I’m frustrated with Sarah Palin and with the trivialization of public policy expertise that has resulted in her polluted wake. A few reviews of her book and of her intentions have led me to believe that she is not only planning to further her presence in politics, but perhaps even attempt to run for office again. Only because the first, second, third, and fourth times were so successful.
My frustration lies in the fact that I take public policy seriously, and Palin relieving herself all over public policy does us all a disservice. And remember, that regardless of your political persuasion, your elected officials do develop, you guessed it, policy, and are mostly qualified because of their education, experience, and character. Policy development is not easy – you must not only take into account every person’s or group’s needs and interests, but you must display compassion, an understanding of short- and long-term consequences of the desired actions, commitment to implementation, patience when your issues might not be at the top of the list, and finally, intelligence to understand exactly what needs to be addressed and how.
What Palin falls short in, well, is just about everything listed. So, you claim to be an effective policy-maker, and not only that, but an expert on developing and implementing local, regional, national and international policy, because, uh, let’s see… it says here that you like potlucks and shooting endangered species animals for sport? Ok. If being a quitter means you’re a policy-maker, maybe. But that’s fantasy, Alice. Maybe you could be a member of a Cabinet for your specific experience in a specific area, or your ability to advise on policies, or interact with a certain group of people, but it’s another bag of beef jerky to profess that because you wear lipstick, enjoy a sport that is actually from Canada, and buy discount diapers, you can represent me. I’m not looking for a kin in my president. I’m looking for a leader with spine, humility, and bi-partisanship.
Palin professes two things that do us all an enormous disfavor. Continue reading