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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jacksonian Democracy and Palins Demise

When Sara Palin imploded in the Katie Couric interview it brougth up a painful question: Do we, as Americans want someone smart or dumb to run our country? We picked someone dumb for the last eight years. He made us feel safe. He made us feel like he was one of us. No one felt left out with Bush. The moron vote as it came to be known. Actually, this all goes back much further, back to Andrew Jackson. He was just a solider who became President, but what he did was he took the spoils system one step futher and put all his friends in his cabinet. Quite literally there were no politicians in Jackson's admistration and Jacksonian democracy came to be called rule by the common people. So what do we have in Palin? When Couric asked her what Supreme Court decisions did she not agree with, she had no answer. She stumbled. She talked nonsense. Suddenly the hockey mom was in the car telling junior not to forget his skates and his mouth guard and oh, you forgot your bottled water. Sara Palin had suddenly reached her level of incompentence and it was painful. It wasnt' so much that she couldnt' answer the question, it was that she didn't have the authority to say, you know what, I'm not that familiar with Supreme Court decisions, except for Roe V Wade. Instead she stumbled around because of intellectual insecurity. It was painful to watch. Now she is going to debate and maybe she will pull it out, but the cat is out of the bag and the hockey mom just can't quite get by with her sassy mouth and good looks. At the national level people dont get points for just looking good or being witty--you have to deliver something. And like the Jackson administration, people are horrified. We prattle on about rule of the common man, but we have Congress now staying up all night to pass a bailout because rule of the common man did not work out. George Bush is common in that he is not a smart man and we had decided somewhere as a nation we didn't like smart people anymore. Unfortunately for Sara Palin, the country just changed its mind and decided maybe smart people arent such a bad thing. Democracy is good in theory, but let's not get carried away. Let the hockey moms be hockey moms, and let's leave politics to someone who at least can face down Katie Couric.

Books by William Hazelgrove