On Saturday I went to Carson, California, to attend a rally for Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. For those who aren't familiar with the city of Carson, it's approximately 19 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. In the 2004 Presidential election, Carson, which had a population of just under 90,000, donated three times as much money to George W. Bush than to John Kerry. This year, for the 2008 elections, residents of Carson have given slightly more to Republican candidates than to Democrats by a slim margin of $3,000. Thus the gap between Republicans and Democrats in Carson has narrowed.
The Palin rally, which you may have seen on TV or You Tube, was held at the Home Depot ADT Tennis Stadium. Because of the surprising popularity of Mrs. Palin and easy access to free tickets, all 20,000 stadium seats, plus an overflow area were filled. I got a handful of tickets, recruited my friend Rebecca Tobias, Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, and trekked on out to Carson. We scored ground level seats in the stadium from which I watched, listened and steadily bristled. When I could no longer stomach Palin's lies and distortions, I jumped up, and at the top of my lungs, repeatedly called Palin a L-I-A-R! I was shouted down in Palinese by her 20,000 admirers, then escorted out by security. I took extra time as I climbed the steps from the ground up to the top just to keep her admirers shouting. The few minute reprieve from Palin's lies was to me a righteous diversion.
When I neared the top of the steps I turned back to Mrs. Palin and continued to call her a L-I-A-R, until I was ushered out the door. Thankfully my escorts showed me the utmost respect for they privately shared my feelings. They're working folk. They see through Mrs. Palin. But that's just the start of this story.
You see, I'd gone to this event for a reason. Not to see Sarah Palin. I already knew who she was. I went to see the Palinettes - the supporters of this unspectacular woman who had so readily been won over. I wanted to meet them and speak with them and understand their attachment to this lowest common denominator politician - a woman so unqualified for Vice President that her running mate should be imprisoned for treason. As a patriot and voter, I disagree categorically with the choice of Sarah Palin. I seek knowledge, experience, maturity, integrity, charity, clarity, humanity, intellectual curiosity, and wisdom from the leaders I select. Since Palin, in my opinion, exhibits none of these traits, I wanted to assess her supporters' rationale (or rationality).
What I witnessed was thoroughly alarming. Among this enraptured crowd of 20,000 was a frightening mix of Christian zealots, anti-abortion fanatics, and mostly white suburban women and men reconnecting with their high school mentality. Bright colored pom-poms were everywhere - as if Sarah Palin were head cheerleader, the women were on her squad, and the men were the football heroes. Sarah Palin, the quintessential 4ever-school-girl had revitalized their youth and saved them from adulthood. Check out the red pom-pom "hair" on the man behind Palin. If that isn't straight out of high school, what is?
Want further proof of pom-pom Palin? Try this as an experiment. Put on an audio of a Sarah Palin speech. Close your eyes and listen. What you'll hear is the high pitched voice of a teenage girl, speaking in circular reasoning, incomplete sentences, and juvenile idioms. No sophistication. No leadership. No wisdom. Just the sound of a snarky school girl. Sarah Palin is America's greatest nightmare. Sarah Palin is George W. Bush in a dress.
Of course there are those who might say that my own outburst toward Sarah Palin was juvenile - to which I'd respond with a resounding "no," because it's never juvenile to speak truth to ignorance. To say nothing would be derelict. Certainly, I'd be naive to think that calling Palin a L-I-A-R would make her admirers believe me. But to sit quietly while Palin accused Obama of being: "someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists [Bill Ayers] who would target their own country" would make me complicit in the group-think that promotes a lie to a truth. I'd rather be thrown out for the truth than group-hugged for a lie.
While Palin's peevishness is appalling, it pales in comparison to the dangerous ideology that she and her followers share. By unleashing Sarah Palin, John McCain has reinvigorated the anti-choice/anti-woman/anti-reproductive rights fanatics, who not long ago were at the forefront of domestic terror. Interesting that Palin insinuates Obama when referring to: "terrorists who would target their own country" when it's those who share her ideology who have committed heinous domestic crimes. Let us not forget the health-care workers who were murdered by anti-choice radicals who share Palin's no exceptions for abortion beliefs. Let us not forget the women and family clinics that were bombed. Let us not forget Eric Rudolph - the anti-abortion terrorist who killed two people and injured 100 others during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The same Eric Rudolph who bombed abortion clinics that killed even more people. The same Eric Rudolph who sadistically attacked a gay bar. Let us not forget that the Sarah Palin wing of anti-choice fanaticism victimized America for years, committing crime after heinous crime. What John McCain has unleashed on America with his choice of Sarah Palin is an outright invitation to these cults to wreak havoc all over again.
On Saturday I got a taste of this anti-choice fanaticism as Palin's zealots shouted "baby killers" at the pro-Obama activists outside. I saw it first hand with the anti-choice tirades looped again and again by one Palin follower after another. This is their mission - their single issue cause - and Sarah Palin has given it life. With the economy spiraling downward, the world at war, the planet over-heating, and continents dying from famine and disease, Sarah Palin's followers are driven by one issue only - the total end of abortion.
Yes, the silly Palin chatter of "she's one of us 'cause she talks like us and is a regular person" was also spun at Saturday's event. As was propaganda about Obama "getting paid undercover by some other country" and "doubt that Obama was really born in Hawaii because his birth certificate can't be found." Sadly this level of ignorance exists even in Southern California. In fact, it was so illogically mind-boggling that I audio-taped it as proof.
The perilous stupidity that I witnessed on Saturday made me believe more than ever that under no circumstances should John McCain and Sarah Palin be elected. In fact, their election loss must be so severe that Sarah Palin can never be resurrected for a future campaign. Furthermore, John McCain's blatant disregard for the safety and stability of this nation by choosing Sarah Palin should cost him his Arizona Senate seat and force him from office forever.