Monday night, Bill Maher went on Piers Morgan Tonight to chat about, among other things, the 2012 Presidential election and Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. More specifically, he was there to instill fear into us all. Those of us who have stupidly believed Sarah Palin can't be elected need to wake up.
It's true, too. I never in a million years believed George W. Bush could be elected President after he so clearly bombed the debates with Al Gore, but sure enough, he was (well, sort of anyway). The fact is, currently we have a President many thought we never would have elected in the first place. Surprising things happen and many, many people in this country are just not that educated or intelligent and they find those qualities threatening.
For many, Obama's clear intelligence and even manner are actually a detriment.
The fact is, people seem to like their politicians passionate, and sometimes passion and intelligence don't go hand in hand. Somehow, in this country, we have gotten away from the idea that working hard and going to good schools and having an open mind is a good thing. And it's frightening.
[...] she could get the nomination and anything could happen. This Republican Party is not your father's Republican Party. Somewhere along the line they got on a short bus to crazy town. And if someone gets the nomination of one of the two major parties, especially in a bad economy with a black president, yes, she could become president.
It's terrifying. Truly terrifying. But we've elected dolts before. Ronald Reagan was no Mensa member. Both Bachmann and Palin have held political office, meaning they have won elections, people have chosen them, and they both have charisma.
We need to be afraid. Because I don't want to be under President Palin. We need to wise up and we need to do so fast. Being smart is nothing to be ashamed of, and brash charisma and narcissism may seem flashy and dazzle us, but being in touch with the "common folk" is not what makes a good President. Besides, I am not sure Palin really is. After all, wasn't it she who used Republican funds to buy expensive, designer outfits?
It's hard to understand why anyone would prefer a President they can have a beer with who thinks being near Russia up in Alaska constitutes enough foreign policy experience to be the President of the United States. Personally, I want my President to be smarter than me.
We are being played. There is nothing elitist about being intelligent, and smart people aren't trying to challenge others necessarily. What IS dangerous is electing someone like Sarah Palin who is charismatic, attractive, and dangerously uninformed. Her lack of intellectual curiosity could really harm our country.
Give me a President smarter than me who went to Harvard over one who can't find the name of a single newspaper she reads any day. Sadly, I fear I am alone in that. Bill Maher is right. And we should be afraid.
Do you think Sarah Palin can be elected?
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr