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July 17, 2009

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I am puzzled by the definition of intellectual and anti-intellectual and whether either of those qualifies one to be a great leader. From FDR to now, we have had a few non-ivy league Presidents. Truman did not go to college and his plain speaking was admired by many. Eisenhower and Carter went to military academies...both seemed to be nice people but not overly effective Presidents. Richard Nixon went to Whittier College (was accepted at Harvard and Yale but could not afford to go) and we all know about his legacy. Lyndon Johnson graduated from South West State Teacher's College and did leave a great civil rights legacy as well as many entitlement programs (not as many as FDR who was a Harvard grad). Gerald Ford went to U of Michigan...again, nice guy. Ronald Regan graduated from Eureka College and, at least by my standards was a pretty great President. The Bush's went to Yale as did Clinton. JFK went to Harvard and brought a number of intellectuals with him during his administration...so we had the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missle Crisis, Vietnam War. We needed more common sense during that period...for sure!


So, of these Presidents, which ones were intellectuals and successful? FDR was categorized as an intellectual and brought us huge entitlement programs, expanded the government and many, many liked him. Other than possibly FDR, I don't see an intellectual in the group but I do see a few that I admire. Harry Truman and Ronald Regan brought us pretty straight, folksy talk. I admire both of them. Lyndon Johnson (while I am not a fan of big government) was a non-intellectual with lots of common sense and I appreciate his stance on civil rights. I would even admire Clinton if not for his inability to control his personal being. He had a good heart, was smart (but not intellectual I think), we had a balanced budget and he was a moderate.

I'm sure I've skipped a few but basically, give me a straight non-intellectual President who knows how to get things done with financial constraints any day. I admire Obama's speaking style and his desire to be inclusive. I am terrified of his financial prowess and don't believe he is running the government. I believe he has given that over to a bunch of committees. As Truman said "The Buck Stops Here" and it can't stop "here" if you don't know/understanding what is going on. Hope only goes so far...then you need common sense.

St. Louis Lisa

Yes, you like her, but for what position? Neighbor, selectman, senator from Alaska perhaps. But surely not for president. It scares the hell out of me (and many, many others) that McCain chose her for his running mate and potential president if were unable to continue. He either did not know that she was unready, or didn't care. Either way that was an impossibly rash choice. That alone should have disqualified him. Was a shot at winning worth the price? Win at any cost?

Is she the best choice to lead the Rep Party. There is a wide vein of anti-intellectualism in her style and presentation. She seems to scorn wisdom and experience.

A question - what would William F. Buckley have said about her?

The Rep Party used to be the party of people of solid, considered experience. If the Reps want to get out of the wilderness it will need a large percentage of indies. They will never get that with SP. The country needs two strong parties to counterbalance each other. Following SP will only lead to divisiveness and defeat.

Why are they afraid of Sarah Palin? I was afraid of Obama because of his lack of any type of managerial experience...no budgets, no hiring and firing, etc. I didn't scream at him but looked for someone I could support in a positive way. I did not attack him personally nor his family. I worried about his voting record.

My question is more along the lines of the media and their control of public opinion. Fox makes me crazy except for a few newscasters (really like Brett Baier), I can't even turn on MSNBC and can only watch very selected CNN programs. Other than David Brooks, the New York Times is a bust. I see that Mr. Bowen quotes from the Weekly Standard...a thoughtful conserative publication. Where do you all go for news and opinion that you can trust?

They scream at her because they are afraid of her.

I find the polarization of the nation on the issue of Sarah Palin to be a fascinating display of all that is good and bad about American society. If we all met Sarah Palin, the neighbor, at a soccer game cheering for her kids and carrying her disadvantaged child on her hip then we would simply admire her, smile and feel sad for her baby. But, now insert that lady into the political world and all of a sudden she has to prove she really is a soccer mom. She has to prove that the disadvantaged baby is really her's and not a political prop. She has to prove that she knew the baby was disadvantaged before birth and chose to have him anyway. That alone sets the stage for the strange American behavior of attempting to demonize a caring mother who chooses to run for Governor and answers the call to stand by a Presidential candidate who has given his health and life to serve his country.
As I seek to promote and support the entry of Sarah Palin into the political debates of the country I marvel at the different types of behavior I see against her. Good friends and relatives of mine are even amoung the cynics. It begins with some in her good looks. She is simply too pretty to be smart,savy and a leader. As if she fit the model of "dumb blonde" jokes. These people I find are simply jealous in some cases and biased against women in others. Let's look at the facts about Sarah Palin:
With a couple weeks notice she took the stage at the Republican convention and delivered one of the most memorable speeches since Reagan. She took on Joe Biden a seasoned Senator in a TV debate watched by millions and in the eyes of many held her own. She stumped the country for John McCain and said the things about Obama that we are all seeing come to light while McCain shyed away from the tough talk. Sure the media tricked her a couple times into looking naive and folksy. Sarah Palin shyed away from nothing. Do you remember when McCain "gave up on Michigan?" She immediately wanted to go there and fight for the ticket. After nights of Saturday Night Live depicting her as an ignorant Alaskan she went on the show and faced her opponetents. She is one smart, tough lady.
Sarah Palin ran for Governor to end the corruption she saw in Alaska politics including her own party. She won and she ended it. She saw an opportunity to use the oil reserves of Alaska to help her people and she negotiated a deal with the oil companies that will pay them benefits for years. Can the "Emergency" Governor of California say the same? Elected to solve the budget crisis in California the Terminator instead is overseeing the issuance of IOU's and rushing to Obama for a bailout. Meanwhile billions of barrels of clean oil sit untapped off his shore and millions of illiegal immigrants receive benefits in his state. So now having been thrust into national politics by the call of John McCain, Sarah Palin has turned her attention to the nation. What she campaigned against and warned about has come true. And, she is determined to do what she can to defend her children and the children of America against the burden of debt and the socialistic changes that can cripple the world's greatest economic system for generations. So she gave up the Governor's job because there is no time to waste. Obama is leading a race to the sea of socialism of Democratic Lemmings unimpeded by the Republican leadership. In this position she will be free to travel without the threat of lawsuits and able to challenge conservatives be they Democrats or Republicans or independents to rise up and be heard. She may be the one person in America who can actually slow this process down.
The rest of this comment would be dedicated to the craziness of challenging Sarah Palin for being prolife. For having and supporting a daughter who became pregnant and chose to have the child. Abortion is a 50/50 issue and best left to the courts to argue. But never should a lady be challenged for protecting the unborn and choosing to have her baby versus aborting it. These attacks on her children are another example of the bad in America. A person who chooses to fight and serve the people of America should be respected. As for the good in America I think Sarah Palin represents it. And I believe in the face of this challenge to our future we will see the rise of some very good people to support her no matter what approach she takes.

Thank you for your blog on Sarah Palin. I live in St. Louis and supported the Republican ticket because of Sarah. I do not agree with her on many of her social issues but I admire her integrity, her freshness, and the fact that she calls it like she sees it. She stands by what she believes in her personal and governmental life. I have no idea if she will ever run for national public office but I do hope that she continues to speak for many of us who believe that mid-Americans and Southerns are ridiculed by the media as being ignorant and low class. I have an MBA from U of Virginia and run a small start-up high tech company. I am also a soccer Mom.

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