Friday, 14 January 2011

Blood Libels

Jesus Christ will people on the right please stop defending and making excuses for Sarah Palin. If this woman was politically and historically literate enough to legitimately run for the Presidency of the United States then she would not require a chorus of supporters to jump out and pre-emptively respond to criticisms from the 'liberal elites' nearly every time she opens her mouth. Those criticisms namely being that she is not qualified, has provided a swathe of evidence to re-affirm this view that can only possibly be sidelined by shameless partisanship over a true loyalty to one's country. If someone really cared about their country they would want the best people in the best position, and their loyalty would be to their country and not any political party first. Sarah Palin has proved that most Republican supporters in America clearly value their title as 'Conservatives' or members of the 'right' as more important than their nationality as Americans.

The quote from the great Winston Churchill to the right is a very useful one in conversations like this. Winston Churchill was not actually saying that every one of his fellow countrymen were stupid and deserving of contempt and vitriol, merely that a sincere grasp on political issues necessitated a hierarchy as in all other professions that is generally assumed to not exist amongst average voters where 'everyone's opinion is equal'. It is not that Sarah Palin is stupid per se, it is simply that at every single opportunity she has behaved exactly as one would expect a run of the mill average voter to behave when put under the scrutiny reserved for those that are expected to lead and rise to the top of that hierarchy. Whether it be an inability to name a newspaper that she reads, an inability to demonstrate even a superficial understanding of economics, a profound ignorance of urgent matters of foreign policy, difficulty in holding her own against an experienced and knowledgeable opponent, Sarah Palin is certainly not a bad person, but she knows as well as anyone that when Mccain chose her as his Vice-Presidential selection it was totally out of the blue and not a meritocratic selection.

'You bloody liberal, you probably listen to Keith Olbermann and worship an Obama poster in your room!' What can I say here? I am pro-life, supported the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, an ardent Zionist, would be a Republican if I moved to America with little hesitation, care more about illegal immigration into America, than many Americans themselves seem to, defended George W Bush in an incredibly hostile and anti-American environment (Europe), and to top it all off, have had an American flag (with no Union Jack next to it) hung up in my room since I was 18. I do not like Barack Obama. I cannot understand why it is seemingly taboo or extreme to refer to him as a socialist, as if it is the post-Second World War European sense of the term socialist that is implied, then it is beyond question that he is indeed a socialist.

The attempts to defend Palin have been even more embarrassing than the offences that have produced the need for such defence in some cases. Let's take the example of the writing on the hand incident. Sarah appeared to write:  - Energy - Budget (Cut?) - Tax - Lift American Spirits. What was the great response from the American right, shame and embarrassment? No it was the meek and pathetic, 'well Obama uses teleprompters'. And this may have been a reasonable response had Sarah, written down some complicated statistics related to a specific point of discussion in energy dependency for instance, but she didn't do that, apparently some of the most basic and simple components of the American conservative tradition i.e. of cutting the budget, lowering taxes and lifting the American spirit could not be remembered by Sarah on her own, that even these the most basic of talking points could not be reliably produced by someone in an interview who could feasibly one day have the nuclear codes. Yes, for a long time Presidents have used teleprompters to give off long speeches authored by a speechwriter, there is nothing new about that, but a so-called Republican Presidential nominee that needs to remind herself that American conservatives support tax cuts by writing it on her hand, that is very new and very frightening.

What's even worse is the sheer volume of inane statements, shoddy interviews and public misdemeanours have forced even her ardent critics to sheepishly concede some of the ground by moving the goal posts and claiming that she is a woman of the 'people' and represents a grass roots answer to the 'elite' President Obama. Well I don't know about Americans, but I want my leaders to be elite. When I go for a surgery I want the most qualified people for the job who are cutting me open. When I get in a plane I want people that are qualified who are flying me thousands of feet above the air. When it comes to the most important job in the world, where millions of lives, foreign and domestic will be affected by the decisions of the person in power I want the most qualified person for the job, and if it is the case that there is a President in power that does not represent the majority of the American people, who appears aloof and out of touch, the solution is not to elevate some clueless cretin who will turn the country into a genuine laughing stock, but to find someone that represents the people, who is also well informed, properly qualified with the necessary experience, who reads a newspaper every now and then, and doesn't need a note on his or her hand to remind themselves that the Republican party likes to keep taxes low.

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