Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FYI: I am an elitist snob

What scares me most about Sarah Palin is who she inspires. People who would hold her up as a hero, who would celebrate and look up to her, who even now are slavishly devoted to a woman they've known for less than three months. I'm an intellectual lightweight by any standard-I would sound smarter than Sarah Palin because I use English better-but she and I would probably fare about the same in her interviews with Katie Couric and others. But anyone who can watch those interviews, look at her debate performance, and still support her--I don't understand those Americans. Some people are just not gifted communicators and perhaps Sarah is Mensa smart but communicatively disabled. But communication skills in a Vice President or any elected official should be above average. You are expected to carry and COMMUNICATE the people's agenda convincingly and clearly. You are expected to represent us abroad and do more than charm and serve as chief tea pourer and arm candy. And I don't understand people who are excited about her stance on gay marriage and abortion. I'm not into gay marriage but I wouldn't vote Republican based on that issue--I wouldn't vote for president based on any of America's hot button issues of morality. At the end of the day, those issues are way too personal to be effectively legislated or controlled (i.e. homosexuality, abortion). We tried that with alcohol and should know by now that it just drives those types of behavior underground where we can pretend they aren't there and distracts our lawmakers and enforcers with useless investigations and prosecutions.

But back to Palin's supporters, the Republican party, aptly named, "base." The fundamentalist Christians, the Joe's (six pack and plumber variety), the soccer and hockey moms...all these caricatures of "small-town" America that have a very insulting subtext; ignorant, marginally educated, Bible-thumping, xenophobes. They are "tolerant" of people who are different (race, sexual preference) which means they'll no longer run you out of town with pitchforks but they really wish you had chosen somewhere else to live and hope you don't attract more of your kind--or they hope you're the "good kind." They remind me that Martin Luther King was killed 7 years before I was born and the people who so vehemently and publicly opposed integration and racial equality didn't leave the planet or the country when the law of the land changed. They demonstrate the danger of isolation from information, from cultures outside of their own, from questions about why things are the way they are, from questions about faith and that the practice of faith is not an excuse to be ignorant. It is America at its smallest. I've never belonged to either party, but I've always voted Republican, perhaps because Fox News was always the channel of choice in the waiting rooms in various offices on military bases or I just found the Democratic nominee less palatable. I guess I felt they were more DoD friendly and I identified more with their supporters in value and beliefs than Democrats. But I will be casting a ballot for Obama on Nov 4th and praying, praying, praying that he wins.

An addendum: I think what frightens me is the Republican fear-mongering going on right now--they are predicting disaster and casting a shadow of certain doom for America over an Obama presidency. Amazing. The feeble minded among us may fall for this but I'm hoping that most of America is intelligent enough to recognize these tactics for what they are. Rhetoric is standard, both sides churn it out like oxygen but I really feel like McCain's campaign is being downright irresponsible in its messages. Please my citizens, please think. You don't have to vote for Obama like me, but please don't cast your vote in fear. Obama isn't going to attack this country, neither is McCain, neither will have been president long enough in this terrifying six-month outlook McCain's campaign is breathless with to have eroded or increased our nation's safety from attack. It is a low argument--what AMERICAN would look at the smoldering ashes within six months of the election and say, "See, I told you something bad would happen if you elected Obama." WTF?! Is there a magnet sitting on your moral compass?


Good-Grace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Good-Grace said...

oh. my. gosh. You have hit the nail on the head ... I've not been able to put into words my feelings about this election. Thank you for putting it out there so perfectly. (and you are NOT an elitist snob...) :) Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't pay enough attention! But then I get my info through Teresa usually. I bring up some topic and then she blows me away with what she knows. I didn't realize you got into the whole political thing--atta girl!