If you’re wondering how irrational, unpredictable, and volatile a Sarah Palin presidency would be, look no further. News is that she has retained, not an academically trained economist or financial expert, but a right-wing Dutch newspaper columnist (his name is Joshua Livestro) to advise her on all matters related to Europe’s economy and financial crisis. Livestro is a big fan of Palin’s, and has contributed money to one of her ridiculous websites. You can thus reasonably infer Livestro’s state of mind (that of a total whack-job). Conservative David Frum responds with disbelief (as should we all):
The potential collapse of the Euro is one of the most urgent and frightening economic crises on planet Earth. Sarah Palin of course is a likely candidate for president of the United States. As such, she has access to the nation’s and the world’s leading economic minds. The president of the European Central Bank? Available. Any of the governors of the Federal Reserve? At her service. The economics faculties of every university in the United States? Ready to take the next flight to Anchorage. Heads of the bonds desks at every American bank and financial firm? That conversation might have to be conducted by telephone rather than in person, but still easily arranged. Prime ministers of Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece? Accessible. Frankly, it’s hard for me to imagine any expert in any subject who wouldn’t feel it an imperative public duty to talk to Gov. Palin if asked. Instead she turns to a journalist with no formal training in economics and no experience in public finance.
This is the kind of anti-intellectual crank that the Republican Party stands at the ready to promote to the nation’s steering wheel in 2012. And if this is who she’ll call on to learn more about economics and finance, can you imagine who she’ll seek advice from in her run-up to a war with Iran?
It’s a complex world. Having an intellectual president like Barack Obama helps the nation navigate it. And having a non-intellectual president is tolerable so long as that president respects education, expertise, and critical thinking.
But an anti-intellectual president? In the 21st century, it’s a formula for tempting collective suicide. As someone with small children, I hope a Forest Gump simpleton like Sarah Palin never achieves the presidency of the United States.