Every morning, it seems, after I drink enough coffee to get myself through the Washington Post online crossword, I venture off in to the wilds of the internet and promptly encounter yet another video excerpt of Sarah Palin embarrassing everyone who understands spoken English in front of a Katie Couric visibly pained by her own efforts to lob softballs even more slowly.
I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of them.
Apparently, the Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential Nominee to a man who is the subject of various ill-health related rumors, could not name a single U.S. Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade. *Correction, Palin was asked to name another Supreme Court case that she disagreed with, not just any case. CBS news clip of Katie Couric interviewing both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, separately, with the same questions.
Then, I stopped for moment.
What are some other cases?…
Dred Scott… There. That’s one! (And, I disagree with it.)
(Dred v. Scott…?)
(How many of you know who was on the other side of the v. from Mr. Scott?)
(How many of you are aware of the artist Dread Scott?)
It really did take me a minute. And, I’ve got a Master’s Degree − albeit somewhat negated as it is followed by the words “Fine Art”. Maybe I just hadn’t had enough coffee yet.
And therein I (re)stumbled into THE problem. A whole lot of people who don’t have any f**ing idea what our government, elected or appointed, has done since the moment the Constitution was ratified, are about to go vote for a whole slate of public officials; who, in turn, will make decisions affecting us all. (And on that subject, if you asked, how many people do you think would say the Constitution was written in 1776?)
At least, were you to ask me what I like to read, however, I would most likely come up with a better answer than “all of them”, if I be pre-caffeinated or otherwise.
The thing is, I suspect that total ignorance of all facts, figures and truths will be of little consequence during the Biden/Palin debate, for example. It seems to follow logically that a person who has reached a governor’s office despite what appears to be blinding ignorance of the relationship between public policy and the public, in the least understands that actual knowledge is of almost no importance. It is little more than a trap to trick your opponent into. Appealing to those who know things is a sure fire ticket to spending more time alone. Appealing to the Dunning-Kruger crowd, on the other hand, is another story.
Which, of course, in a nutshell is why I remain deeply engaged with issues facing education even though I am no longer an educator.
I looked stupidity in the eye, and it was clearly a “C”.
Then, I started to worry.