The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I noticed that tonight’s edition of CNN’s Larry King Show features comedian Joy Behar of The View. The topic of discussion: “Why Sarah Palin is dangerous for America.” It appears that there will be no counterpoint offered, but that’s not unusual for CNN.

I find it ironic that Behar, a Left-wing comedian and celebrity, would be selected as an expert in: (1) politics, (2) Sarah Palin, and (3) what’s dangerous for America. But that’s the current state of discourse on CNN as the presidential election approaches.

Undoubtedly, Behar will attack Palin because she does not exemplify the Left’s ideal woman. The fact that she was a mayor and a governor who challenged corruption in her own political party holds no sway in Behar’s world. Palin will be accused of “inexperience” even though she has significantly more executive experience than Behar’s candidate, Barack Obama. Palin will be accused of duplicity, even though she fought corruption in her local and state political system, while Obama embraced what is arguably the nation’s most corrupt political machine—Chicago politics.

Many in politics, the media, academia, and Hollywood have tried to characterize Palin as a buffoon. She, they claim, is an Alaskan yokel who they dismiss with either derisive laugher or deranged criticism. They refuse to recognize that every time they castigate Palin, they put Obama’s anorexic qualifications for the Presidency into play.

Victor Davis Hanson comments:
I am not calling for yokelism, or a proponent of false-populism. Rather, I wish to remind everyone that there are two fonts of wisdom: formal education, and the tragic world of physical challenge and ordeal. Both are necessary to be broadly educated. Familiarity with Proust or Kant is impressive, but not more impressive than the ability to wire your house or unclog the labyrinth of pipes beneath it.

In this regard, I think Palin can speak, and reason, and navigate with bureaucrats and lawyers as well as can Obama; but he surely cannot understand hunters, and mechanics and carpenters like she can. And a Putin or a Chavez or a Wall-Street speculator that runs a leverage brokerage house is more a hunter than a professor or community organizer. Harvard Law School is not as valuable a touchstone to human nature as raising five children in Alaska while going toe-to-toe with pretty tough, hard-nose Alaskan males.

The world is a hard place, populated not by contemplative academics but by “hunters” who will not view nuance as a virtue but rather as a weakness. “Hunters” will act without regard to the politically correct niceties of the Left. Our leaders will have to have the wisdom to make real-time decisions without complete information. They will have to truly understand human nature and act not from ideology, but experience. Hanson continues:
What is wisdom? Not necessarily degrees, glibness, poise, or factual recall, but the ability to understand human nature. And that requires two simple things: an inductive method of reasoning to look at the world empirically, and a body of knowledge and experience to draw on for guidance.

In terms of "degrees, glibness, poise, or factual recall," Obama wins hands down. Too bad that's not enough to handle the "hunters." It's the other stuff that really matters.