This will be my new nickname for Sarah Palin. There has been a lot written about her lately which I suppose feeds the beast so to speak. So, I don't really want to address her directly but to point out that she is a symptom of a much bigger problem. In modern society (although I suppose the old days probably weren't much different) there is a blurring of the lines between the articulate, the intelligent, and the informed.
When thinking of the first, Sarah Palin really doesn't come to mind. Joe Morgan immediately enters my mind. When he broadcasted baseball games, he sounded so smart. The prose flowed like butter on a biscuit. Unfortunately, when you listened to the prose carefully you were left wondering whether he just became an idiot or if he was always an idiot. There are numerous examples of this in politics as well.
Think of how many actors are not only politically active but vocal as well. How many times has Tom Hanks commented on this, Sean Penn commented on that, or even Mike Farrell? Snooki's treastise on the condition of the modern man cannot be far behind. They sound great don't they? Sure, they've had years of practice and the spectre of a microphone stuffed in their face doesn't bother them in the least. Put any of us in the same situation and you can expect more vocal fillers than a drunk trying to get out of a DUI.
Then, you have the intelligent. The intelligent are probably the most dangerous when you think about it. They can get by on that intelligence. The Great Symptom is intelligent in some aspects. She gets people talking and more importantly gets them talking about her. Sure, there is some narcissism there. Yeah, there isn't a whole lot of depth there either, but you gotta be pretty smart to take yourself from PTA president to media darling.
What all these folks lack is knowledge. I call her a symptom because she is a symptom of our modern culture. Knowledge is not only taken lightly but scorned in many aspects. People argue with their kids' teachers, thumb their nose at their doctors, and treat industry experts as if they wore pocket protectors and had slide rules. Imagine if a poor soul were actually a policy expert. Will the doctor with the cure for cancer please sit the hell down here comes Kim Kardashian.
Articulation and intelligence come pretty easy. You are either born with intelligence or not. Sure, you can do some things to expand the power of the brain and you can certainly destroy it. Articulation can be developed through some practice, but once you got it you got it. Knowledge on the other hand takes a lifetime of work. This is where most people fall short. You become king of the mountain and all the sudden everything changes. Continuing education is becoming as painful to hear as "some assembly required."
I must admit, I have the urge to unplug from time to time. Work is hard, family life is fun and a challenge, or current affairs are simply too depressing. Unplugging is a necessity. People don't go on vacation to discuss the congressional docket (unless they are seriously warped). The problem is that many Americans don't ever plug back in. They wake up one day like Rip Van Winkle in a land they can't recognize. They're scared and so they start shouting from the top of their lungs.
I think the so-called mainstream media (and the slanted ones) understand this inherently. They know that putting a knowledgable person on air makes us feel like we are idiots. So, put on the idiot instead. Sure, they may be articulate and intelligent (in some cases) but they don't know a damn bit more than we do (and often less). So, we feel like we are informed. The last thing we need to be is uncomfortable with our own lack of knowledge.