I suppose I will keep with the political theme here since that is what I have been mentally dwelling on the last few months. My main goal is to develop a robust Biblical approach to viewing civil government, the current election, and the state of the American Union. Perhaps in coming days I will post on a Christian theory of government proper, thus far I have just been giving commentary, and more developed exposition of a Biblical outline of government is needed.
At anyrate I wanted to put out my brief comments on the nomination of Sarah Palin as vice president on the McCain ticket. I do this since the news (of all brands) is incessantly talking about Palin, either glowingly or critically. I write also because Palin's nomination represents what I see as the snookering of evangelicals into endorsing a the candidacy of McCain, who they previously viewed (for the most part) with suspicion if not outright distrust and disdain.
I need to be clear up front, I like Sarah Palin. I really do, she appears to be a genuine political representative truly attempting to serve the people who elected her. She is untainted from the sin of adultery to the special interests and avarice, unlike the majority of officials in Washington. She truly acted as a reformer in Alaska, not only speaks pro-life but actually lives it, and has expressed affinity to other genuine political reformers such as Ron Paul.
So, I like Mrs. Palin.
However, I think that is precisely why she has been chosen. She is likable in the eyes of the usually conservative base. She has been chosen not because she will actually do anything, but because she is likable and will draw in voters who otherwise felt ignored thus far. Those voters are 1.Evangelicals, 2.Feminists, and 3.Limited government conservatives.
Simply put, the election of Sarah Palin is purely strategic.
The media has to a degree highlighted the feminist vote grab aspect of the Palin pick. Some commentators assert that Hillary supporters will remain democrat and they supported Hillary not because she was a woman but because of her policies. I think these commentators overlook how superficial the electorate really is. After watching both major party conventions one exercising critical thinking will notice that on "both sides of the aisle" there is nothing but substance bereft platitudes and promises of better times.
The amazing part is that the electorate gets excited about these sweeping statements. I find that this to be indicative more of the state of the electorate rather than the shallowness of our politicians. We get smarmy politicians who have more lies than voters because we as an electorate
So, I say yes, disgruntled feminists will switch from Hillary to Palin simply because Palin wears panties rather than briefs. That's the matter of fact superficiality that exists in the electorate, this was known and is a reason for the Palin nomination by the McCain coaches.
Furthermore, many evangelicals have felt slighted in this election as they couldn't get loud God-word wielding Huckabee as the nominee. Listening to Christian political radio I had in previous months noticed a good bit of angst about who the evangelicals would support since McCain didn't seem to match their views. That angst has been alleviated by the choice of Palin, and the Christians might as well be break dancing in the streets for how ga ga I have seen them respond to the Palin nomination.
Again, this was calculated. Now Christians who previously were talking of not voting, or even worse voting for an alternate candidate from the 2 establishment candidates, are coming around to McCain because of Sarah Palin's nomination.
Small Government Conservatives
Lastly, Sarah Palin appeals to conservatives who want a small government and an halt the growth of bureaucracies around the nation. I can't see the staunch Ron Paul types coming on board the McCain Palin bus, simply because while Palin is a step in the right direction she is still a neo-conservative and supports the status quo on issues we see in desperate need of reform (such as US foreign intervention and the federal reserve system).
However, many less conservative conservatives who may have supported lets say a Duncan Hunter, and saw McCain as a lefty in disguise seem to be disarmed by the choice of Palin as VP. Granted, the embracing of McCain was for the most part inevitable by these guys, however, Palin has made it that much more palatable for them to continue to vote Republican this fall.
My response to all of this is two fold.
1. Firstly, I don't know how anybody can look at the Palin nomination and not see that this is purely a political chess move. Obama just had his queen taken and his king is in check from multiple angles.
2. Secondly there is a tangible that no one seems to be talking about in all of this vice president talk and that is this:
The vice president doesn't do anything.
So all this hope in Palin as a conservative, pro-lifer, correct view of marriage, fiscal responsibility etc (and she is/has all of those things btw) all that hope is misplaced. We need a president that is those things, not merely a VP. Constitutionally, the only thing the VP does is break a tie vote in the Senate, that's it gang.
Bush and Cheney are an exception to this but that is because Cheney is Bush's handler, much like Biden would be Obama's handler. In the case of McCain and Palin, Palin is simply a trophy pick. (as a side note if you didn't know Cheney was in the past day in Georgia and Ukraine vowing US support of these countries and further heightening tensions with Russia).
Palin will not be a major advisor to McCain as president, that's the job of the Council on Foreign Relations cabinet he will choose when he wins. The picking of cabinet members is the most indicative statement of where a presidency's allegiance lies.
Sarah Palin was picked to look pretty, attract evangelicals, disgruntled feminists and conservatives who didn't view McCain as conservative enough so McCain will win the election. That's Palin's job, whether she knows it or not, and she is doing it quite well.