Ignorance, Arrogance and Aleppo

Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson stepped in it this morning. On MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,” panelist Mike Barnicle asked Johnson, “What would you do if you were elected, about Aleppo?”

Johnson’s response: “And what is Aleppo?”

Now, the average American voter probably is unaware that Aleppo, as Barnicle succinctly describes, is “the epicenter of the refugee crisis [in Syria].” But the average American isn’t running for president.

It’s just another example of the underwhelming (to downright scary) nature of this election’s candidates. All possess the concerning characteristics of ignorance, arrogance or some combination of the two.

Whereas Johnson doesn’t know what Aleppo is, Donald Trump is unaware of what constitutes the nuclear triad. Alarmingly, he not only doesn’t know, he is unaware that he doesn’t know. His debate response to a question from moderator Hugh Hewitt demonstrated that he didn’t comprehend what the phrase means, nor was he curious or even aware of his own lack of knowledge. He just rambled incoherently. It is one of many examples of Trump’s arrogance and ignorance in concert.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is generally not ignorant, but she claims to be as a cover for dishonest activity and other forms of ineptitude. The occasions in which she has claimed not to know about something and was later shown to be dishonest are too numerous to recount here.

The Benghazi video claim is an obvious example, but we have one just in the past week, when she claimed not to know that the parenthetical “C” in her State Department emails means that the material is classified. To believe that of the Secretary of State requires suspension of disbelief as it is, but on top of that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims to have evidence that she lied about it.

It wouldn’t be the first time, but it isn’t surprising coming from people with the arrogance the Clinton’s have when it comes to the truth. She feigns ignorance in her arrogance.

Now I have been a reluctant Gary Johnson supporter for some time, considering that I am a small government conservative and agreeing with a candidate 50% of the time is better than agreeing only 10% of the time.

But this gives me cause to reconsider. Foreign policy is among the most important areas a president attends to and this is a front page issue.

If I decide to continue to support the Libertarian ticket it will be for this reason: Clinton and Trump are arrogant. They know what they know even if it isn’t so. As such they are unteachable and they won’t improve.

Johnson, on the other hand, was willing to admit what he didn’t know, however embarrassing. Ignorance is teachable when accompanied by humility and honesty. In other words, he can improve as a candidate.

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J. Cal Davenport

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