So the question is: “What makes Obama more qualified to lead then Palin?”

Of course an answer can easily grow petty and small minded if one were to point out all the gaffes and the mis-steps of the Republican pick for candidate of VP. But that doesn’t really answer the question. A better answer focuses on the qualities of leadership, beyond debatable arguments of experience. So, what is leadership?

Leadership cannot be a desire for power, in itself. A leader of a nation needs a vision rooted in a plan to move the country forward, beneficial to all. Vision allows an achiever to ground his ambitions against the general welfare of the nation — a measure which thwarts the lust of power. Such a narrative rings clear in Obama’s response on major issues. It allows him to answer coherently with thoughtful calm. He exhibits knowledge, in depth about what he speaks — and he maintains a focus on the common good, through his narrative. Thus he both answers questions directly, and freely credits his opponent when competing ideas match the common purpose.

On the other side of the isle, Palin comes across diametrically opposed. Uncomplicated and dogmatic on most subjects, with a one dimensional call to good without nuanced description — as if all issues were simply good or bad. Hard to argue with such logic, since there are no concrete explanations to refute. Still, plain-spoken folk have earned the respect of the American people in the past, so we should not fault her education or deny her oratory skills, for she can certainly excite a gathering of supporters. Yet the ability to incite crowds to near riot is not leadership, that is cheer leading using a playing field that is all of America, with the stakes our American livelihood. Her only apparent plan is to elicit fever-pitch hero-worship among her adoring fans.

Such egocentric display blinds one standing in its light. There is no vision possible when you are the end justification. There is no public agenda, there is only blind trust to reactive motives, without benefit of predictive models or interactive assessments shaped and evaluated to a shifting environment. With an attention deficit toward current events, decisions follow preconceived notions — unyielding and dogmatic.

Palin is unable to judge herself to the same standard she judges others. Take her self exoneration in the “troopergate” investigation — full denial while an impartial legislative committee finds her guilty of ethical lapses. Listen to her repetitive boast of fiscal responsibility, “thanks but no thanks” to the bridge to nowhere (while she kept the funds allocated specifically for the bridge). Try to comprehend her sports-like analysis of the complexity which is the Iraqi conflict. War is something to either win or lose. It is never an expensive and unproductive theater from which we might wish to disengage — as a large majority of Americans now believe. The simplicity of winning is all encompassing; any alternative suggestion risks branding: “waving the flag of surrender”.

It is not that ethically dishonest people cannot become leaders. But as leaders, they generally exercise judgment in an arrogant unproved manner. (ie: G.W. Bush). Thank goodness more and more, folks in this country are reaching similar conclusions about our current administration. As a people, we are ready for a more liberal interpretation of the national narrative and a more humble exercise of power.

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