Thursday, September 04, 2008
I've been asked many times this past week what I think of Republican VP pick Sarah Palin. Before I address this, let me back up.
I find myself making many snap judgments on these candidates based on the broad strokes and bells and whistles the media -- mostly online, but some MSNBC and Comedy Central -- feed me. I am supposedly a smart cookie; that's what it says on my college diploma. "Smart Cookie." Yet I buy what the media tells me, especially if they are of (allegedly) the same ideological stripe as myself.
I like Barack Obama and I want him to win the election. The biggest reason I want him to win, quite frankly, is because I feel this nation has been beaten down over these eight years and that psychologically him becoming president will be a boost in morale. It's the Kennedy thing all over again -- young charismatic man, A New Hope, Luke Skywalker, the whole nine. It is, to my mind, a positive forward step for our country.
But, in my vigor for him to win, I block out anything that might contradict that. I do that. I consciously do that. Now, I'm not referring to the paranoid racist bullshit that's been spewed about him. To me, that's rather obviously wrong and undeserving of discussion.
But take something like his level of experience. It's an issue. But it's an issue I consciously chose to ignore. Part of the reason I chose to ignore it is because I feel the last eight years under Bush rule have been so outrageously bad -- and McCain giving me no assurance that he is so very different -- that we must do everything possible to prevent a sequel.
Is the messiah/celebrity/icon thing that has been referred to regarding Obama accurate? Of course it is. He is extremely charismatic. He's the only politician I've ever felt compelled to hang a portrait of in my house.
Sarah Palin is also charismatic. I partially agree with the point-of-view that McCain picked her as a gimmick to attract frustrated female Clintonites. But also, it seems to me, she was picked by him as a knowing "fuck you" to Obama -- choosing someone with a similar level of inexperience (and easy on the eyes) who can rally a lot of people and be media candy.
And Palin and Obama are media candy. So was Clinton, so was Reagan. GWB was as well, but in a negative sense, as someone you love to hate -- the National Buffoon.
Through all the media candy, I try to look for something fucking real.
But -- real doesn't sell.
Middle-of-the-road doesn't sell either. Neither does critical thinking. We need a *cause* -- someone to hate, someone to worship.
Sarah Palin? I'm not happy with her. That's a gut feeling. The fact that she shares with McCain the belief that we must stay in Iraq "until we win it" tells me a lot, that I absolutely don't want her to be my Vice-President. But I could step in the murky water of actually looking at her good qualities. I could do that, but strategically I can't. Strategically -- we have to destroy her. Just like we did Hillary.
And did you hear -- she's banning books! She wants to ban Harry Potter! It's true -- I read it on BoingBoing! Only...the oft-cited list of books she wants to ban -- or is that burn -- is not true. It's actually taken from here. But that hasn't stopped people from blogging about it everywhere.
But it doesn't matter what is right -- or left. We need fuel for our sides, both sides, to keep the extremism going.
This two-party system doesn't work for me. The danger with only having two major political parties is that everything gets extreme, becomes "Us" vs. "Them." And yet -- how very different are they? I have yet to see any real, fundamental change. Yeah, GWB had a lot of fuckups and skeletons -- but so did Bill Clinton. There's still tons of poor people, we still go into countries and bomb the shit out of them, and women are still exploited whether by written policy or on their knees in the Oval Office.
I'm tired of it. I will definitely vote for Obama. But after that, I'm going to seek a candidate out of this loop.