On the story about Palin’s ignorance

The report by Carl Cameron of Fox News, based on interviews with members of the McCain team, that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa is a continent and did not know what countries are in NAFTA seems unbelievable on its face. Which means that the McCain people are spreading false stories about Palin in order to harm and discredit her.

To illustrate the absurdity of these rumors, suppose Cameron had reported that Palin did not know that George Washington was the first president of the United States, or that the moon orbits around the earth, or that two plus two equals four. Would you find that believable? No? Then you should also find it unbelievable that she didn’t know that Africa is a continent. Sarah Palin went to elementary school. A person of normal intelligence who went to elementary school knows what Africa is. So I think that this is a crude and malicious set-up by the incompetents in the McCain camp to portray Palin as an even bigger incompetent than they.

Which doesn’t mean I think she was qualified for high office. She was not. As I have been saying since September 1, she should not have been selected for VP for a range of reasons, including her lack of knowledge. It was a mistaken choice. But she is not the falling-on-her face idiot and loser that her enemies are trying to make her out to be. As a person who has been the target of wildly false statements aimed at discrediting and marginalizing me, I know how such statements get started, spread, and fixed in people’s minds.

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A. Zarkov writes:

That story is not as incredible as you think. There is an appalling ignorance of geography and other basic facts out there. In the 1980s a team found that something like a third of graduating Harvard seniors did not understand the cause of the seasons. Recently I saw a French quiz show where both contestants as well as the studio audience did not know that the earth revolves around the sun. Given a choice between the geocentric theory and the heliocentric theory, they couldn’t decide which was right. They might as well have been in the 16th Century.

Of course the story about Palin’s ignorance could be, and likely is, false, but it’s not as absolutely absurd as you make out. When we went to school (I was born and educated in New York City), we had a lot of geography, a subject not generally taught any more.

John Hagan writes:

I’m seething over these Sarah Palin rumors from the McCain camp. You could write a textbook on the psychological mess that is John McCain. So I’m not surprised to hear such idiocy from his people. They are truly a reflection of him. Watching McCain genuflect to the left throughout his career, and now at the end of this campaign, has been a revolting experience to watch.

I was never seriously tempted to vote for McCain during this campaign. I might dread an Obama presidency, but the thought of McCain in the White House feels like a kind of personal violation….that’s how little respect I hold for the man. Let’s see if he steps up to defend Palin from these scurrilous charges in the next several days, or allows his people to keep throttling her.

November 6

Ed writes:

Would McCain have ever let his people slander Obama the way they are slandering Palin?

LA replies:

You got it!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 06, 2008 12:52 AM | Send

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