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Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and Elitism

Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and Elitism | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008 |

“Let me confess that I was genuinely unnerved by Sarah Palin's performance at the Republican convention. Given her audience and the needs of the moment, I believe Governor Palin's speech was the most effective political communication I have ever witnessed. Here, finally, was a performer who—being maternal, wounded, righteous and sexy—could stride past the frontal cortex of every American and plant a three-inch heel directly on that limbic circuit that ceaselessly intones "God and country." If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could.

Then came Palin's first television interview with Charles Gibson. I was relieved to discover, as many were, that Palin's luster can be much diminished by the absence of a teleprompter. Still, the problem she poses to our political process is now much bigger than she is. Her fans seem inclined to forgive her any indiscretion short of cannibalism. However badly she may stumble during the remaining weeks of this campaign, her supporters will focus their outrage upon the journalist who caused her to break stride, upon the camera operator who happened to capture her fall, upon the television network that broadcast the good lady's misfortune—and, above all, upon the "liberal elites" with their highfalutin assumption that, in the 21st century, only a reasonably well-educated person should be given command of our nuclear arsenal.

The point to be lamented is not that Sarah Palin comes from outside Washington, or that she has glimpsed so little of the earth's surface (she didn't have a passport until last year), or that she's never met a foreign head of state. The point is that she comes to us, seeking the second most important job in the world, without any intellectual training relevant to the challenges and responsibilities that await her. There is nothing to suggest that she even sees a role for careful analysis or a deep understanding of world events when it comes to deciding the fate of a nation. In her interview with Gibson, Palin managed to turn a joke about seeing Russia from her window into a straight-faced claim that Alaska's geographical proximity to Russia gave her some essential foreign-policy experience. Palin may be a perfectly wonderful person, a loving mother and a great American success story—but she is a beauty queen/sports reporter who stumbled into small-town politics, and who is now on the verge of stumbling into, or upon, world history.”

(tip to David)



Sarah Palin is as dumb as a post. She makes Dan Quale look like a genius.

It is an insult that John McCain would risk inflicting such an ignoramus on the rest of us.

The thing that i find craziest about Palin's claim that proximity to Russia equates foreign policy experience (a claim similar to saying use of a microwave produces experience in radiology), is that it's pretty obvious that in some damp bunker hidden deep in the bowels of a crazy Rupert-Murdochian Republican castle, some aid probably proposed that idea half jokingly to Karl Rove and he decided they might as well roll with it because he had little else to work with, but we've hit a point where the American people and media have let go of so much of their ability to produce any reasonable critical interpretation of domestic events that it succeeded. That in itself is perhaps the greatest illustration of how far our country's people have slipped into the shitcan. I'm seriously convinced that the success of Palin's selection must be some terrible joke conceived by Eris as she laughs heinously upon a distant cloud. Palin is a gilded apple pie.

Why is the article titled "When Atheists Attack?" Is that a regular column or did they just want a completely unrelated title for the article so that no "true Christian" could take it seriously?


"The point is that she comes to us, seeking the second most important job in the world, without any intellectual training relevant to the challenges and responsibilities that await her. There is nothing to suggest that she even sees a role for careful analysis or a deep understanding of world events when it comes to deciding the fate of a nation."

And yet, you give Barack Obama a "pass" on these qualification. Regardless of the media's anointing Obama as the next savior, he exhibits almost no experience other than being a Community Activist, which is what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are. A country that has fallen victim to a single force, the media, is destined to failure.

I was also cringing at the title. I think the editors are responsible for it. Otherwise, there's not much to disagree about. I'd be wary of the alarmist tone of it, if it weren't for the last 8 years experience with theocrats.

I would ask the Atheist Mullah Sam Harris (who calls (Atheist fatwa) for the death of one billion Muslims because they believe in Islam) to just change names in his article from Sarah Palin to Barack Obama and then tell me honestly if his idol meets the same criteria he expects of Sarah. The constitution doesn't say the candidates have to be educated in Harvard and neither does it guarantee a successful president.

If Sarah was from the leftist establishement with the same level of faults Sam finds with Sarah - the conservative he would be praising her. But the truth is Sarah has heaps more executive experience than all the other three candidates.

The problem with Harris is her Christianity, because he thinks Atheism is the solution. Well, history tells me that is not the case. 20th century history alone tells me the Atheists ended up killing 300+ million men, women and children to create utopian Atheistic societies around the world. So I would ask the Sam Harris's of the world to do some impartial thinking. Here is some info to help you out.

Also listen to what Feminists thinks of Sarah Palin

The title is apparently Newsweek's way of marginalizing their own guest editorial contribution - gutless assholes.

I love this blog!

Sam Harris is a bad ass. Doesn’t mince words does he?

I haven’t much good to say about Palin either, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone serious quite so dismissive of her credentials. He does however see her as dangerous, which we all should. She’s a Christian radical nut job.

"the final generation," engaged in "spiritual warfare" to purge the earth of "demonic strongholds."

Jesus Christ!!

P.S. this page is mislabeled as of 9/23/08 2:30 MST


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