I can prove Miss South Carolina is a genius

Remember Miss South Carolina, Caite Upton, and her "confused" answer on the Miss Teen USA contest? She is back in the news--as a contestant on CBS "The Amazing Race." Although she was ridiculed as an idiot, I believe that deconstructing her answer actually proves she is a genius policy expert worthy of high office. To prove it, let's look at her statement line-by line (click on the "read more" link below):




QUESTION: Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can't find the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is:


Miss South Carolina (Caite Upton). 
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so. 
You can't argue with her so far. You might think "U.S. Americans" is a strange phrase, but it actually shows Ms. Upton's nuanced understanding of third world claims of U.S imperialism. After all, why is it that only U.S. citizens get to call themselves "Americans"? Shouldn't South Americans have the same right? By using "U.S. Americans" Ms. Upton is showing politically savvy sensitivity to others in the western hemisphere.

Because some people out there in our nation don't have maps. 
Again, it's true. And it's an obvious reference to the fact that satellite-based GPS services have lulled many into thinking they don't need standard road maps. Yet Ms. Upton clearly understands that reliance on GPS leads to a range of negative outcomes. In addition to GPS errors that have led some drivers into harms way, overdependence on digital navigation means ordinary Americans never get a "big picture" understanding of a given region—a perspective that only a large printed map can provide. She's outlining an issue that will become more and more significant as our economy becomes more global. 

I believe that our education, such as in South Africa and Iraq, I believe that our education over here in the US should help South Africa and help Iraq. 
This may be one of the most insightful things I have heard in a long time. Better education in the U.S. would help Iraq. She is obviously referencing the fact that none of the architects of the Iraq war had even visited Iraq prior to making the decision to go to war. If they had better educated themselves about the incredibly complex realities in the region, they would not have made the decision to fight a war in the Middle East. Similarly, Ms. Upton is pointing to the fact that many American textbooks tend to be insular, and thus U.S. citizens just don't know their world politics. If Americans had understood the long history of war in the region, they would not have supported a proposed solution that was so clearly destined to fail. As to South Africa, again, better education in the U.S. about apartheid actually did help that nation. As more Americans became educated about racist policies in South Africa, support for sanctions grew--eventually leading to the rise of a more representative system. I am impressed by Ms. Upton's ability to summarize this key policy so succinctly.

So we will be able to build up our future. 
Note that she didn't say  "better our future" or "improve our future." Instead Ms. Upton carefully chose the words "build up." She is offering a tip of the hat to Ronald Reagan's belief that "building up" a strong defense will eventually lead to a peaceful outcome--and a better future. While many on the left might disagree with the Reagan/Upton doctrine, the fall of Communism is clear evidence of the value of a strong military. 

Admittedly, Ms. Upton is using sophisticated references that many in the audience did not understand. But once her speech is deconstructed, it's clear she is an intelligent young woman with a bright future. Sure, she has a long way to go to each the intellectual prowess of say, Sarah Palin, but I must admit my secret desire to see these two formidable talents together: a Palin/Upton ticket in 2012.

3 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if this is a satire or a salute, but either way it's a funny and great little review! Heh! Long live geography!

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  2. very nice blog .. I liked the theme too! never thought they were going to write about it:) thanks

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