Podhoretz reminds his readers that the right did not support Ronald Reagan at first either for very similar reasons - not one of us socially. He was most definitely not an Ivy League graduate and did not come from the heart of the Republican Party. In fact, he had learned his politics fighting against the Communist infiltration of Hollywood.
Sarah Palin, too, is presented as being dumb and Mr Podhoretz, too, assumes that her IQ and intellectual accomplishments are inferior to those of President Obama's. He just does not think that is so important. As several of the comments point out, we actually have no idea what President Obama's intellectual or academic accomplishments are like as all records have been hidden away not to be read by the hoi polloi. His accomplishments as president are there for all to see and account for his ever-falling popularity; his accomplishments as orator depend heavily on his teleprompter, as has been proved on numerous occasions.
What I am trying to say is not that Sarah Palin would necessarily make a great president but that the criteria by which she is being judged by her conservative critics—never mind the deranged hatred she inspires on the left—tell us next to nothing about the kind of president she would make.Many of Palin's ideas are close to those many conservatives, even of the intellectual variety, espouse. So what is it, asks Horowitz, that makes them attack her with such venom?
Take, for example, foreign policy. True, she seems to know very little about international affairs, but expertise in this area is no guarantee of wise leadership. After all, her rival for the vice presidency, who in some sense knows a great deal, was wrong on almost every major issue that arose in the 30 years he spent in the Senate.
What she does know—and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan—is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama, whose IQ is no doubt higher than hers, has yet to learn. Jimmy Carter also has a high IQ, which did not prevent him from becoming one of the worst presidents in American history, and so does Bill Clinton, which did not prevent him from befouling the presidential nest.
Much as I would like to believe that the answer lies in some elevated consideration, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her. When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it.Setting aside Sarah Palin, whose personality and popular appeal seems to trouble very many people, we are back with the age-old division: the political establishment versus the people. I am reasonably certain that on the other side of the Pond the people will eventually win. Here? Remains to be seen.