Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Passport Issue

Whoops! Forgot to mention the link that took me to the article that prompted this post - Kim du Toit.
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I've been reading criticism about Sarah Palin for the last few days, and one that I just don't understand is the fact that she didn't even possess a passport until a few years ago.

Neither did I, until this year. I didn't need one. I traveled to Canada & Mexico before passports were required. This year, to attend a meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, in Edmonton, CA, I finally went through the process - it wasn't cheap ($ 85), and it took 2 trips to the county courthouse.

This isn't Europe - y'all can travel quite a distance without ever entering another country. In that travel, you can cross climate zones, go from below sea level to a mile above, see plains, savannahs, mountains, valleys, seashores, deserts - the range of terrains is broad - and mix among residents speaking a variety of languages - most of them English, in all the varied dialects we Americans use.

So, what's so magical about a passport? I think it stems from the Bad Old Days, when a properly educated university graduate would cap off that education, before taking his rightful place as Lord of the Manor, with a European tour. Discussion of travel abroad is a way of verifying that a newcomer is One of Us - the elite who have the time and money to aimlessly wander.

I doubt that Sarah had those luxuries - especially after she married and had kids. The point is, when she needed to get a passport, to do her job, she did.

Aside from using his travels to sneer at America, and bask in the glow of foreign players, what has Obama done with his passport?

Has he initiated new legislation? No.

Has he negotiated foreign policy? No.

Has he stood up to human rights violations? No.

Has he used his pulpit in foreign countries to promote the interests of American? No.

Having that passport didn't seem to be all that useful for him, or for the country, did it?

1 comment:

McGehee said...

Barack "Not Ready for Prime Time" Obama can't claim to be the "resume candidate," as GHWB did against Reagan in 1980, so he has to settle for being the "passport candidate."