Monday, September 8, 2008

Thoughts on Sarah Palin

First things first: Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota was inspirational and dead-on-target. She spelled out a lot of what I believe in: deriding the idea of dialogue with Iran, stipulating that America must start providing itself with its own native sources of fuel, emphasizing the strong possibility of success in Iraq, and criticizing high taxes, as well as centering on her own life as a faithfully married woman, someone who clearly feels that monogamy is the only way to ensure a healthy family life as well as a strong soul.
All very well and good, except Mrs. Palin does give me a bit of cause for concern.
1. After my initial relief that John McCain did not pick Southern Fried Baptist Mike Huckabee as his running mate, as some pundits had predicted back in Febraury, I was distressed when he chose a female Alaskan version of him. The ol' huntin', shootin', fishin', dinosaurs-roamed-the-earth-with-mankind mindset on Palin is eerily too reminiscent of a GOP that just cannot shake its reliance on the hard-line Christian Right for its survival. Sure, the Democrats may be lumbered by their loony-Left, pea-brained contingent, but the Republicans can't lay claim to a completely normal cross-section of supporters either. I mean, it's good that we don't have the dreadlocked, unwashed, "down with America" types in our midst, but I don't feel any more comfortable in the company of hallelujah-chanting, creationist, Flat Earth Theory-believing cornfeds either.
What the hell ever happened to the middle ground? Or has that always been nothing but a myth?
I still wish dearly that McCain had gone with Mitt Romney. That would have been a hell of a ticket. To pick the heretofore relatively unknown Governor of Alaska seems a tad luckluster.
2. I cannot take Mrs. Palin seriously as a campaigner against teenage pregnancy and out-of-wedlock sexual relationships—which one would expect of her as a conservative—when her own 17-year-old daughter is pregnant by a self-confessed redneck who loves to brag about his loutish behavior online. The younger daughter clearly intends on taking after mommy in terms of having a large family; indeed, she's clearly not wasting any time in her aspirations to become a prolific breeder.
I'm just a little tired of people who claim to be "just a normal family" when, from what I can see, they are anything but normal.
3. Palin's quite big on gun ownership. I'm not against gun ownership myself. The Second Amendment may not have relevance anymore in terms of communities rising up against their own government, but clearly it establishes the right to private gun ownership. Ban private gun ownership and you have defaced and denigrated one of the original Constitutional Amendments.
However, I think if our Founding Fathers knew what was coming—leagues of outcast loners bred on too much violent film, television and videogames who see no other way to express themselves other than shooting everyone in sight when they finally snap one fine day—they would have ensured, as much as humanly possible, that guns did not land into the wrong hands.
Why is it that every time a conservative Republican talks about gun ownership it also happens that they are stolid members of the NRA? National Rifle Association? More like Nihilistic Retrograde Assholes. How insane is it that there is an organization in America, politically active and very influential, which believes that there should be no limits whatsoever on gun ownership, which believes that anyone, anytime, anywhere and under any conditions can purchase a gun?
Why, also, is it that countries that also have significant gun ownership, like Canada and Switzerland, generate so little news in terms of gun massacres? Is it because they have no version of the NRA, telling their people that they must have a firearm even if they're a totally deranged, psychopathic, paranoid lunatic?
No, I'm not against gun ownership. But I'm aghast at the NRA.
4. Sarah Palin is a hunter. Now there are plenty of people who like to test their skills as a shooter with clay pigeons or a stack of cans. Fine and dandy. But actually killing an animal and seeing that as a sport? It's just ridiculous. Where's the sport in that? It's bloodlust, pure and simple. If you're lost in the woods, you haven't eaten in several days, and there's no suitable plant material to eat, then I believe hunting is justified. In any other circumstance, it's bloodthirstyness. Let Mrs. Palin tackle a moose armed with just a stick. If she wins that contest, then I'll be impressed.
Again, Sarah Palin's speech was bold and struck a solid chord with the GOP faithful. That's all well and good. And I'm also very much enjoying the spectre of these liberal hypocrites decrying her existence. You know the types: they believe we need more women, minorities and alternative sexualities in office and influencing American life. Yet give them the likes of Mona Charen, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, or Andrew Sullivan and watch them protest. "But we didn't mean those sorts of women, those sorts of blacks, those sorts of gays," they'll bleat. If you're not sowing the seeds of disgruntlement on the Democrats' plantation, then you're just not acceptable.
Sarah Palin and I both share a respect for history and tradition, time-tested methods of law and order, and a deep distrust of the government.
But I seriously wish that she, and some of these same people with whom I share common ground, didn't think that having less than 20 children is ungodly, that animals were put on earth solely to provide mankind with food and to relieve his feelings of bloodlust, and that the planet is only thousands, as opposed to billions, of years old.
I mean, not to get religious, but God help us all.


The Ugly American said...

Can't follow you on this one Mark.

She shoots moose and elk for food. That's how she learned it from her school teacher father who moved the family up there for the outdoors lifestyle.

I was just recently up in Alaska. There's not a lot of roads or a lot of supermarkets. The native alaskans, and those that moved up there for the frontier lifestyle hunt and fish for subsistence.

You need to stop being so....metropolitan!!!

Sorry, couldn't help myself!

kristen said...

I agree with about half. I like Sarah Palin for the reasons you stated, but I also like her for the reasons you have against her. I have no problem with hunters, especially in Alaska. They do use their kill for food. I also have no problems with the NRA. I don't think that their main goal is to put a gun in everyone's hand; but rather to make sure that their rights as Americans ensure that they can have one (if they aren't a psycho killer). Let's be honest--there are many left-wing nut groups who would banish any and all guns if they could, which goes directly against the you stated. Cities with the heaviest gun laws have the most crime (i.e. Chicago, D.C.). And while I don't care for the fact that she has a pregnant teen, she has a teenager that made her own decisions (bad as they may be). Parents can teach and instruct their children, but they can't make their choices.

Romney would have been my first choice for V.P. too. He has a lot to offer. But I have to admit Sarah has me intrigued and she brings grassroots values to the ticket....which I love. I love her 'no-nonsense' attitude and her 'let's cut govt waste'. Amen.

Nightdragon said...

No problem there, Andy. If Palin was doing this to feed her rather large family -- of course, no-one held a gun to her head, telling her to have that large a family -- in a time of severe food shortage, OK. As I stated, it's justified by the laws of nature; you're doing what it takes to survive and no animal, humans included, is above such an instinct. But surely, being governor of Alaska, you'd have to live close to Juneau and I'm assuming Juneau has supermarkets and grocery stores. I'm fine with hunting -- as long as it's a very quick kill -- when someone has been forced into doing so. And, sure, sometimes Alaskans have got to do what they've got to do, living in such a huge state with such little amenities, as you stated. But as a recreational sport, sorry. "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner," as the song goes, and I am a quite a metropolitan guy, but even if I was living in the country, I'd have the same attitude.

Kristen, sorry, I knew you weren't going to like what I wrote here, especially after I'd read such glowing praise in your blog about her. But I'm hardly going to sing the praises of someone that I find disappointing in several respects, and I was just pointing out that, even though I consider myself a conservative, some of this "huntin', shootin', fishin', God fearin'" stereotype is not only being scarily justified, it makes me uneasy. Maybe, as Andy says, I'm too much of a metropolitan twit, and being from Boston, I may have a manic liberal streak, but still ...
I think Sarah Palin is qualified to be VP and she can really galvanize conservatives and do a good job in office. I think McCain did his campaign a lot of good by tapping into her. And she is a very personable person, she gives the Right something tangible to believe in, and in a way that McCain never could.
I just don't like some aspects of her personal life and I vented my frustration with it. I'm hardly going to gush over a meat-eating hunter when I'm an animal-loving vegetarian, am I? Palin simply has me pining for Mitt Romney with an intensity that I didn't even think was possible ...

kristen said...

Hey, to each his own. You don't have to apologize to me. I'm not like other bloggers who take offense to everything (i.e. my stalkers and critics). It's your blog and you can express how you feel. I'm just going to give my thoughts. ;-)

The Ugly American said...

I on the other hand take offense with everything!

But seriously...I go hunting every year since I retired from the USN. I've been retired for 12years now and this December will be my twelfth trip up to NJ to go hunting with my father and brother.

The second year I went, I got this big 8 pointer and yes, we skinned it and ate it, and that's the only deer I've ever shot. Every animal I've ever shot I also tasted, except for that rat I shot in my grandmas barn when I was about 15...

The trip is more about time with my pop and his new heart than anything else...