Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speak Up Against Morons

It's not nice to pick on stupid people. Protecting and respecting the weak is one thing that separates us from the rest of the brutes in the animal kingdom.

But it's also ethical to point out dangerous situations that could hurt a great number of people, like calling the police and electric company about a downed power line. In today's case, the latter imperative outweighs the former consideration.

Sunday there was a change of power, when GOP darling Sarah Palin quit her job before finishing her first term as governor. In her parting speech, one that surely had George Washington gritting his wooden teeth, she threw a dart at the media:

“One other thing for the media, our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone,” said the not-quite one-term head of state.

Former Mayor Palin got several things wrong here. First of all, being governor of a small population state does not attract media attention. When she was head of state, her kids were left alone. No one had heard of her, much less her brood. However, running for vice president of the United States, with a light political resume and a 72-year old (on Election Day 2008) running mate, does draw media attention.

Before you (you, Sarah, not the media) made the decision to run for such a public position, one that draws intense scrutiny under the best circumstances, did you discuss the repercussions with your family? I mean, this guy did.

And the media would have been fine to leave your kids alone, except for the fact that one of your kids (not the media, Sarah, but your own unusually-named child) made the adult decision to draw attention to herself. The concept of irony may be lost on someone who reads "all" the newspapers, but the pregnant teenager of a politician who preaches no sex ed in schools and abstinence as the only option ...

"My Mommy is a moron!"

The danger I mentioned comes in the reaction of the audience she directed that comment to (most clearly not the media, who have* no desire to dissect Gov. Parnell's family life). It is the "red" audience: red meat issue-voracious, redneck culturally, red state geographically. They tune out or don't understand the complexities of the Palin situation, noticing only that she ripped off a snappy line at a convenient target. That promotes fear, and distrust, and a breakdown in communication (either this or this), and ultimately weakens our nation.

Sam encourages you to stay vigilant against demagoguery or anything else that harms intelligent discourse in our country.

* -- Occasional proper grammar use is at the sole discretion of the blog proprietor.

1 comment:

Scott Mortimer said...

Funny how Palin wants the media to stay away from her family .. then her daughter strikes a pose on the front cover picture of People magazine. .....huh?