Vote for smart people

I saw an interview yesterday with Sarah Palin that made me rethink who she is… Up ’till now the coverage of her has been all of her mistakes – not knowing what the Bush Doctrine was, saying she’s qualified in foreign affairs because you can see Russia from Alaska, etc (see video). Saturday Night Live has been having a field day with her and their sketches are funny in part because they’re playing off what’s true. I’m sure you’ve seen it all by now, so there’s no need to repeat it.

The interview video I saw yesterday (below) puts her in a different light. She’s much less of the dumb bimbo that she’s been portrayed to be and more of just an average person – sorta a “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” sorta character…

Seen as a whole she’s not quite the idiot she seems in short clips. But she’s no brain surgeon either… And that’s sorta my point. She’s just an average person. We’ve been there and done that with George W. and look where it’s gotten us. Average people just don’t have what it takes to be President and the actuarial tables make it clear if McCain/Palin get elected there’s a decent chance she will wind up as President.

We need smart people running the country, and Palin’s not particularly smart. The problem is that her not being smart appeals to a certain class of people. When I was growing up I was always one of the smartest kids in the class (in an academically competitive school). Thing was my parents didn’t appreciate being smart. I’d bring home a report card filled mostly with A’s and a few B’s and they really didn’t care. Mom has even gone as far as to tell me that my intelligence is a problem – that I’ve used it to come to the wrong conclusions – ones that are in opposition to the Bible.

So that’s what we’re dealing with here… Big parts of the US don’t want smart people running the country. They want good ‘ol boys (and girls) who don’t think too much. They want loyalty and people who agree with them on what they consider their “values”. Well, we’ve done that, and it’s gotten us to the brink of our country’s second great depression.

You see the problem with intelligence is that it won’t let you live in a fantasy land. Intelligence requires you to think about whether you can afford your mortgage after the rates adjust. Intelligence requires you to think about what happens after you “win” a war and are in control of a country. Intelligence requires you to think about what the real value of a deriviative security is before you buy it. In other words, intelligence questions the basics and makes you ask whether your premises are in line with reality.

We need intelligence in our leaders. This isn’t a liberal/conservative thing. I’d vote for someone like George Will over a dumb liberal any day. The thing is that neo-cons which control the Republican party think in faith-based ways. Quoting their bible – “faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen”. In other words, faith is saying there is proof/evidence when there is none (i.e. saying there are weapons of mass destruction when there are none, or saying the economy is “fundamentally strong” as it’s collapsing and looking like the beginnings of the second great depression).

So, vote for smart people next month – we need them more now than ever before… Which means, don’t vote for Sarah Palin – she’s not the complete idiot people are making her out to be, but that doesn’t mean she’s smart enough to run the country…

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