Wednesday, July 08, 2009

VDH: What is Wisdom? Sarah Palin and Her Critics

in Pajamas Media:
In the End, What is Wisdom?

6) Euripides asked that in the Bacchae? So who is the better one to sit down across from Putin? What training is critical to size up a Chavez, or say ‘no thanks, bud’ to Iran?

Does it require brains to manage a family with five kids, live on a limited budget, get elected to local office, fish, hunt, go to sea, cook your own food, navigate in politics with no money, without an influential dad and powerbroker husband-or is real wisdom finishing prep school, doing B+ work at Yale, and writing a novel, column or short story? (A little of both, you say? That’s why I started this piece off with my suggestion she take her new time to read and digest.)

In all seriousness at last, I’ve found it was harder to calibrate an old spray rig (without getting Parquat ['liquid death' we used to call it] up your nose and Simazine down your pants), with a shot roller pump and worn nozzles. It took some skill to put one pound (and only one pound) of Parquat and Simazine per acre on a two-foot-wide vineyard berm, correcting for tractor speed, wind, leaks, pump idiosyncrasies, soil conditions-knowing that too much preemergent herbicide gives you sick vines, and too little, weeds–than it was to do an apparatus criticus of 200 lines of the Greek text of Aeschylus’s Suppliants-all things, of course, being considered.

Sorry for the ‘either/or’ reductive binary: but I saw more stupid people in graduate school and three decades in academia than I ever did who ran 100 acres without going broke-and more of the latter whom I’d trust not to bankrupt the country and let down our defenses than of the former.

While we rightly argue that the Sarahs of the world, if they are to be taken seriously as leaders, must read and study more, why do we not also suggest that the Baracks of the world could do a little more chain-sawing, run a coffee shop for a summer, or drive a Winnebago cross-country? (Who knows, he might meet a fellow woodcutter who knew there were 50 states or that it was dumb to make fun of the Special Olympics.)

After all, a lot of geniuses are now calling for a “second stimulus” to borrow another trillion or so still, but I don’t think they come from Wasilla.

So I am afraid right now, but not of Sarah Palin.

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