Dear Sarah, please run for president?!

Asked to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, Sarah Palin couldn’t do it. Instead she kept up the they-hate-me mantra, “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me over all these years.” She said this to Katie Couric on October 1, 2008.

You might wonder, then, why Leonard Pitts really wants Palin to run for president. Pitts thinks it’s time for the US to decide what kind of country we intend to be. In an open letter to Palin, Pitts says,

Something is wrong when we celebrate mental mediocrity like yours under the misapprehension that competence or, God forbid, intelligence, makes a person one of those “elites” — that’s a curse word now — lacking authenticity, compassion and common sense.

So no, this is not a clash of ideologies, but a clash between intelligence and its opposite. And I am tired of being asked to pretend stupid is a virtue. That’s why I’d welcome the moment of truth your campaign would bring. It would force us to decide once and for all whether we are permanently committed to the path of ignorance, of birthers, truthers and tea party incoherence you represent, or whether we will at last turn back from the cliff toward which we race.

I couldn’t agree more. If we’re going to celebrate the triumph of the dumbification of America, I want out.

Here’s another thing. I’m tired of the callous hypocrisy coming from the right. Governors decry the stimulus while cashing the checks from Washington. Talk radio hosts complain about mainstream media on their nationally syndicated corporate network programs. And Palin provides another example for us:

As Exhibit A, consider your recent speech at a so-called “tea party” event, wherein you dismissed the president as a “charismatic guy with a teleprompter.” Bad enough you imply that teleprompter use is the mark of an insubstantial man, even though you and every other major politician uses them. But what made the comment truly jaw-dropping is that even as you spoke, you had penned on your left palm, clearly visible, a series of crib notes. Mrs. Palin, if Obama is an idiot for reading a prepared speech off a teleprompter, what are you for reading notes you’ve inked on your hand like a school kid who failed to study for the big test?

Sigh. So, let’s have Obama versus Palin. If, as a nation, we’re going to seek the lowest common denominator, I’ll be one of a large number of people who find somewhere on this beauiful planet that values ideas, conversation, excellence, and even intellect.

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5 Responses

  1. Lee Crawford says:

    Ayup. I am totally with you.

  2. Doreen Gardner says:

    Sadly, the acceptance of dumb elected officials is not new, and not limited to the Republicans. Patrick Kennedy is another example. I once attended an informal meeting that he attended, and we all had an opportunity to answer questions. It was clear that he was inept at answering any questions he had not prepared scripted answers for. He stumbled and stammered over those questions.

    I do believe that the problem is the dumbification of the American electorate. It seems to me that there are increasing numbers of people who don’t care about being well informed before they cast their ballots in election.

    While I do not think that Sarah Palin is bright enough or poised enough to be President, I think that there was another side to the story of the Katie Couric interview. I got the impression that Palin was caught off guard and was afraid of being brutalized by naming something politically incorrect, and being further brutalized by Couric. I believe the question was asked to embarrass Palin. Can anyone tell me if Obama or any other major candidate in a national election was asked that question, and if so how did they answer it?

  3. Pastor Mack says:

    Am I incorrect, or is your last sentence incomplete?

    From a traditionalist conservative view, I dislike Palin as well – though i still maintain that, at the time of the last election, she was at least as qualified as Obama to run for President (not to mention vice-president). I appreciate that Palin has shown little intellect or polish, and I would not personally want her to run. But if the left now wants to insist that Presidential candidates have these things called “qualifications,” I would like to remind them that they elected a President based solely on rhetoric, charm, and “coolness.” He won a Nobel Prize on similar lack of qualifications, and they even admitted to it.

    Calling out Palin is a cheap shot. Absent Dick Cheney, the bitter left needs a whipping-boy, and I suppose Palin is qualified for that. But if you’re griping about leaders without substance, don’t forget about the President.

    And yes, the American electorate is dumb. This leads to a question no one wants to ask – should eligible citizens have to have any qualifications of their own to excercise their right to vote? How about passing a basic citizenship test, as required by all immigrants?

    Scandalous, I know. But while we bleat about the Sarah Palins of the world, an increasingly dumb electorate will elect increasingly stupid and insipid leaders.

  4. Ethan says:

    It has been curious, over the course of my life, to watch a primarily Christian movement decide, to a greater and greater degree, that the Logos itself is the Great Enemy. In my time among the Evangelicals during nursing school, it seemed to me that authentic Christian education of the (incredibly passionate, energetic, and earnest) Evangelical wing of the American church may be the only way to pull ourselves back from this kind of madness. Sadly, many are far enough down the kingdom of God : kingdom of Man :: Fox News : everything else path that I don’t think any broadcast or print educational vehicle even could catch their eye.

    I’ve seen the construction of one-on-one relationships with curious Evangelicals work; if you get people to believe you’re for real as a Christian, they’ll agree to read your copy of St. Augustine, and agree at least that you can be a Christian and believe in evolution. (As a side note, I find it HILARIOUS that in my experience they bagged on Darwin constantly, yet preached John 15 in about 2/3 of sermons.) Still, relationships takes a lot of time, and willingness to cross lines that most people on “our side” don’t want to cross. It’s also a bit dangerous: one might learn that on some matters, They may actually be right.

  5. Phil Snyder says:

    How about the Republicans run Palin and the Democrats run Biden?

    The problem is that the qualifications to be elected to office (almost any elected office, including Bishop in TEC) are vastly different from the qualifications of executing that office and there is no way to determine how a person who has never held an executive position will perform when holding the greatest executive office in the US.

    Personally, I don’t see Palin running in 2012. I see her more in the “kingmaker” role where she helps or hinders her favored candidate.

    Phil Snyder

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