Does visiting a farm boost your husbandry credentials?

Tim Swanson, July 21, 2008

It would be an interesting case study to pin point the exact moment in time in which the political class was given a free pass by the press regarding visits to foreign countries.

For instance, one of the recent headlines that continues to run across the network tickers is Barack Obama’s visit to Europe and the Middle East — to boost his foreign policy credentials.

Exactly how does visiting heads-of-state, for mere hours, boost ones credentials?  Remember, these are the same officials that never drive themselves, use their own Blackberry’s or ride the very public transportation that they champion at election time — let alone breath the same air as hoi polloi.

In fact, I have spent the last year living and working in Korea and Taiwan yet I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on anything but the ability to find the nearest washroom (and McDonalds).

Thus, what about the foreign policy credentials of backpackers, retirees, businessmen and other expats who at least lived with and regularly dialogued with the local taxpayers?   If Obama or McCain visited a nuclear power plant for an hour, do they receive a engineering bump and are now capable of  designing reactor cores?  Dare one relish the day when the politicos visit a brain surgeon or OBGYN?

See also: The Rise of the Imperial Class

23 Responses to “Does visiting a farm boost your husbandry credentials?”

  1. Well said. Absolutely correct. It really is ridiculous when you think about it. It’s like Hilliary Clinton and her make-believe story about ‘dodging’ sniper fire in Bosnia. EVEN IF IT HAD HAVE BEEN TRUE, so what? It doesn’t make her a foreign policy expert. It just means she had her head ducked down to avoid getting shot, that’s all. I once was exposed to sniper fire too. Does that make me a ‘foreign policy expert’?

  2. “I once was exposed to sniper fire too. Does that make me a ‘foreign policy expert’?”

    It would if you were an American politician on the campaign trail.

    W.Clark called McCain perfectly – getting shot down after bombing civilians from 10,000 feet doesn’t make one a war hero either. In today’s terms, arriving in Iraq and one week later having your legs blown off in a road-side bombing makes one a hero.

    Language – it’s so much fun.

  3. Umm…this sort of political theater is intended for the consumption of the common american ding-a-ling. It’ll work just fine.

  4. When did it begin? Well part of the U.S. Grant 1880 presidential campaign team insisted that his tourist trip around the globe made him an expert on international relations, more so than his 8 years as president or his years as commander of the Union army. Go figure.

  5. If Obama is looking for experience, maybe he should witness a colonoscopy. If I’m going to get screwed come January, I’d like to think he’d be an expert in giving me the shaft.

  6. Since the United States attacked Iraq, that makes American troops the aggressors in my book. Were the German troops who invaded Poland in 1939 “heroes”? The ones who participated in “operation Barbarossa” in 1941? For that matter, what about the Allied pilots who launched the horrific fire-bombing of Dresden, when Germany was already just about defeated. Were they “heroes” for killing countless thousands of German wonen and children? I would say American soldiers in Iraq are misguided, at best. Saps and Dupes at worst. I mean if an Iraqi army had invaded the USA, would Americans consider Iraqi soldiers in the U.S. as “heroes”?

  7. Grant was terrible as President, too.

  8. Very well put!

  9. This was so obvious it didn’t even warrant a post. Neither Obama, nor his staff, nor his opponents believe that trips abroad boost foreign policy credentials. But all of them believe most Americans think it does, and they’re right.

  10. If Obama devoted as many hours surfing ANTIWAR.COM as he spent visiting foreign countries, he could, with not much exaggeration, claim expertise in understanding the threat to civilization of war and the importance of working for peace.

  11. I went hiking last week. Ergo, I am qualified to be Interior Secretary.

  12. Obama’s camp has indicated an unwillingness to prosecute anyone in the Bush-Cheney cabal for crimes. Should Obama become president, I hope Congressional Republicans immediately go on a witch hunt to find some trivial reason to impeach him.

  13. I told a 5 year old to put his toys away. Ergo, I am qualified to be God-King, Shepherd of the People….I mean President.

  14. This proves the how shallow the American political system really is.It is a big farce.

  15. Obama, The Democratic ‘War President’:

    “It is distressing to see Obama succumb to the blitz of war propaganda over Afghanistan and adopt George Bush’s faux terminology of terrorism”.

  16. Thanks everyone.

  17. Very well said. Whilst I am here, let me say this which mirrors what is said in this article. Does getting caught as a prisoner of war for so many years make a good credential for being a war-chief? especially when we know there was no library or outside contacts in such Asian gulags. Or should it make the prisoner more aware of those with similar calamity as in Gitmu?

    Peace to all Creation.

  18. I hope to see record low turnout for this election.

    If you vote in this illusion-of-choice Coke-or-Pepsi? election, you are part of the problem.

  19. “This was so obvious it didn’t even warrant a post.”

    Theoretically true – but unfortunately it needs to be said wide and loud.

    Excellent post, Tim.

  20. When Obama lives in a Filipino sweatshop for 30 days I will believe he will have a better understanding of the World, but as long as he goes on his Tourist trips he won’t learn anything, especially not at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

    I can go to the Bahamas too, it does not make me an expert on foreign relations.

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