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=mKKKgua7wQk; http://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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
“US Census Bureau report on educational attainment in the United States, 2003”. http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-550.pdf.
- 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.
- 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.
“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!