Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Response to an article by Roy MacGregor

(The article was entitled "Pistol-packin' Palin might be just the right choice." It was published online September 3, 2008.)

Roy, are you serious? Did your editor read what you wrote today? "One person, one vote." That's what you leave your readers with? What impression are you trying to convey? The concept of "one man, one vote" does not exist in Presidential elections in the United States. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous. You completely obviate the existence of the Electoral College, and for what purpose? To endorse or at least support a presumptive Vice-Presidential nominee, who, for reasons that you yourself enumerate, is unready and unfit for national office.

The rural/urban divide is real, and a divide that should be explored through the crimson glass of politics. And, the reason that Palin's experiences do not suit her for this nomination are rooted in the chasm of this divide. America already has had enough of the "pistol-packin" vice-president. He shot a man in the face while drunk, if you remember. Palin hunts and shoots, dog sleds and cross-country skis, she snowshoes to work... Come on! Who cares? She has no experience! If you wish to endure another four years of illegal wiretaps, illegal wars, illegal torture, illegal influence peddling, etc, then of course, McCain/Palin is the obvious choice. It isn't necessarily criminal intent that leads to illegal activity. Sometimes the criminals are just too dumb and inexperienced to realize fully what it is they are doing. Case in point: George W. Bush. There is a reason that the general public want politicians who are both erudite and experienced when it comes to national affairs. There are, of course, also very good reasons why the wealthy men and women who can exert great influence in their respective countries, do not want politicians who are erudite, and experienced.

You stated, "It's a fair question to ask: Exactly who has the most experience with real people facing real issues - a two-term mayor of a small northern community or a bunch of guys who've been surrounded by staff for so long they don't even know where their coats are hung?"

Wow. Don't you mean "- a two-term mayor of a small northern community or three sitting U.S. Senators?" Shouldn't that be the statement? Unless you're deliberately using verbiage to influence your readers... Which, of course, is what you're attempting to do. The real question is why? Are you merely presenting the contrarian view? Or do you truly believe that governing 7000 people in a semi-isolated environment can somehow entitle a politician to lead 300 million. That is the real point. The VP must be as prepared to lead as the President, and this VP could be in the position of administering to the Free World. The American Empire is as real as any that have preceded it. The only difference is that said Empire is not acknowledged as such. But, as goes America, so goes the world, and to compare the political careers of Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and even John McCain, unfavorably with an utter neophyte is ridiculous in the extreme.

"Real people, facing real issues." So, what major issue could Mrs. Palin have presided over that would prepare her to face down a militarily resurgent Russia, a flush China, and a restless Iran? The placement of downtown parking meters? Ensuring that the abortion clinic (if one even exists) is well hidden? Championing a drive thru snowmobile gas station? I don't know, and I know that I'm being flippant, but the point is I don't know, perhaps because, she hasn't done anything other than get herself elected. As for Cindy McCain's comment that Palin has foreign affairs experience because Alaska is in close proximity to Russia, well, I'm still laughing over that one. Do you suppose Mrs. McCain knows just how many thousands of miles and time zones Moscow is from the eastern edge of Russia? When was the last time Putin or Medvedev held court in Provideniya?

Let's look at the family values comment as well. You have reinvented the definition of Family Values (capitalized by the Republican Party) by telling us what our family values are, how it is also "...about being there for the flip side of family life." Really? Does that include denial to abortion services even in the case of the rape of one's own daughter? Does it include endorsing a Republican platform that endorses abstinence-only sex education? Slashing funding to teen mothers? Using the influence of one's office to punish your sister's ex-husband? Ridiculous. As for her belief in the veracity of the Bible, that's her affair. It has no place in US Federal politics. That "family" has been usurped by a religious minority in the US is unfortunate. To support that usurpation is unsound.

"Ms. Palin - regardless of what one thinks of her politics - is up against a growing media bias against things that are small and distant." Where is the evidence that you provide to support such an outsized slander? Simple manipulation of Statistics Canada? What politician, police chief, or managing editor has not manipulated stats at some point in their careers? There must be more to back your assertion that the media is against Palin because she is "small and distant." I would urge you to rediscover what your colleagues are writing and saying about Palin. She has no experience, is under investigation for abuse of Gubernatorial power, and her views on abortion and teenage sexuality and pregnancy leave her in the minority when compared to women nationally. Is there any useful commentary that can be added to these issues? I'm sure there is.

Candide Franklyn
Toronto, September 2008

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