Friday, September 12, 2008

Up to the job?

Sarah Palin told Charles Gibson that she's ready for the job--presumably the job of President. Then he asked her about the Bush Doctrine and she got that moose-in-the-headlights look, sidestepped, tried to buy some time and get a hint; clearly, she did not know what the Bush Doctrine is.

OK, do you know? Is it important for her to know?

James Fallows--for a couple of decades one of the best commentators on international affairs--explains why it is:
Each of us has areas we care about, and areas we don't. If we are interested in a topic, we follow its development over the years. And because we have followed its development, we're able to talk and think about it in a "rounded" way....

Here's the most obvious example in daily life: Sports Talk radio....

Mention a name or theme -- Brett Favre, the Patriots under Belichick, Lance Armstrong's comeback, Venus and Serena -- and anyone who cares about sports can have a very sophisticated discussion about the ins and outs and myth and realities and arguments and rebuttals.

People who don't like sports can't do that. It's not so much that they can't identify the names -- they've heard of Armstrong -- but they've never bothered to follow the flow of debate.
You can see where he's going, but read the whole piece.

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