Just How Stupid Are We?

Yes, boys and girls, another book review, and a very timely one at that. For those of us about to head to the polls in a month, this should be required reading. I present:

Because frankly it’s driving me nuts. Beauty queens-cum-hockey-moms-cum-sportscasters do not make good politicians, unless you want someone who doesn’t know anything more about the issues than you do, and has no more helpful ideas of how to fix things than you do. While I may think McCain is getting senile to have chosen her as a running mate, apparently (a lot of) others disagree. They are completely taken in by her “folksy” hometown girl, aw-shucks persona that she has honed over the years. And we know men are easily swayed by a pretty face. (and seriously, could that skirt she wore to the debate have been any tighter?)

This article on Yahoo! explains how the Palins live a very upscale life in Wasilla, where some of their nearby neighbors don’t even have electricity and indoor plumbing. Yet they are conspicuous consumers accumulating 17 snowmobiles (although to be fair I infer not all at once). She’s a trophy hunter who it seems celebrated her VP nomination by going out and shooting a caribou. She may be qualified to lead an Outward Bound expedition, but hunting and fishing skills do not make one qualified to lead this country. I find this quote particularly disturbing:

“Everyone hunts and fishes here, but it’s just that few people look so good doing it as Todd and Sarah,” said David Parks, a 27-year-old Republican who has known Sarah Palin since he was a child and is volunteering for her campaign. “What attracts people is they have the plane, the snow machines and the whole lifestyle.”

I’m sorry, what is it about a conspicuous display of wealth and “looking good” makes a person qualified to lead the US? What kind of criteria is this for selecting our nation’s leaders? That seems to be all people can say about her, she “looks good”. There seems to be a major disconnect regarding what constitutes a qualified leader. What is she doing to help her neighbors acquire basic necessities like electricity, and running water? But to quote the reviewer of Shenkman’s book:

“Ultimately, however, because of our reluctance to address myths of The People and their collective wisdom (or lack thereof), we are doomed to choose elected officials not because of where they stand on issues of substance, but, rather, because they seem like a guy we’d want to have a beer with or because they remind us of ourselves. Shenkman even goes so far as to say that even suggesting that the voters may not be in the best position to judge the issues is political taboo.”

I guess in a country that elects actors and wrestlers to top offices, I shouldn’t be too surprised by Palin’s popularity.


About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobo.com, Smashwords. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
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4 Responses to Just How Stupid Are We?

  1. justwilliams says:

    We are no better here in the UK.
    I have long argued that the only useful qualification possessed by most of our politicians is the ability to talk, even when they don’t understand what they are talking about. Their second most useful qualification seems to be the ability to keep their snouts firmly in the trough where their own interests are concerned.
    So, being a mere fella I suppose I would have to say that it would be some consolation if ANY of them did look as good as Sarah Palin!

  2. Digital Dame says:

    See, you’re still ahead of us then. You haven’t quite sunk to the point of worshipping politicians based on looks alone. The Cult of Caribou Barbie is something new to US politics, but it seems to be working so I think we’ll see more of it in the future.

  3. Nick says:

    All I can say is good luck to you; I’m glad I’m not saddled with the problem of voting in the US. But as for Palin specifically, she’s just what can happen when democracy’s the system of choice.

  4. Digital Dame says:

    True, but what would SNL and all the comedians do for material without them? 😉

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