This isn’t just about politics—really. This has something to do with science.
You see, one of the memes of this campaign is “elitism” (whatever that means). The appeal of Sarah Palin, we are told, is her “everyday-ness”—she’s just a regular gal, not like those elitist politicians in Washington (which presumably includes her running-mate).
Sarah Palin is not a “regular gal”. She come from an earthy rural background, but she is clearly intelligent, politically astute, and competent, having ascended to the governorship of one of our states while at the same time raising a large family. This woman isn’t ordinary—she is extraordinary.
Barak Obama also rose from small circumstances, a peripatetic mixed-race child who used his intelligence to become a scholar, and evenually senator.
John McCain was just a pilot—not a political “insider”.
You get the idea.
But back up for a second. John McCain was a pilot…a fighter pilot…member of an elite force of strong, brave, intelligent (at the time) men. The best of the best. And that’s a good thing. When I think about the folks we have flying missions all over the world, I’m hoping they are the elite, the best of the best. Not just anyone can fly an F-18. And not just anyone can be president.
If you’re planning on being one of the two or three most powerful people in the world, it’s not good enough that you’re “a regular gal”, even an extraordinary regular gal. You better be the best of the best, intelligent, competent, tireless.
Professions require an elitism of sorts. You may want a doctor who understands you, but you don’t want one who is ordinary. You don’t want a jet pilot who is merely competent. And you don’t want a president who is just like everyone else. I want a president who was an elite pilot, an elite constitutional scholar, a long-standing senator. I don’t want an everyman or everywoman.
Our president should be elite—not removed, not distant, but the best of the best. Three of the four candidates for president/vice president are elite enough. One is merely extraordinary.