Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So good I had to come out of blogging hiatus just to share it with you:
"Governor Palin, are you ready at this moment to perform surgery on this child's brain?"

"Of course, Charlie. I have several boys of my own, and I'm an avid hunter."

"But governor, this is neurosurgery, and you have no training as a surgeon of any kind."

"That's just the point, Charlie. The American people want change in how we make medical decisions in this country. And when faced with a challenge, you cannot blink."

The prospects of a Palin administration are far more frightening, in fact, than those of a Palin Institute for Pediatric Neurosurgery. Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated.
Incredibly well said by Sam Harris. Link

7 comments:

lumpynose said...

Or take California for example, where we voted for a mediocre actor with literally no administrative or leadhership experience.

harryh said...

To be fair, I don't think it's at all clear where someone should go, or what they should do to get appropriate "elite training" to be an elected official. There is a very good argument to be made that working your way up through the various levels of government do not provide the kind of training necessary to be an excellent leader, but instead only serve to make one more corrupt and beholden to various special interest groups that have helped you out along the way.

Hegemom said...

In response to what Harryh said, I'd think the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard would be a good start, followed, as he suggested, by working your way up.

lumpynose said...

I think you should re-read what harryh said; "working your way up through the various levels of government do not provide the kind of training necessary to be an excellent leader"

Neil said...

Hmmmm... so how does Joe Biden fit into this elite model?

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