You know I hate when family fights in public but I had to write a letter to the Editor of the Albany Herald regarding a fellow member of the Albany State University Pol Sci family and one Governor Sarah Palin. For background, my letter responded to Dr. Konde’s op-eds stating that who you are as a person or leader is measure by your level of education and the prestige of your colleges.
Konde’s comments counterproductive
I voted for Obama/Biden yesterday because I real want positive change for our nation. Then, Sanford and Saxby got votes because their work in agriculture is vital to Georgia’s economy. As an ASU double grad in political science, my thoughts turned to Hollis, Rhodes, Mobley, Joshi and the elegance of Tucker when reading the on-going battle between Professor Konde and Palin supporters. Dr. Konde, your well-intended jousting regarding academic degrees is driving Clinton-type voters to the polls for Palin. You are playing into their plans. Rep. Jim Marshall is Ivy League like the Obamas, but he would never put Princeton in his ads — only old pickup trucks. Dr. Konde should reread the Art of War or read the notes on our black moderate blog Project Logic GA. Sun Tzu wrote, “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”
Team Obama and reasonable people stopped attacking Gov. Palin and switched focus to actual issues. There is an old story about Congressman Bishop’s father, who was college president during the Iranian hostage crisis. When the Iranian students started to protest America on campus, President Bishop promptly sent them home. The late Dr. Lois Hollis and the late President Bishop would recommend caution during these delicate days — don’t fan the flames.
T. S. Sylvester Georgia
Dr. Konde’s Op Ed
Palin’s supporters promote mediocrity
In “Is Palin ready for office?” (SundayViews, Sept. 7), I argued that Gov. Sarah Palin is ill-qualified for the office of vice president and explained why. I was unambiguous and lucid. Some people were taken aback by my contention and felt compelled to question my pedigree: “How dare him?” Given that my detractors could not answer my fundamental argument with equal zeal and clarity, they naturally found recourse to tangential issues not even remotely related to the argument.
One respondent accused me of plagiarism (Sept. 8), a second noted that I was writing from a position of hysteria (Sept. 8), a third thought I was unfair (Sept. 10), while another directed my attention to Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (Sept. 10). And then there was The SquawkBox (Sept. 10) where some people berated me as the “pompous professor,” teaching hate, and more. These attempts at derogation notwithstanding, none of my detractors rose to present a cogent rebuttal. I am truly the disappointed man.
The litany of invective has been dragged on into week two, with David Morey’s “Elitism ‘inspires’ mediocrity” (Sept. 17). I wonder what was so elitist about my candid perspective, or so mediocre about my contention! I will not characterize Morey’s person as elitist; but mediocre, his ideas are. Note the distinction I make between the person and his ideas. It is not normal for one with a first degree to present himself as an intellectual counterweight to me. No, Mr. Morey, I will not cower to platitudes. You come across as one with the mentality of people of by-gone years, and operate on the assumption that it is your prerogative to tell me when to inhale, exhale and when not to.
I reject your stance because I stand on a pedestal constructed by valiant men and women who came before me. I will not relent in the face of your insult packaged as erudition. You are mistaken to think that your first degree in engineering is better than a graduate degree earned from Albany State University.
I do not subscribe to the outdated notions which seem to pervade the world you inhabit — a world that time has gleefully left behind. That an engineer with a four-year degree from Mercer University would muster the audacity to challenge a historian in the realm of ideas is quite astounding.
And, yes! I know because I think. I know the contours and trajectory of your histrionics; and, I adamantly refuse to surrender an iota of intellectual ground!
The facts: Gov. Palin’s language is sophomoric. She earned a bachelor’s degree in six years attending five different institutions. If the majority of Americans were prone to that kind of erratic schooling, I would be compelled to tender my apology. But such is not the case. Gov. Palin is unique in this regard. Read: Hawaii Pacific University (one semester), North Idaho College (two semesters), University of Idaho (two semesters), Matanuska-Susitna College (one semester), and back to the University of Idaho (three semesters, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism).
Palin appears not to have made her mark on the college newspaper or campus television station at the University of Idaho. Upon returning to Alaska, however, she worked briefly as a sportscaster for KTUU in Anchorage, and thereafter began her meteoric rise to power as could be possible only in Alaska. And now some ill-advised ideologues want to foist her on America as the best the Republican Party could find? My detractors should take a deep breath and think things over. Adieu!
Emmanuel Konde is an associate professor of history at Albany State University.