…not all the contributors here are willing to write Palin off.
I respect geoff more than words can say, and ND is a powerhouse, but I think I have to respectfully disagree.
It seems to me that it was seriously intended that people of good character and strong principle would stand for office here in the republic. While it is reasonable to expect that these candidates should be able to speak intelligently about the issues that they will face if elected, policy is only part of the picture. For the Framers to establish the government they did, they necessarily understood that it meant that our elected officials would not be drawn from the same class or group of “experts”. They understood that if it was going to work, than it wasn’t always going to be led by leaders of such stature as they; it is implicit in the lack of such qualifications for the offices set forth in the Constitution. They didn’t say that the candidate must have attended a certain school, or be from a certain professional background. Age, and in the case of the President, a natural-born citizen. That’s it.
Either by habit, or by subtle design, it seems to me that we have fallen into the pattern of only looking to either candidates with the “right” pedigree for a leader (such as an Ivy League education) or some sort of “policy” expertise or professional background, that by its very nature, hampers flexibility and a fresh approach to issues, because the candidate starts any analysis with the premises that have already been in use for decades inside the beltway. These premises tend to all lead to the same place, with the traditional distinction being either the fast track to ruin, or a slower path to the same destination, based on which lever you pull in the voting booth. I am at a loss to understand why this is acceptable. We wouldn’t accept this in any other part of American life.
New technologies and new advances come because we accept the input from people in different settings and walks of life, and the different backgrounds and the fresh perspectives are what drive ingenuity. So why do we accept the limits that others would place on us, by telling us that this woman is too dumb, or too inexperienced, or too provincial to possibly perform the duties of President? If these were legitimate limits, than Abe Lincoln would have been an impossibly irredeemable candidate, and while he did some things that do not set well with me as a lawyer or a Constitutional scholar, I don’t see how that takes away from his character or leadership ability. Was he polarizing? Yes. Was his candidacy divisive? Hell yes. But he refused to let others define him, and I see that in Governor Palin, as well. What ever definition the media places on her, it is the consumer who decides if that means anything.
In my short life, I have never seen any political figure treated the way she has been. And I have never witnessed anyone so relentlessly pursued in private life. And it seems to me that it isn’t because they want us to pick her because they think they can beat her. I think it is because she is the opposite of everything they hold dear, and they know it, and that she represents the best chance we will have in a long time to break their hold on power.
There is a real opportunity here. For the first time, maybe in years, we, the poor saps who actually cast the votes, have the chance to actually vote for character and conservatism as a clear alternative to a mediocre candidate with all the right credentials and all the same answers that have been applied before. It requires us to have the courage to vote for that candidate, rather than seeking the safe choice with the candidate who is ‘electible’. ‘Electible’ means someone who fits someone else’s criteria, and not our own. Yes, you might get that coveted “w” in the column on election day, but that is playing checkers against opponents who are playing chess. They’ll sacrifice pawns, if it helps to get them to the greater goal. (see Clinton, Hillary.) I think the fact that a community organizer with two (TWO!) biographies by 40 and a paper-thin resume’ and history of voting “present” in the White House is evidence of that.
I don’t want regimented thinking in the Oval Office anymore. I don’t want any more Ivy League lawyers who believe that nothing is beyond their expertise. I want someone who has integrity. I want someone who doesn’t shy away from a fight, and refuses to have other people tell them HOW to think. I want someone who is willing to lead not one segment of society, but our entire nation. If Sarah is the best candidate to do this, then she gets my vote, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to just let the self-appointed cognoscenti decide for me, nor am I willing to let myself be bullied by the self-appointed deciders on our side of the aisle either.