I was at a fundraiser last week when one individual suggested that it was difficult to tell the candidates apart- that they were all moving to the center. That assessment is wrong on two accounts. First, there is a difference between Obama and McCain, a big difference, but worse, much worse, is Palin. She is proving, the more we learn about her, to be an unqualified candidate and cultural extremist.
If the presidential election was between Bush and Palin, I would vote for, gulp...Bush. In fact, not only would I vote for Bush, I would campaign for Bush. It seems, at this point anyways, that Palin is in way over her head. Not only does she lack serious leadership experience; she has only a moderate education and is culturally recluse. Furthermore, her religion leapfrogs Bush's beliefs, as she appears not only conservative, she is evangelical. It is one thing to have your beliefs; it is another to act as though you have never heard a decent counterargument to them.
The cute and tough "hockey mom" persona is quickly eroding into small town politician, one that, like Bush, has the superciliousness to think that people will believe whatever she says. She appears to be an actress portraying a presidential candidate, repeating well rehearsed lines, being, as best-selling author Sam Harris noted, led around by the McCain team like a "pet pony."
Harris further notes that her religious convictions include worshipping in churches that enjoy "baptism in the Holy Spirit," "miraculous healings," and the "gift of tongues." Disturbing video was recently released showing her being "protected" from witchcraft. And, finally, Harris notes due to her affiliation with the Assemblies of God Church, she might believe "that Biblical prophecy is an infallible guide to future events and that we are living in the ‘end times.'" The implications of these are obvious.
The first ever presidential endorsement by the Human Society Legislative Fund, made up of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, unanimously selected Obama. Their selection only moderately had to do with Obama's excellent record with animal protection, or McCain's lukewarm record, rather it was Palin's abuse of animals.
Quoting from the press release:
"Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska's wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.
Palin engineered a campaign of shooting predators from airplanes and helicopters, in order to artificially boost the populations of moose and caribou for trophy hunters. She offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf as an economic incentive for pilots and aerial gunners to kill more of the animals, even though Alaska voters had twice approved a ban on the practice."
It might be her culture; however, there is a brutality about her. The video from these hunts are disturbing, absolutely dreadful. Hunting moose might make her interesting in some circles; aerially eradicating Alaskan wolves so that trophy hunters will have more animals to kill for fun simply lacks morality.
The few interviews that Palin has agreed to, again, have been very concerning- to the point that, if it was not for her arrogance, I would feel bad for her. She consistently struggles with any question that includes an unscripted matter of substance. Anti-intellectualism might have been cute and entertaining over the last eight years; but it is not so funny anymore.
I wrote previously about a Democratic politician that I thought lacked the necessary qualifications, again, such as experience, education and social diversity, to be an executive for the people. This is not a partisan evaluation, our country's welfare is too important. This is not the time for putting "ordinary people" in charge of the most influential country in the world. Harris notes in his Newsweek article that in regards to issues like "nuclear proliferation, the ongoing wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, global climate change, a convulsing economy, the rise of China, etc." that "Palin does not seem competent even to rank these in order of importance, much less address any one of them."
This election is critical; our economic systems are at risk. As the most important issue of the election, I consider simply two ideas. Who created this situation and who offers the best chance to get out of it? The Republicans have clearly created most of this mess- so much so that if the situation were reversed; if the Democrats had been in the charge the last eight years, I would vote Republican without hesitation. Secondly, I have no confidence that either McCain or Palin has any real understanding of the economy, much less the ability to lead its recovery.