Reader Kelly Kilpatrick contributes the following analysis of Sarah Palin and the Republican Party.
It’s an American election like no other – first we had the undignified spats between senators Obama and Clinton. And now that Obama has emerged the clear winner (but not by too much of a distance) of that race, the focus has shifted to the three-ring circus run by McCain where Sarah Palin is the star attraction. From virtual nobodies, the Republicans have pulled out of nowhere to take centre stage in the media circus that was dominated by the Democrats throughout the primaries.
For now, the spotlight is on Palin and her remarkable (and frightening) similarity to George W Bush, mostly in the way they both seem to spout incomprehensible inanities and end up with their foot in their mouth so often that you’d think they would have gotten tired of the taste of old leather and sweaty socks. It’s like the nation has forgotten that it’s Senator McCain who’s running for president, and that Palin is just his running mate. Probably what the Republican think tank was looking for in the first place – to divert all the attention to their camp after Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama stole it during the primaries by virtue of being the first woman and black respectively to vie for the highest office in the country.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity, and so Palin was sprung on an unsuspecting nation. With her “folksy” appeal and supposedly down-to-earth hockey mom attitude, she was supposed to charm a nation of working class people and have them eating out of her hands, something that McCain could not do even if he were to stand upside down for hours. Much has been said about her expensive makeover, her dictatorial attitude towards those who oppose her or those close to her, her regressive outlook, and, well, the list could go on and on.
Republicans who support her stand against abortion would elevate her to sainthood if they could, for her “moral” decision to give birth to a child she knew had Down’s Syndrome. Yes, Palin is a saint – who else would be so adamantly against sex education in schools even though her teenage daughter is pregnant by her equally teenage boyfriend? It’s all well and good for Palin to take strong stands on such issues – she’s not as unlucky as the single mother who has to give up her sole means of making a living to stay at home and raise a baby with a lifelong disability; her daughter’s not as unfortunate as the teen who has to quit school to raise a baby that she didn’t want in the first place; and her child and grandchild are not as unlucky as the babies that are born to parents who have neither the inclination nor the wherewithal to care for them.
Yes, under the circumstances, Sarah Palin is definitely a saint, one that this country needs as much as it needs another George W Bush. But aren’t we the folks who wanted another four years of the man even though the first four were markedly torturous? So who knows? Maybe we’re masochistic enough to wish this woman and her ilk on us for the next four years, and the four after too. God save America!
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of a masters program for criminal justice. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com
[Note: the article was written before the November 4 election. I think it still has relevance both as a commentary on the election and concerning Palin's interest in the 2012 election. -- Ed.]