Perspective: point of view; subjective evaluation of relative significance; frame of reference.
You know the story of the blind men who are feeling an elephant for the first time: the one who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the man who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a pipe.
Each in his limited way is correct. Each has a perspective based on limited experience. But what would happen if we gave the men a chance to feel every part of the elephant? Their perspectives would be significantly broadened and the accuracy of their interpretation of the elephant significantly increased.
In the case of Sarah Palin, everyone was surprised by McCain’s pick of a VP running mate who was pretty much unknown outside Alaska. At first we were kind of charmed (some were, anyway) by her fresh face and high energy on display at the Republican National Convention.
But as we’ve had more exposure, more opportunities to “feel” her different aspects, most of the thinking public, even some of those stalwarts on the right, like George Will and Kathleen Parker, are deciding that those new aspects (ignorance, incoherence, idiocy) are poor traits in a person who might become second in command of our country.
Unfortunately, there are those whose exposure to the news, to education, to the world, is so limited that they’re still just feeling Palin’s updo and declaring her their kind of gal.
I got an overwhelming response to my post yesterday about Palin’s inability to name a newspaper she reads, thanks to a link from (of all places!) Fox News, where Mosheh Oinounou wrote a surprisingly critical post on the Couric interview. From the comments (some of which were so incoherent that I deleted them), it’s obvious that some people made up their minds the minute they first encountered Palin and no amount of evidence to the contrary will affect their perspective.
“She’s a mom like me; that’s all I need to know. Why is the media so hard on her? Why do they keep asking her these trick questions?”