Elections, John McCain, News and Current Events, People, Politics, Quotes, Sam Harris, Sarah Palin

Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and John McCain

In my opinion, Sam Harris is among the more realistic thinkers of our time.  He wrote this as part of an op-ed piece on Sarah Palin that was published yesterday in the LA Times:

“Americans have an unhealthy desire to see average people promoted to positions of great authority. No one wants an average neurosurgeon or even an average carpenter, but when it comes time to vest a man or woman with more power and responsibility than any person has held in human history, Americans say they want a regular guy, someone just like themselves. President Bush kept his edge on the ‘Who would you like to have a beer with?’ poll question in 2004, and won reelection.”

“This is one of the many points at which narcissism becomes indistinguishable from masochism. Let me put it plainly: If you want someone just like you to be president of the United States, or even vice president, you deserve whatever dysfunctional society you get. You deserve to be poor, to see the environment despoiled, to watch your children receive a fourth-rate education and to suffer as this country wages – and loses – both necessary and unnecessary wars.”

Sam Harris

7 thoughts on “Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and John McCain”

  1. I emphatically do not want “someone like me” as president. I am not qualified! But so much turns on the meaning of “like me …”

    FYI, Norm Geras (whom I respect) has a partial rebuttal to this piece by Sam Harris.

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  2. @ Brian: Perhaps the ideal is to elect someone who shares our values? What do you think?

    @ Dale: Thank you for the link to Geras! He offers an interesting point of view!

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  3. I too always wondered why someone would want a person like them leading the country. Maybe those people have HUGE egos and think better of themselves than everyone else? Not sure, but what Sam is saying makes perfect sense to me.

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  4. I certainly think it’s possible that some people do in fact have egos big enough to imagine they are better than everyone else, Webs. Of course, you not only need a big ego for that, you also need to be reality-challenged.

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