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Friday, September 12, 2008

Why It doesn’t matter that Sarah Palin’s an idiot

Hey, have you seen the video of Charlie Gibson interviewing VP candidate Sarah Palin?

No?

You can watch it here.

And, like, yes, it is painfully obvious that this woman is laughably unqualified to run the United States. Charlie Gibson asks her about the Bush Doctrine, codified in 2002, and she clearly has no idea what he’s talking about, and he rubs that in. He uses big words like “existential” and “hubris” and she clearly has no idea what those words mean, although she does a decent job of interpreting them in context. Charlie pronounces “nuclear” correctly repeatedly, highlighting the fact that she pronounces it incorrectly, repeatedly, and, bllody hell, wasn’t the whole point of this election to get someone — anyone — in office who could correctly pronounce the word “nuclear”? She’s never met a foreign head of state, but mentions that you can actually see Russia from some parts of Alaska, so that’s kind of the same thing, right? It just goes on and on. She has absolutely no grasp on the history of U.S. foreign policy. It’s worse than I expected, honestly. It’s horrible. I mean, it’s horrible.

And it occurs to me that it doesn’t matter.

It’s not news to me that Sarah Palin knows nothing about foreign affairs. And it’s not news to John McCain.

Here’s the thing: Every now and then, I run into somebody very stupid and painfully uneducated who disagrees with me about something. And, most of the time, I let it slide and move on because I just have better things to do than argue with uneducated, irrational people. But sometimes I’m just in a bad mood for whatever reason, and looking to make someone else feel like a total idiot, and so that’s what I do. I argue that perfectly nice person into a corner and make them look like an absolute fool, and when they’re on the floor and bruised and beating and coughing up blood, I kick them some more. And then some more. Because I’m very grumpy and I’m gonna take it out on them. And when I do that, a funny thing happens. My friends — who I know agree with my side of the argument in theory — start to side with the other person. Because it’s painful to watch an innocent, simple, poorly educated nice person get ripped to shreds intellectually, and you feel obliged to defend that person.

Charles Gibson went to Princeton University, and currently serves on their Board of Trustees.

Sarah Palin attended a series of small colleges in Idaho, eventually managing to graduate from the University of Idaho.

If the remainder of this election is going to consist of Ivy-educated old men making Sarah Palin look like a fool, you can just go ahead and hand John McCain the keys to the White House. Because it doesn’t matter that she’s an idiot. It doesn’t matter in the Gibson interviews and it won’t matter in the VP debate. She’s an idiot with five kids and a sweet, young face and she’s trying really hard and she loves America and don’t you dare act all high and mighty on her just because you went to some fancy school and got some fancy education and know all these facts and statistics and things because there is more to a person than just how many silly facts they can pull out of their ass.

It does not matter that Sarah Palin is a moron. As long as these fancy-pants old men keep making her look like a moron, she’s going to win over voters. They may not quite know why, but they’ll find themselves rooting for her. Could this approach ever work with Hillary? No, it could not. Because Hillary Clinton is competent. Would it work on a male VP candidate who was equally ill-informed? No. We expect men to be competent.

The selection of Sarah Palin as VP candidate has absolutely nothing to do with feminism. It’s just the opposite. It’s about playing on our natural inclination to expect less from women. It’s gross, it grows increasingly infuriating to me as time passes, and, also, it’s working.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not American but I'm proud i voted for John Kerry in 2004 with my $50 donation. She's almost like George Bush, incompetent. I'd seriously start to belittle Americans if they voted for her and John McCain and they ended up winning. I knew back then that George Bush in office again in 2004 would seriously influence my way of life down in little New Zealand. What else can you expect when you put incompetent people into positions of great authority.