We're in Big Trouble

Leaders need to be chosen from the most talented among us, not from the bottom of the barrel. And we shouldn't be afraid to say so.
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We're talking to ourselves.

And we're not saying anything that's going to help win this election.

Everyone who cares knows that Sara Palin is a born again, right wing Republican. That she's a right-to-life, anti-gay, anti-global-warming, book-banning kind of gal.

No one seems to care.

The package and not the content is what's attracting interest. How cute she is when she says it. How cute she is when she skins a caribou. How cute are those barely grown expectant children of hers.

My first instinct was to scream from the roof tops that no self respecting woman was going to fall for this McCain manipulation. But apparently, plenty have. Plenty share her views and the crowds and the TV ratings are growing. The same way they grow for American Idol and other reality shows. Seems like we would rather watch ourselves, however diminished, on TV and in the public eye than people watch people with actual skills and talents. Watching people just like ourselves eating bugs and falling into vats of peanut butter has become a favorite American past time. And apparently, we would rather have an ill informed, inexperienced leader than one with experience and education. Experience has been denigrated to the level of liberal as a word. It's to be laughed at and ridiculed. And a lot of people are buying it. And we're supposed to slink away, like the nerd in high school being attacked by the football player.

But this isn't high school and we're supposed to know better. We have got to take back these words and what they stand for. Leaders need to be chosen from the most talented among us, not from the bottom of the barrel. And we shouldn't be afraid to say so.

What kind of misplaced chivalry would keep the Democrats from calling Sarah Palin what she is? An ignorant, misinformed, inexperienced, bigoted fraud. And unless we find a way to do it, she will be running the country before we have time to turn around.

This will not be easy. I spent hours on the telephone to Ohio Democrats last presidential election. There was no way I was going to convince these working class Democrats that they were wrong to vote for Bush. Kerry scared them. And no manner of logic would turn it around. They voted against their own economic interests, against college for their kids, against their own medical care, against their first amendment rights. Why, because they had been told that Kerry was going to challenge their belief systems. He was "for abortion", "against the troops."

We're going to have to frame the argument in the same way. Who is Sarah Palin? A woman for sure. The package is nice, but the content is out of date and spoiled. If she gets anywhere near power we can expect global warming, the destruction of the constitution, the end of Choice, and books banned in our libraries. And we've got to make people understand this. And even if we can frame it this way, the question remains, are there many Americans who would care? Enough to sustain the constitution? Life as we know it?

I am terribly afraid that we are counting on good sense, and decency and it has gone the way of the ten cent subway ride. We are not thinking about each other. We are thinking about ourselves. Why else would we even consider a woman who tried to get her brother in law fired from his job for daring to divorce her sister. Who tried to get a local librarian to remove books she disapproved of from the library.

Politeness is not in order. We need to be scared. Terribly scared. We need to pull out all the stops. She's not going to self destruct in front of an audience who likes these things about her. Who abhors the clarity and thoughtfulness of Obama. There is no drama in it. There's drama in teenage pregnancy, political scandal and moose hunting.

McCain seems to have known just what he was doing. Now the question remains, do we?

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