Friday, September 12, 2008

Things that scare me: Palin on the "Bush Doctrine." Part 309 in a 42,006 part series

I don't often blog about politics here. For two reasons:

  1. I don't know much about politics.

  2. I'm more interested in other things most days.

The first reason doesn't stop me on every other subject, and doesn't stop everyone else on politics. I have opinions and preferences, sure. I even have beliefs and have done some campaign work in the past for candidates I wanted to support. But I'm not a political junkie, I don't follow much of the point-by-point analysis of what's going on in Washington, and (most years) I'm not sure I could name both my Senators.

All of this to say that it scares the crap out of me that Sarah Palin, in her interview with Charlie Gibson, didn't know what the "Bush Doctrine" is... AND I DO.

I'm a marketing manager living in Columbus, Ohio. I teach history of advertising one night a week. I play video games and read lots of fiction as well as non-fiction books and watch cartoons with my kid. I am, as far as I can tell, a fairly "ordinary" dude.  I have to look up the capitol of Afghanistan. I don't know what the currency unit for South Africa is.  I can't ever remember if Waterloo was before or after the War of 1812. I do OK on Jeopardy stuff, but not great.

If Palin hadn't known the difference between a "virtual world" and an "MMO," I wouldn't care. If she got "Star Wars" mixed up with "Star Trek," I wouldn't care. I wouldn't even really care if she stumbled on a question about net neutrality or digital copyright law, even though I think those are important issues. I don't expect every political candidate to know as much about certain things as I do. That wouldn't be fair, and I'm a fair (as well as ordinary) guy.

Is it unfair, however, to expect a vice presidential candidate to know about one of the most controversial and influential policies enacted by her own party's leader, the current president?

I actually yelled at my radio this morning when they played the excerpt from the interview. I'm so not that guy... especially about politics. But when I heard her response to Charlie's question...
Gibson: "Do you agree with the 'Bush Doctrine.'"
Palin: "In what respect, Charlie?"
Gibson: "What do you interpret it to be?"
Palin: "His world view?"

... I realized... she doesn't know. She just doesn't know what it is.

Cue Andy yelling at the radio.

Look back at my blog entries. There's more stuff here about my dog than about politics. So if *I* know more about this issue than Palin...

I am afraid. Very afraid. More than I was yesterday.

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