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The one reminder I took away from viewing “Game Change,” the Sarah Palin election story, last night, was how totally ignorant and inarticulate she was on foreign affairs. Few, even her ardent fans, would say that was not the case. To me, this was her fatal deficit, though it might also have been a reflection of a very middling intelligence.
What reminds me of the current primary campaign, is how little attention is being given by the candidates or their “campaigns” to foreign affairs. We live in a dangerous world, in a dangerous time. Too many Americans remain isolated from the military implications of that risk, because so few among us are tasked to serve in these conflicts. Most of us are not engaged. We can’t all be foreign affairs experts, but we can expect, even demand, that our leaders and leader-hopefuls, demonstrate knowledge and even wisdom on the subject. Not just of military issues, but of economics, education, science and culture.
This is not my partisan view. This is an American view. Too few among us make the effort to access the wealth of information and informed opinion available on world affairs. We need to lift our eyes off the ground in front of us, at least a few hours a week, and take a look around the global village. That perspective may even enlighten our perceptions of what is truly good and what needs changing here at home.
If we are to benefit from wise leadership in global affairs, we need wise and thoughtful leaders who are challenged by an informed and curious citizenry. What a game change that would be.