Do I have the foreign policy experience to be Vice President?

Does anyone else find it incredibly scary that a woman who could conceivably become our commander-in-chief has only visited 3 countries in her entire life? Well, four, if you include Canada. Five, if you include Russia, because she can see Putin and his planes circling from the kitchen where she cooks dinner every night for the local hockey team.

But here’s a disturbing fact: Sarah Palin had to apply for a passport in 2006, so that she would be able to go visit Alaskan National Guard troops in Germany and Kuwait (and there have been recent assertions that she also visited Iraq on the same trip – recent changes to previous statements that did NOT include Iraq on the trip’s itinerary…odd).

Let me make that clear again. Sarah Palin, Governor of the great state of Russia-bordered Alaska where the KGB is a stone’s throw away, a woman who is one 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from the Oval Office, never left our country until 2006. Shit, I keep forgetting Canada. She had left the country before 2006, when you include Canada.

No one is suggesting that you need to have backpacked Europe, climbed the pyramids in Giza, or looked down from the snows of Kilimanjaro. There are not any travel requirements when applying for this position. Apparently there are very few requirements at all.

But as someone who has traveled outside the American viewpoint, and who has seen the way that other people in this world live, it is saddening to me that such a sheltered person is being considered for such a powerful position. We tout ourselves as leaders, beacons in the world for justice and equality. We cite our ability to fight for the disenchanted and to rally support for those in need. Whether or not those things are true, wee see ourselves as world leaders on so many levels, and yet somehow this candidate has squeezed into this race without an ounce of international experience. You don’t have to work in an AIDS hospice in Lesotho (that’s in South Africa, by the way) to pass these tests Ms. Palin, but I would hope that you’ve at the very least had the opportunity to learn how to say “hello” in a couple of different languages. “Hola” doesn’t count. Neither does “Ey” or “Ai” for the Canadian and Inuit greetings, respectively.

As a global citizen, and the husband of a woman with dual-citizenship, I really hope that we choose someone who has a little bit more of global perspective. The world is a far different place than America, let alone Alaska. This is not an election for the president of Earth, but since we call our president the leader of the free world, isn’t it important for that person to know what lies beyond Anchorage? I know it’s not all Northern Exposure up there, but I think it’s a much simpler life than the metropolitan speed of LA, NY, or DC, and without a bit of foreign experience to balance, I think you are unfit (on yet another level) to run this country.

I have a well-stamped passport and have lived in a 99% Muslim East African country. By your measure, doesn’t that make me like the grand poobah of foreign policy experience?

Surely it does not. But at least I know I’m unfit for that position.

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  1. New blog post: Do I have the foreign policy experience to be Vice President?

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