Friday, 3 October 2008

When did Ignorance Become the New Black?

Folksy, you say?


One of the "regular" people.

"I could really see myself having a beer with this guy!!"

"I think it's time that a normal Joe Six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency."

"He speaks like me-in plain language to plain folk!"

"He's too professorial. I think he needs to dumb-down his delivery."

"He is a member of the cultural elite!"

" I work for the common man and woman!"

Horseshit!! All of it. Plain and utter horseshit!

I don't consider myself the smartest individual in the world, but I also know when I am being taken for a ride. When did we sacrifice intelligence in our elected leaders for platitudes about homespun simplicity and easy answers? Why do we accept in our leaders, qualities that we would be horrified accepting in our children? (An inability to articulate simple thoughts, sentences or even words!!) When did catchphrases and talking points replace real thought? When did the dumbing down of North American politics and politicians become a prerequisite for election?

Leading is difficult and serious business and we require leaders who have complex ideas and bring a seriousness to the jobs they seek. Stephen Harper has yet to release his party's platform and we Canadians have him cleaning up in the polls despite the fact that he has said very little during this campaign. Maybe we like the sweater? It does make him seem like one of the guys, doesn't it? In the meantime, we are ignoring his statements on raping arts funding, mandatory youth sentencing that has proven inadequate in other countries, totally ignoring the needs of our cities where a full 80% of Canadians live, an incoherent and inadequate environmental plan, and drying up billions of dollars in surplus for ill-conceived tax cuts!!

My American cousins are ready to vote for one of the least qualified individuals to come along in a generation, simply because she is a "mom" like them. She supposedly understands their lives! She wants to represent Joe Six-Pack. Haven't Americans had enough of the toxicity of a Joe Six-Pack presidency? Maybe the 27% that still think that W is doing a heckuva job, will convince their neighbours that "Moose-hunting Sarah" is the right woman for the job because she has that down home quality. Her ideas of foreign policy are built around whether Russia is visible on a clear day. After all, she pronounces NUCULAR just like her role-model!! (Just for the record-I do believe that proper pronunciation of simple words should be a requirement for all those running for elected office! The word is NUCLEAR you uneducated hick!!)

In the meantime, brilliant men like Dion and Obama are criticized for being too smart, too professorial or too elite. True, Mr. Dion has a terrible time articulating his thoughts in English, but that doesn't make him less qualified. We are supposed to be a truly bilingual country and we get annoyed when our leaders speak in the "other" language! Mr. Obama was raised by a single mother in Chicago, went to community college for two years, before he worked his way through his undergraduate degree at a 4 year! He attended Harvard without affirmative action and rose to edit the Harvard Law Review. He chose to forgo the big bucks of a major law firm in order to return to his community and work as an organizer for "just-plain folk". By contrast, John McCain attended the naval academy as a legacy entrant and finished in the bottom ten of his class. And yet, Obama is skewered for being out of touch and elitist. How is this possible?

I want my leaders to have complex thought. I want my leaders to be smarter than I am. I want my leaders to be creative in attempting to solve the real problems that we all face as a society. I am tired of sound bites and half thoughts. I am tired of politicians dropping the final syllables of their words because it will attract the NASCAR voter. I am not interested in taking my Prime Minister out for drinks. Instead I want him or her to have empathy for all Canadians, no matter their tax levels. I don't want to feel as though the President of the United States or the potential next Vice-President doesn't understand polysyllabic words. I want them to answer the questions as posed and not as they choose. I want answers that are straightforward and smart, not convoluted and crap! We are supposed to value education and intelligence here in the Western Hemisphere, instead we seem to accept the lowest common denominator in our leaders. (That's math, Sarah!!) The world is not a simple place and the problems we face are anything but simple. We require and we should be demanding the politicians with the competent skill-sets that will enable them to find the complex answers that are required. Sorry, George! Sorry, Sarah! Your 15 minutes are up!!

1 comment:

  1. Hear! Hear! My expectation of my leaders is that they demostrate a view different from mine that can lead us to solve problems we face. I look to them for knowledge and insight. Unfortunately, the public seems to embrace individuals that look good instead of those who think.

    In the vice presidental debates I felt that one participant was talking to me in a kindergarten tone used for small children. No offer of solutions to the grave problems facing us was addressed by her but the shout-out to the third grade class was soooo homespun it brought a tear to my eye.. I am sure that "hockey/soccer moms" across the land are having to find solutions to make ends meet. Also, I am sorry but I do not consider someone who earns $170,000 to be a true representive of the middle class. In my area the majority of people earn less than $50,000 per year.