I want my country back.

My aunt wrote today expressing her anguish about the apparent racism that still exists in America. Polls continue to measure resistance to Obama based on his race.

I sent her a clip from this editorial by Johnathan Freedland in the Guardian which a good friend had forwarded to me earlier today:

Freedland » If Sarah Palin defies the conventional wisdom that says elections are determined by the top of the ticket, and somehow wins this for McCain, what will be the reaction? Yes, blue-state America will go into mourning once again, feeling estranged in its own country. A generation of young Americans – who back Obama in big numbers – will turn cynical, concluding that politics doesn’t work after all. And, most depressing, many African-Americans will decide that if even Barack Obama – with all his conspicuous gifts – could not win, then no black man can ever be elected president.

The column is a bit troubling, but serious people will want to read it. »

There is an undertone of racism in McCain’s choice of Palin. Perhaps McCain can say he didn’t choose her because she’s a racist, but she is a racist. That he didn’t know it is either a flaw in his vetting process or something he is willing to overlook — in either case it’s disturbing. She’s the one who said on hearing that Obama had won the nomination: “So Sambo beat the bitch.” [La Progressive].

I struggle, because I find myself just as prejudiced against Palin as she seems prejudiced against African Americans. I have a hard time considering her a qualified candidate for president. And it’s not just because her self stated qualifications on foreign policy are based on her ability to see Russia from an island in the state of which she’s governor. And it’s not just because she seems incapable of telling the truth about how she turned down the federal government’s offer to build a bridge in her state.

One of my main reasons for not considering her qualified is because she’s a Young Earth Creationist — that’s like being a fundamental right-wing christian on steroids. She believes the world is 7,000 years old and that the dinosaurs and humans inhabited the planet together. Evolution, to her, is a heretical theory and not to be believed. She believes that when the rapture comes the people who are spared (fundamentalist, right wing christians only — you’re not included) will be transported to live in Alaska while waiting out the armageddon which will demolish the rest of us.

Is my prejudice justified? Here’s why I think so, and why it’s different than dismissing a person based on the color of their skin. Barack Obama was born with his skin. He didn’t choose it. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, chose her belief system. She wasn’t born that way. Of course it’s wrong to show prejudice towards a person for a fact of their existence. But opinions are meant to be challenged. That’s how we arrive at better opinions. I venture that the opinions she holds as a YEC are not valid opinions. If you disagree, prove me wrong.

She wants to go to war with Iran, and she’s already publicly announced that she’d willingly go to war with Russia. It wouldn’t cause her to blink to order such a war as commander in chief. BLINK is code for the right wing — it means that she won’t be swayed by reason or ration when it comes to carrying out God’s will. She’s said that our war with Iraq is part of God’s plan and that a gas pipeline across Alaska is part of God’s plan. And when she says that she wouldn’t blink when faced with possible wars with Iran or Russia, what she’s doing is signaling her base that she will not hesitate to do God’s will and destroy those godless nations like we are destroying Iraq.

I hear about Hillary supporters who have not yet found a way to throw their support behind Obama. I am more frustrated with them than anyone — they’re playing chicken with our future. John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for war and many of Hillary’s supporters are sitting around moaning about the fact that we won’t have a woman in the White House — for the next four years a woman in the White house would be the worst thing for women and feminists since — well, ever.

Passion is called for. There is no place for timidity in this election. We are either going to elect Barack Obama, or the nation we love is going to disappear before our very eyes. McCain’s team of Lobbyist/Campaign advisers includes Phil Gramm, the senator most people credit with the bulk of the legislation that led to the deregulation of the banking industry which in turn led to the kind of failure we’ve seen in that industry over the past few months, rising to it’s full crescendo last week.

At the end of the week an article came out in a trade journal in which John McCain articulated a desire to see the health insurance industry de-regulated in the same way that he and his pal Phil Gramm de-regulated the banking industry. The guy is a fraud. He should know better — his relations with Lincoln Savings and Loan as one of the Keating Five should have taught him a lesson. Instead he lies about his opponent, about his running mate, and about his campaign staff — choosing to rail publicly about the abuses of lobbyists and the greed of Wall Street when he’s been party to the whole corrupt thing. Who can watch they guy talk without wondering how he squares with his conscience every night when he goes to bed? I couldn’t sleep if I were telling the big whoppers that he throws out every day. Maybe he just rationalizes away any little messages from Jiminy Cricket by assuring himself that since he was a POW the rules of reality no longer apply to him.

There is a high statistical probability John McCain will die within the next few years. If Barack Obama loses this election, that would mean Sarah Palin will be the president. The ramifications of that are staggering. We should be ashamed of ourselves for even considering the possibility. For me, the issue of qualifications are not even a consideration. She is patently not qualified. And even if she had years of relevant experience and she were well educated, I still wouldn’t consider voting for her. Her beliefs are so out on the radical fringe, she is not safe in a room where there’s a trigger. She’s just itchin’ to whip out an army and wipe out Iran.

How an intelligent person could support her, or take John McCain seriously after he chose her as his running mate, is beyond me. Actually, I see it as a basic test of gullibility. I don’t disagree that she’s a charmer. She has a personality that makes her easy to watch and fun listen to — I thought Tina Fey’s impersonation on SNL was totally wicked and funny — I could have watched her all night. But you’d have to be blind not to see that Sarah Palin is George W. Bush with lipstick. I don’t want another president who people vote for because they think he would be nice to sit and have a beer with or she would be fun to hunt with.

I want someone who gives nuanced and thoughtful answers to complex questions. I don’t consider it a shortcoming that Obama uses full sentences. His policies are not as simplistic as the Palin-McCain one liner catchphrases masquerading as policies — they require a bit more explanation and more thought on the part of the voter. That’s part of the whole “CHANGE” mantra — he recognizes that dumbing down the campaign to the lowest common denominator voter is only going to keep our political system in the toilet. Which is where the lies of the McCain campaign are dragging us. Anyone who buys the Republican rhetoric that Barack Obama is all talk and no substance, obviously hasn’t really been listening to Obama — they’ve been watching TV or basing their opinion on advertising. Or they’ve been duped by Sarah Palin’s folksy talk and cute Tina Fey glasses.

Posted 22 September 2008 by Mark ·