Saturday, October 18, 2008

I guess that make me the Antichrist too

I received an email today from a family member, a portion of which I'll reproduce:
1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male extremist.
2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists.
3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists.
4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim male extremists.
5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists.

It then went on to list a number of similar incidents, then capped it all off with a reminder that Barack Obama is a male of Muslim descent, and a claim that
The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, he will destroy everything.

I originally wasn't going to reply, but then I decided that, by being silent I was complicit in this utter nonsense. So I hit "reply to all" and tapped out my single sentence response:

"It usually doesn't make any difference to the type of people who send out these kinds of things, but given my preferences, I would prefer not to receive any more of this racist crap."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Am I qualified to be president?

Who are these people who want to lower the standard to lead the free world? I'm talking about the people who think it's a good thing to be "one of the common people"?

Look at history, and those we have considered to be great presidents. Every one, every single one, has been smarter, wealthier, and better educated than the average citizen. To belabor a point, I'll repeat it again: EVERY SINGLE ONE has been smarter, wealthier, and better educated than the average citizen. Sure, Abe Lincoln started out poor, but considering the standard of living of the time, he did better than most.

While it is admirable to strive to do your best at whatever you do, there are certain fields with higher expectations and greater responsibilities. We expect our health care professionals to adhere to a higher standard of excellence than we do, for example, our megastore greeters.

There has been talk this election over who is an elitist and who is most like "you and me." To borrow words from a website I recently read, elitism isn't a bug, it's a feature. From
...I see elitism as nothing more than a dirty word people have attached to something that ought to be considered a noble goal: the pursuit of excellence rather than mediocrity in all walks of life, whether personal, professional, intellectual, artistic, or otherwise. After all, what can you be, if not an elitist, other than an advocate of mediocrity? Frankly I think there's far too much mediocrity in the world.

I think that [some] have allowed themselves to be sold the negative definition of elitism, which is that it's a bad thing practiced only by snobs who think they're better than you. Mediocrities want you to accept that definition of elitism, because it gives them a name with which to dismiss people who are simply more informed or better capable of defending their ideas in the court of public opinion (or anywhere) than they are.

Don't be fooled. Elitism is a good thing. Everybody alive ought to be elitist. Having high standards is to be admired, not disdained.

Here's the thing: ordinary folks are great. Some of my best friends are ordinary folks. I have friends that are hairdressers and accountants and guitar players and magicians and computer programmers and such, and they're great people. Heck, I think I'm pretty good people. But I don't think there's a single one of us "Joe Six-packs" that's qualified to be president (or vice president). Not even close. And on a similar note, many of those "elitist" presidents of the past were ones who passed some of our greatest legislation, and seemed to be some of our greatest communicators.

So where is it stated that the toughest job in the world, in one of the toughest economic times in my lifetime, should be run by "just plain folks"? Wouldn't you rather have an elitist? I know I would.