C.S. Lewis, Palin’s intellect, and affirmative action
In the entry the other day about journalist Richard Wolffe’s put-down of Sarah Palin over her remark about C.S. Lewis, I was too easy on Palin. I indicated that she had said that she reads Lewis for “inspiration.” That was incorrect. Here is the full quote, from her interview with Barbara Walters:
I’m reading the best book right now—Dean Karnazes’s book about being an ultra-marathoner. I read a lot of C.S. Lewis when I want some divine inspiration … I read Newsmax and The Wall Street Journal. I read all of our local papers of course in Alaska because that’s where my heart is.Now, you might get inspiration from reading C.S. Lewis, you might get religious or even spiritual inspiration from reading him. But to say that you get “divine” inspiration from reading him is simply incorrect. You get divine inspiration from, say, the Bible, not from C.S. Lewis. This is the sort of mistake in usage that a person who was experienced in and comfortable with the world of books and ideas (which Palin wants to portray herself as) would not make.
However, what I’ve just said takes away nothing from the shooting-himself-in-the-foot foolishness of Wolffe, who, in seeking to portray Palin as a boob, stated that Lewis was only the author of a “series of kids’ books,” thus making himself the boob, rather than his intended target.
In connection with what I said above about Palin, let us remember the consequences of affirmative action (as discussed by me in detail here). Under AA, an unqualified person is admitted to a university or is hired by a corporation, while being assured by everyone in that institution that he is supremely qualified. Then, once he is installed in the university or the job, the person’s lack of competence begins to manifest itself. But having already been injected with the belief that he is superbly competent, he blames his failures, not on his lack of ability, but on some sinister force in the institution that is slanted against him. The institution and its standards are made to appear guilty, rather than the admission of a person who was not capable of performing up to those standards. The only way to solve the problem is for the institution to confess falsely that it is indeed discriminatory and to lower its standards even further.
Similarly, if Sarah Palin becomes a candidate for the GOP nomination, let alone GOP nominee or president of the United States, her intellectual inadequacies will emerge into a bright glare, and then she and her supporters will blame her deficiencies, about which they will be highly sensitive, not on her, but on the society, on the system, which, they will say, is “discriminating” against her.
In short, if conservatives make Palin their standard bearer, let alone their president, they will end up as angry, leveling liberals.