So. The Palin. Now that I’ve picked my jaw up off the floor and have stopped the incessant head-shaking and screaming to the heavens, I can finally weigh in on this.
The question isn’t whether Sarah Palin is woefully under-qualified to be one heartbeat away from an elderly, cancer-prone man with anger-management issues who will do anything to get elected President and who has vowed to continue George Bush’s failed policies. It’s that she herself seems to be even more far to the right, more dissembling, more willfully out of touch with what concerns the majority of Americans.
Also, in all the hoopla, media attention, and slavish focus on the cipher that is Ms. Palin, people seem to have forgotten the guy who will actually be President. A man who used to be pro-choice, but changed his mind; a man who appropriately used to think that the Bush tax cuts were wrong, but changed his mind; a man who used to deride the mixing of religion and politics, but changed his mind.
A man who is also, if I may repeat, an elderly, cancer-prone man with anger management problems. Who has chosen for his running mate a woman who believes in Creationism. And that "Abstinence Only" actually works as well as comprehensive sex-education. And who can’t wait to start drilling up the Alaskan wilderness.
And should a major portion of the voting public go temporarily insane on election day, and should all those paperless electronic Diebold voting machines start mysteriously flipping their votes again like they did in 2004, and should those three to six million registered Democrats who have been taken off the voter rolls suddenly find that they aren’t allowed to vote on November fourth, we will in fact, be getting this dynamic duo in the White House.
So it’s more smoke and mirrors, and the under-informed American public is falling for it again. The Republicans, if nothing else, excel at putting incompetent people in charge of our government. So that when it fails, they can say, see? Government is the problem. We need less of it. Katrina, anyone?
If only we could see, blanketing the airwaves, a continuous loop of all of John McCain’s many complete "flip flops." If only Jon Stewart were in charge of the network news. If only Obama started using humor and ridicule to show what a bad idea four more years of failed policies would be. Next to footage of the happy crowds at the Republican convention chanting, "Drill Baby Drill," we would see footage of another crowd, holding up candles and mimeograph paper, and other low-tech twentieth century conveniences. They could chant like the angry torch-carrying villagers they are, "Don’t take away my carbon paper! We don’t need no stinkin’ electric lights! Who needs a computer, we got typewriters and dictionaries, don’t we?"
Because wanting to drill offshore and in the Alaskan wilderness instead of cranking up production of alternative energy sources is sort of like demanding that we go back to carbon paper. And voting into office two people who would like to return us to those halcyon days before Roe v. Wade is sort of like voting for carbon paper. Voting into office a woman who believes that dinosaurs and humans hung out together five thousand years ago, who would like to end the teaching of evolution in the classroom -- that is like voting for carbon paper. Let’s not go back to carbon paper. It’s a brand new day, full of promise and hope, and solar panels and tiny computer chips and windmills, and people using their brains. Let’s reject the politics of ignorance. Please? After eight long, long years, I am so ready to trade up.