Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin and the Cultural Divide

My Palin post has generated the first inklings of "A Musing?" debate so allow me to harness that horse . . .

A few thoughts on the cultural divide that has been highlighted by reactions to Palin (If this issue interests you, do not miss the Haidt piece discussed below.):

+I believe that the 60's student movement brought many important issues to the fore. I do also believe that it announced the 'divorce' of the elite student from the "ho-hum conventions of American life" (as many of the students saw it) and accordingly helped to lay the groundwork for the deep misunderstandings that we read about today.

+The elites, in my opinion, were taking advantage of their class privileges and have become accordingly self-involved. Judith Warner, in the New York Times:

[University of Virginia associate professor of moral psychology Jonathan] Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view. “Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering. Republicans are good at exploiting that anger,” he told me in a phone interview.

+Haidt writes a highly fascinating piece on "The Edge" website, called "What Makes People Vote Repulican?" It is only a few pages long and is one of the best analyses of political-cultural connections in America that I have ever read.

+Despite my disapproval of Palin as a candidate, I think that it is important that we recognize that non-Ivy league, non-Davos summit folks can be excellent leaders. Truman, for instance, never attended college.


Jeff DeGrasse said...

It is very tough. The talking heads are doing a lot more damage than the Obama Campaign.

I, for one, do not mind outsiders in the Executive Branch. In fact, I welcome it. "Experience" to me means that one is now beholden to the special interest money that got them there. For example, McCain's top Economic Advisors are fmr Sen. Phil Gramm and John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch. Experience, yes. But how can they be trusted to fix this problem on Wall Street??

That said, I do want my outsiders to have a "Barakian" appreciation for the complexities of the world and the burgeoning role the US will play in the New World Economy (Order?). For example, does Palin truly appreciate the complexities of China in this Global Economy??

I would not describe Palin as "Barakian."