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February 19, 2010 6:40 pm

Why I like Sarah Palin

avatar by Dovid Efune

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Sarah Palin. Photo: wikipedia.org.

Following a number of recent statements and strategic appearances it seems that Sarah Palin has opened the door to a possible entry into the 2012 presidential race for office. “How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?” she asked a recent Tea Party gathering at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. It was the signature line of her speech that enthused the crowd, and then, slowly, began to rock the national political community.

Despite here never ending supply of gaffes, her seemingly oversimplified view of the world and the fact that she writes notes on her hand to remember key points, right now, I would actually be quite happy to see her as Commander in Chief of this country, and here is why:

In his bestselling book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell challenges conventional wisdom in his exploration of the subconscious mind presenting a number of important ideas.

Gladwell postulates that having too much information can sometimes interfere with the accuracy of a judgment. This is commonly called “analysis paralysis.” The challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical data to make a decision. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing to the decision maker. Gladwell explains that better judgments can be executed from simplicity and frugality of information, rather than the more common belief that greater knowledge is proportional to improved decision making. If the big picture is clear enough to decide, then determine from the big picture without using a magnifying glass.

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While I don’t believe that Palin is as knowledgeable or as educated as President Obama on a number of issues, when running a country it may be far more relevant to have the correct information and the right ideas than to have more of it. If anything, as Gladwell explains, over-analyzing can lead to indecisiveness and weak leadership. Of course in making decisions of this magnitude, all the facts must be known and all angles must be considered, it is for that reason that the White House has an array of information gathering agencies at its disposal. The Pentagon would be able to update Palin on exactly how far Russia is from her home in Alaska!

I would feel safer with Sarah Palin at the helm; because I would know that the next generation wouldn’t live in the Iranian ‘valley of the shadow of death’. Perhaps the current administration is correct when it academically argues that would be nonsensical for Iran engage in the suicidal behavior of the use of atomic weapons. As a political hypothesis, why shouldn’t the policy of containment that worked so well during the cold war, work when dealing with a nuclear Iran? But life is not an academic study; at times human beings are very capable of being more irrational than rational.

Maybe Sarah Palin has a less than impressive geographic awareness but it appears that she understands the above point well. She hasn’t been distracted by irrelevant and confusing ideas that corrupt the clarity of the decision making process.

At a recent mess rally at the Tehran main square, Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced that his country has produced nuclear fuel enriched to a level of 20% for the first time. According to him the Islamic Republic is capable of enriching uranium to a level of 80%, but it chooses not to. The White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded by saying; “We do not believe they have the capability to enrich [uranium] to the degree to which they now say they are.”Whilst it may be factually correct that Iran could not produce such a high level of rich uranium, it would also be foolhardy to dismiss their claims altogether. It is therefore imperative to deal with such claims decisively and in an uncomplicated and uncompromising way.

Sarah Palin is a growing political force to be taken seriously who stands a good chance of securing her party nomination for 2012. She is a woman of the people who speaks the language of the people. In the words of Joe Klein writing for TIME magazine, ‘Palin’s greatest strength is that the vernacular, rather than focus-group language is her default position.’

We certainly haven’t heard the last from this mom with a plan, who winks at audiences, who went to war with a 19 year old boy who mistreated her daughter and does folksy far better than George W. Bush. We might just be the better off for it!

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com

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