Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why Even Sarah Palin Knows More Than Trump - The Atlantic

I am an incrementalist.  As a lawyer I learned how to move the law forward an inch, with teamwork a yard.  But how does one make a mark in the  tsunami of coverage and commentary about Donald Trump and the GOP?  

I add only this:  if an incompetent is the nominee of the Republican Party it will bring dangerous political instability to the United States of America.  Trump victorious will unleash tribal passions that we have long (if excessively) prided ourselves on avoiding.  - gwc
Why Sarah Palin Knows More Than Trump - The Atlantic
by James Fallows

After the latest GOP debate, I noted that Donald Trump was remarkable for his very high-level performance skills, and for his near-absolute lack of knowledge about policy or public affairs. Then readers weighed in to the same effect. Now, more from readers on Know-Nothingism and the Rise of Trump.

I’ve heard from a reader who for professional reasons has carefully studied a very large number of “newsmaker” interviews in recent years. The reader writes that Trump’s cumulative record is remarkable, especially when compared with Sarah Palin’s:
In the year or so after the election, I listened to a lot of Palin interviews, and although her range of knowledge is certainly quite limited, she spoke very confidently and enthusiastically about some Alaska-specific issues, one being the oil industry in the state. Another was less important but still fascinating—the myriad complexities of voting and getting votes counted in Alaska. She took obvious pleasure in her mastery of these subjects and pleasure in explaining them to people who didn't know much about them.
I have now been through dozens of interviews with Trump with a variety of interviewers, and I have never once—not once—heard him discuss anything, any subject of any kind, with any evidence of knowledge, never mind thought. None. Zero. He's like a skipping stone over a pond. He doesn't even come close to the level of dilettante.
You'd think at some point, something, anything would have engaged his interest enough to read up on it and think about it, but as far as I can tell, nothing has. Much more so even than George W., he appears to lack anything resembling intellectual curiosity. Maybe he's faking it, but while understanding can sometimes be faked, you can't fake ignorance convincingly.
Most liberal folks in my experience have never really listened closely to either Trump or Palin very much but rely instead on superficial appearance and caricature, I thought I'd contribute the view of a liberal who has actually listened to them very carefully....

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