroad and where the aid goes, and how to raise money in the most fair way. I know most of my friends didn’t know that it’s unconstitutional to tax wealth in this country. I also know that many of them do not understand money markets. In fact, I am fairly certain that the vast majority of Americans do not understand money markets. Presidents, however, really need to understand money markets because the standing of the dollar is in their hands.

And that’s why I really dislike Sarah Palin. At the root of it all is her ability to say stupid shit and get away with it because she’s a “hockey mom”. I have no problem with hockey moms, and I’m sure some of them are smart enough to run the country. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and she is definitely smart enough to run the country. My dad was a truck dispatcher and a walking boss on the Oakland waterfront and he was smart enough to run the country. But they could demonstrate their intelligence. They could explain to me why the Great Society programs didn’t work, they could explain their opinions on “tort reform”, they could explain the dangers of deregulation. And what Sarah Palin has not managed to demonstrate to me is mastery of the material. Holding the right positions on current issues is really not the most important thing for me, though holding totally wrong positions (*ahem* taking books off library shelves that you haven’t even READ) definitely sets off alarm bells for me. What I really want to see in a candidate is comprehensive understanding of issues and the history behind them. I don’t want to hear their position on the current issue, I want to hear them draw on their experience and body of knowledge to explain their position. I don’t just want the solution they propose, I want to know from whence that solution came. I want to know that the candidate actually has a solid foundation for the solution they propose. I do not want to hear that their solid foundation is the will of the American people, because the will of the American people changes all the time and not all the American people have the same will. I want evidence of theirr ability to draw on their body of knowledge and come up with solutions, because as president, most of the issues on which they will make decisions don’t exist as such right now.

And on that scale, Sarah Palin has failed. THAT is why she annoys me.