If Ignorance is Bliss, Sarah Palin Must Be Ecstatic


The last two days I have focused on Sarah Palin’s apparent unwillingness to do her “homework”.  The particular blogs related to her unwillingness to investigate a Dallas house for unwed pregnant teens, and her unwillingness, or her inability, to investigate risks associated with offshore drilling.  The obvious conclusion is that Palin lacks the education to understand or appreciate the absurdity of her comments.  It seems this is a trend.  Supporters of Palin appear to share her bliss.  It is not enough that you and I appreciate the importance of intellect and education in our leaders.  Intelligence is not a requirement for the right to vote.  Thus, those of us who recognize the importance of education in the leaders of our country must help educate others.

Sarah Palin was described by a supporter as a “real” person.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKKgua7wQkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXKuDYvM6Wk Since the debut of Men in Black, I have understood that some people were not “real” people.  Yet who would have thought that the realness of a person should be the definitive criteria for determining if the person is qualified to be our President.  We need to make sure that supporters of Palin stop to think about why they like her.  If it’s because she is pretty, sexy, perky or has five children, then its time to re-assess.  Intelligence may be part of a person’s DNA, but only education facilitates the expansion of the myopia with which we are born.  Obviously some don’t have the means to acquire an education.  However most who have the means, aspire to educate themselves.  Those who have an education available to them, and don’t take advantage of the opportunity, seem to be the ones most in need of an education.

The importance of an education is quite clear. Education allows us to put our potential to maximum use.  A wise man identified two reasons that education is essential:  1) The training of a human mind is not complete without education; and 2) Through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world; to acquaint himself with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards the outside world. http://alrisala.org/Articles/mailing_list/importance_of_education.htm

People like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh influence many people and appear to view the world through the same spectacles that Palin wears. Thus there must be characteristics that Beck, Limbaugh and Palin share.  Consider the background of each and the views they share about people different than themselves, and the importance, or lack thereof, that education played in the lives of each:

    1. Glenn Beck was so moved to be interviewing Sarah Palin that he became teary-eyed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y40D1Kgb8ng Mr. Beck has referred to Palin as “real”, so maybe his characterization of her was memorable to some.  To me it was an indication of the superficial way that Palin supporters view her.  In his first interview, Glenn pointed out that both he and the “Governor” (she was no longer the Governor at the time of the interview) have “special needs” children.  Even though Beck was attempting to tap into the charitable instincts of his viewers, he doesn’t seem to share this charitable spirit regarding other disadvantaged people.  Glenn has criticized some of the families of the 9-11 victims, and referred to the victims of Katrina as “scum bags”.  It’s no excuse that he is a borderline schizophrenic, and has a history of drug and alcohol abuse.  http://current.com/news/92187964_glenn-becks-history-of-drug-abuse-and-mental-illness-john-avlon-the-daily-beast.htm Palin has expressed the same lack of sensitivity to people in Alaska who don’t have health care suggesting that their extended families should help out, even though Bristol’s baby relies upon public funded health care.  Beck seems to share Palin’s sensitivity to the needs of those without health care.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGeZQrpZbjI .

Beck didn’t seem to identify the importance of a college degree, so he dropped out.  Thus, Palin and Beck seem to have at least two things in common, limited education and special needs children.  Maybe Palin relates to Beck’s drug addiction problems due to Levi’s mother’s arrest for possession of drugs.  Maybe the connection is that Palin’s oldest son Track also had a drug abuse problem, but I have never seen that rumor substantiated.

    1. Rush Limbaugh endorsed John McCain and Sarah Palin, so he must have seen something about Sarah that he liked.  http://www.zimbio.com/Sarah+Palin+for+Vice+President/articles/5/McCain+Palin+ticket+gets+boost+Rush+Limbaugh What was it about Palin that Limbaugh finds appealing? Maybe it’s that Limbaugh, like Beck and Palin seem to disrespect those who have challenges different than their own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do0Lg4JQeos Maybe he, like Glenn Beck, finds it a comfort that Palin doesn’t seem to put a premium on education, since Limbaugh doesn’t have a college degree either.  Funny that the two most well-known conservative talk show hosts don’t have a college degree between them.  Beck, Limbaugh, and Palin have all made a fortune off of their books, so maybe they share that commonality as well. Like Beck, Limbaugh has a history of drug abuse. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/28/A A trend seems to be emerging.  Beck, Limbaugh, and Palin have each made a lot of money off of conservatives, they each seem to minimize the importance of education, and drugs have affected the lives of each.

It seems obvious that Palin, her supporters, and those celebrities who endorse her, seem to have very little understanding of the world around them.

    1. Consider the educational level of the people voting for Barack Obama in 2008.  The majority of voters for Barack Obama were women, 35,900,000, with Barack Obama beating John McCain among women 56%-43%. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/05/election.president/index.html , Women currently surpass men in education, earning more Bachelors Degrees in college than men. This is particularly interesting because McCain chose a woman as a running mate, thinking that his choice of Sarah would cause women to vote for the ticket that included a woman.  John must have failed to realize that most women are younger than he is, and more educated than he.  Maybe if he learned to use a computer he would learn what the rest of us know.
    1. The majority of the U.S. population has completed secondary education and the number of college graduates is greater than the number of high school dropouts. As a whole, the population of the United States is increasingly spending more years in formal educational.
    1. College education is highly valued by American society and is one of the main determinants of class and status.  As a general rule the households and demographics featuring the highest educational attainment in the United States are also among those with the highest household income and wealth.

“US Census Bureau report on educational attainment in the United States, 2003”. http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-550.pdf.

    1. In Sarah Palin’s family Todd, her husband, does not have a college degree and   none of her children are college graduates.  Levi, the father of Sarah’s grandchild, never attended college.  I mention this not to disparage Levi, but to highlight the fact that Sarah’s children seem to have internalized Sarah’s lack of value placed upon education.  The number of days of school Sarah’s children have missed because they were accompanying Sarah in her travels seems to bother me, but not Sarah.  For example, when the press was focused on Sarah wearing a visor to the beach in Hawaii, with John McCain’s name marked out, I was more concerned about Piper being on the beach taking a vacation with Sarah during a school week, than about the visor. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/12/16/2009-12-16_sarah_palin.html

Most American families plan vacations around the kids’ school schedules, with the clear message to our kids that you don’t just skip out of school to lay on a beach.

    1. Sarah herself seemed to lack an appreciation for education.  Even though the high school she attended was not particularly rigorous, she often made C’s, and making a D in foreign language was not uncommon. http://news.spreadit.org/sarah-palin-report-cardsarah-palin-high-school.  When it came to choosing colleges, Sarah made this critical decision, not by her course of study or the excellence of the professors, but based upon where her three friends could also gain admission, and where she thought the weather would be favorable. Rebuttal to the Rogue.  Thus, dropping out of college in Hawaii when the weather was not what she had hoped was certainly a predictable result.  It took Sarah five years to attain a four-year degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Palin said…

“In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.” http://washingtonindependent.com/80748/explaining-palins-constitutional-law-professor-jibe

Palin seems to identify education as a limitation, not an asset.  However, ignorance breeds social discord, and studies consistently show that a lack of education is one of the biggest factors contributing to the rise of terrorism and fundamentalism (Strauss, 2008 Strauss, Daniel. September 19, 2008. Fighting Terrorism With Education. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=fighting_terrorism_with_education Certainly the newspapers have recently been filled with references to violence and terrorism, which seems to have been incited by those lacking an education.

Martin Luther King Jr. said:

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Sarah Palin is Dangerous!

16 thoughts on “If Ignorance is Bliss, Sarah Palin Must Be Ecstatic

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  1. Lack of education is also one of the main reasons for poverty in the USA, especially in women. It seems to me that the dumbing down of America is going hand in hand with the extreme increase in wealth for the upper .1% of our country’s people.
    Keep them dumb, riled up, and scared = get more cash from them. We’ve seen Limbaugh, Beck, and now Palin use this tool to rip off millions from their followers. Talk about voting against your best economic interests… any poor or middle class person who votes GOP is really stupid.

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  2. I just came to this article by clicking on Juan Cole’s reference to it in Facebook. And lo and behold, I see a reference to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (as ‘a wise man’ no less). I have to say I was surprised. I have been a fan of the Maulana since my late teens and have had the honor of meeting and spending some time with him as well. I have been frustrated by the fact that despite all his scholarly credentials (‘a wise man’ as you say) he’s not very well known in the west. I’m just curious to know how you came to know of him, and would love any insights from you, as you yourself seem to be a very wise woman!

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    1. I only know Khan by what I read on the internet, but the widom of his words is obvious. It is frustrating to me that all too often our newspapers print the opinions of people like Podhoretz, and fail to notice the wisdom of people like Kahn. Some of us are paying attention. Malia

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  3. Thank you for a fine posting. I had lost so much hope in our system during the Bush-Cheney years as I saw the law ignored, the media manipulated or shut-out, and secrecy become the hallmark of that administration. Then, when McCain picked Palin, I felt a sense of foreboding: “here we go again.”

    As we discovered more of Palin’s background, heard more of her rhetoric, it became clearer that she was inherently limited in her ability or willingness to listen, learn and grow. Everything she says and does seems geared to her own self-interest without any concern for consequences. I have always education for its ability to make us think about consequences – by learning about the mistakes of the past, we can reflect upon our present and make changes to avoid or minimize similar mistakes in the future. However, Palin does not understand that. I suspect her inability to self-discipline kept her on the move from college to college in hopes that no one would notice her shortcomings. A college education is really mostly about self-discipline; you learn what education is, how to think, how to question, and how to seek out answers and develop better questions. Sarah seems to know little of these skills. When the going got tough, she got going – to the next college.

    As long as her words can draw the spotlight to her, she seems oblivious to their impact. She doesn’t put in the hard work needed before she speaks. She seems content to style her way through an issue rather than provide any substantive comments perhaps because that is all she has: style and no substance.

    George W. Bush seemed hopelessly trapped in adolescence; someone who bristled in rebellion against anything that hampered his own comfort or sense of well-being, someone who felt he knew everything but was easily manipulated by those who knew how to stroke his ego. Parents who have successfully raised teenagers knew what he was and could see how he was handled. Unfortunately, he has never completed the passage to adulthood because no one taught him to think of consequences or helped him learn self-discipline.

    Palin is really no different. Her arrogant narcissism seems a replay of Dubya’s. Her unconcern for those less fortunate than she is is obvious through her actions and inaction towards the Native Peoples of Alaska and the followers who contribute their hard-earned, honestly-earned monies to finance her self-indulgence.

    Though she benefits from the Native Health Care System, her husband is supposedly only one-eight Native descent and passes for Caucasian – a reality she must appreciate because you do not see her employing or associating with people of color. She can speak in complete sentences to a greater extent than Dubya, but hers make no more sense because she doesn’t seem to understand or even care to understand what it is she saying. It is enough for her that someone listens to her.

    For both Dubya and Palin, it was and enough to develop catch phrases, nicknames, shortcuts and slurs that implant themselves in their follower’s minds – all the while putting the shiny coating of emotional patriotism on the half-truths or lies they pronounce. It gets them what they want and need: attention and wealth.

    So, though I am grateful to have a thinking, thoughtful President now, I fear we could easily slide into the mental darkness of the Bush years through someone like Palin. I thank and applaud blogger essayists such as yourself who develop and publish pieces that provide background, depth, and insight.
    You are our latest and perhaps best line of defense against the squalid wasteland of political discourse created by Sarah Palin and the far-right she represents.

    I know now why Republicans under the Bush administration fought so strongly to control or shut down the internet. They knew it had the potential to make people think, help them research and communicate. Thank you for doing your part to make sure their worst fears come true by creating and communicating thought-provoking pieces that give us all hope by providing us with the means to see through deception.

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    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words! I had never been involved in politics until volunteering for Obama in 08, as I viewed all politicians as scum. However I decided I couldn’t complain about George Bush if I weren’t willing to do my part. I wrote Rebuttal to the Rogue to document all Palin did before the publication of her book. I started writing this blog thinking that it would be unlikely that many people would read it, but again, I felt I couldn’t complain if I didn’t do my part. The number of people reading and responding to the blog has been amazing. It’s people like you that make the hours of time I spend worthwhile. My daughter asked me why I spent so much time focused on Sarah Palin. My response to her was simple and encapsulated my feelings. I explained that our country has never come so close to a national disaster as we did in 2008, and none of us should become complacent assuming that Palin will just go away. You obviously share my point of view, and I greatly appreciate your willingness to help educate others about the dangers of Sarah Palin. Malia

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  4. “….. our country has never come so close to a national disaster as we did in 2008.” Truer words were never spoken, Malia. It bothers me that more people aren’t focused on Silly Sarah, or should I say, Scares the H— Out of Me Sarah? I think she’s capable of much more damage to this country than she’s done and I can’t for the life of me see why people can’t see that.

    Thank you for writing this blog and doing your part to get the truth out there about Sarah.

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    1. Sam, Thanks for your comment, and although I hoped that Obama would be elected in 2008, I didn’t get scared about McCain until his choice of Palin. When I think that she would have had the “nucular” codes, I can’t believe that people in this country don’t realize just how dangerous she might be. Forget the politics, and the economy, and just consider the nuclear threat to our country and to the world if Palin were to run in 2012, and we should all be working Right NOW to make sure she is not the Republican candidate. Malia

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  5. malia, i think one of the other important reasons to investigate palin is to show our young women the value of a good education vs. whatever it is she actually has. palin has set women back 100 years by showing her ignorance and depending on her looks and cutesy mannerisms to get her by. she exploits her family at every possible turn because she has absolutely nothing to offer an educated society. the “elitists” see straight through her winking and kitschy phrases, which is really her whole schtick. women deserved better in the ’08 election. at least with Biden we had a choice of someone who actually cared about women’s rights while the other choice was busy exploiting her vagina.

    God bless you, malia. keep up the excellent work!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, and I couldn’t agree with you more! Given your comments you would like my book, Rebuttal to the Rogue, which is currently available on Amazon, and all proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. I agree that Palin has set back the cause of women by decades, and its up to women to stand against her. I am working on doing a workshop at the NOW conference this summer regarding this very thing. Thanks, Malia

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      1. i am planning to purchase your book! i haven’t read going rogue, mostly because i loathe sarah and her lying, grifter ways. but your book, definitely. i’m a huge fan of the people who put caribou cheney in her place.

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      2. Thank you sooo much for your help and support. All proceeds of the book go to Planned Parenthood, so we are both helping! The book is available on Amazon.com, and is starting to gain some recognition. Huffington Post has invited me to write on their blog, so hopefully people will start noticing the book sooner rather than later. We can each do our part to educate people about the dangers of Palin, and we should remain committed, until she is no longer a sought after commodity. Thanks for your help. malia

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  6. As someone who worked for 0bama’s campaign, you must be bursting with pride in his statement that 0bamaCare will reduce health care costs by 3,000 percent. You must also burst with pride when he cannot even get more than 2,000 people to show up at any of his free events. Another source of great pride for you must be his endorsement of Jim Martin in GA, Coakley in MA, Corzine in NJ, and Deeds in VA, all of whom lost by the way, and whose poll numbers dropped after 0bama campaigned for them. I know you must bust your buttons whenever his teleprompter stops working, and he just stops dead in his tracks not knowing what to say. Or how about when he talked about the “Austrian language,” that sounded so intelligent.

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  7. There are defenses for many of the positions Palin favors — or seems to favor, since it is unclear that she understands them. These do not make out a defense of Palin, and it is counterproductive, not to say stupid, for intelligent conservatives — as Podhoretz used to be — to defend her. I am to the right of President Obama on several issues, and would have seriously considered voting for an honest, educated, intelligent conservative. When Palin’s utter lack of qualifications became apparent a few days after McCain picked her, it also made apparent McCain’s opportunism and lack of judgment, and cinched my vote for Obama.

    An intelligent person, as Obama indubitably is, can be reasoned with and can learn, but someone like Palin is like the proverbial stopped clock that is right twice a day — she may be right on one issue or another, but she is incapable of reproducing the accident in a new situation. Simply put, “you can’t fix stupid.”

    I have nothing but contempt for Republicans who obstruct President Obama at every turn without offering thought-out alternatives, or acknowledging that the Republican Party failed to offer a credible presidential candidate in 2008. The Republican party sowed the wind with covert appeals to racial and religious bigotry — Nixon’s 1968 “Southern strategy” and Reagan’s courting Christian fundamentalists — and now is reaping the whirlwind as the party of bigots, who so far, thank God, are not numerous enough to win an election. The country badly needs a conservative voice, but Sarah Palin is not it.

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  8. Education is VITAL in this times and for our leaders is even more important for our leaders in this country. Without a proper education I believe nobody will get nowhere as it trains and gives credit for the efforts put to succeed in life.

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