Friday, July 13, 2012

All That’s Wrong with American Politics

By Meg Curtis. PhD

The flurry of speculation about the possible Republican VP candidacy of Condoleeza Rice sets off alarms in every direction. One article from the Wall Street Journal shows just how alarmed Americans should be about political consciousness in this country.

First, apparently, it took three writers to compose this piece: Patrick O’Connor and Sarah Murray got the by-line, but Janet Hook also “contributed to this article.” Now, let’s see what three top-o-the-line journalists can come up with regarding the lovely Condi.

This masterpiece—titled “Condi’s Name Is Floated as Potential VP Choice”—offers this startling information:  “Ms. Rice’s assets are obvious. She’s a woman; she’s black…(par. 8). Aren’t we lucky to have a free press to provide this insight which we could never have noticed for ourselves?

Up in heaven, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., must be celebrating the answer to his prayers: Now, we are free, free at last, from politics based on the color of a candidate’s skin, instead of the content of her character. Here comes the American Dream!

With their very next words, these three writers inform us that “she has extensive foreign policy experience; and her inclusion on the ticket would scramble the race in ways few other candidates could” (par. 8). Yes, can’t you hear Dr. King cheering again for meaningless generalities?

In point of fact, Stanford University offers the following information for the literate in the USA:

Condoleezza Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates LLC. (par. 1)

Stanford’s faculty profile for Dr. Rice leads off with her qualifications in business, specifically “Global Business.” What qualification can either Obama or Biden offer by comparison?

O’Connor, Murray, and Hook also insist that Condoleeza Rice “has never run for elected office.” What do they expect she was doing in preparation for becoming Provost of Standford University from 1993 to 1999—holding tea parties? According to her Stanford University faculty profile again,

Rice served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993-1999, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military. (par. 3)

If three American writers, combining their research, do this kind of job in presenting Dr. Rice to the public in one of America’s leading publications, what have journalists done to the other candidates—and the voters in this election?  

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