Following the lead of George W. Bush and Carl Rove, Sarah Palin is on a mission to dumb down America. I call it the Palin Doctrine. And she's damned proud of it! Will North Carolina be duped? Again?
Note Palin's assertion that Americans long to have Joe Six-Pack in the White house. "It's time that normal Joe Six-Pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency," she said. A McCain-Palin win will "put government back on the side of the people of Joe Six-Pack like me."
Those absurd comments just flew all over me. Governor Palin frequently spews chunks of folksy, anti-intellectual rhetoric. She would be deserving of pity, were she not so insulting.
Palin is both secretive and defensive about her reading habits. Hell, she's defensive about a lot of things. "I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too," she says. "Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America."
Palin is defensive about her lack of travel outside Alaska. "I'm not one of those who maybe come from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a backpack and say, 'Go off and travel the world.' Noooo. I worked all my life. In fact, I usually had two jobs all my life, until I had kids. I was not part of, I guess, that culture."
She then credits “education” as helping her understand the world. Wait a minute--I had the impression she disapproved of education as elitist!
What is the “culture” to which Palin refers? What's her point? Is one's lack of travel a badge of honor? Some kind of proof that you’re not a spoiled rich kid?
I left the U.S. for the first time around age 27, and I've traveled out of the country well under 10 times. I went to Europe once, just four years ago. Parents paid for none of my travel, with the exception of a Carnival Cruise. Am I part of “that culture?”
My maternal grandparents were Democrats. They were tobacco farmers in Eastern North Carolina, and neither completed high school. Despite their rural locale and lack of formal education, I am absolutely certain they would not want Joe Six-Pack--or in their case, Joe "Moonshine" Mobley (local still operator) in the White House. The whole concept of promoting low standards for high level government jobs is outrageous. North Carolinians won't fall for it this time.
Some people are smug about the education they've earned. They're proud they attended good schools--be it an Ivy League institution, or N.C. State. They seem to think such a pedigree makes them better than others. They are wrong.
Likewise, there's no shame in being uneducated. It does not necessarily reflect poorly on one's intelligence. A lack of formal education may be unfortunate, but it is what it is. Being boastful about one's ignorance and lack of education, however, is just wrongheaded.
Palin’s apparent disdain for people who are not provincial is divisive. It's a tactic that is failing. In fact, it’s backfiring. Both she and John McCain can invoke Ronald Reagan's name all they like. It’s no use.
I predicted intelligent conservatives would not take to her. They're right to be terrified. The last thing this country needs is a plan to not only get dumber--but be PROUD of it.*
*Edited to add: Is she really STILL mispronouncing the word "nuclear?" Unbelievable. What is it about Republicans and that word?