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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/26/08

Is Palin the New Bush?

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Some are speculating that Sarah Palin will run for President in 2012, whether or not the McCain-Palin ticket wins this year's election.

Others are calling it unlikely. Since Palin is clearly unqualified to even be vice president, they say, she's clearly unqualified to be president, even with another four years under her stylish belt.

But stranger things have happened -- like the election of the similarly unqualified George W. Bush in 2000.

And that's not where the similarities end.

Like Bush, Palin appeals to middle America with her "down-home" style, be it real or pretentious. Like Bush, she is not a reader. Like Bush, she lacks intellectual curiosity. And somehow it works for her, as it did for Bush. It's a mating call to those who would choose a president based on who they can personally relate to, and who they'd want to have a beer with. Personally, when I think of my own beer buddies, I do not want to view them as possible U.S. presidents. I want to elect someone smarter than I. But, to the Bush/Palin supporters, the articulate, the educated, and the world-wise are viewed upon with suspicion. Elitist, they are called with disdain.

And look at where we've gotten after eight years with a beer buddy in the White House. If you think you want more of that, perhaps you should lay off the beer.

Another similarity between Bush and Palin is even more worrisome -- their ties to the religious right.

Choosing Sarah Palin helped drum up their support for the McCain ticket, since some evangelical leaders had previously opposed a McCain candidacy.

Like Bush, and to the delight of the religious extremists, Palin is anti-choice and anti-science, and supports abstinence-only sex education, which has proven to be a dismal failure. In many ways, they seem like America's answer to the Taliban -- trying to legislate "morality" and stifle all social progress. The last thing we need is a Supreme Court with new justices appointed by a president with this repressive and backward mindset.

Perhaps most frightening is their sense of God-given entitlement. George W. Bush believes that God chose him to lead this nation. Similarly, Sarah Palin seems to believe that God wanted her to be governor of Alaska.

If an ordinary person were to make such claims, they'd be held for psychological examination. But Bush used his perceived hotline to heaven as an excuse to wage war on an unarmed nation. (God wanted him to invade Iraq too, you see.)

And there's no telling what God might instruct a President Palin to do.

I'd prefer that we not find out.

There is good reason why our founding fathers wrote the establishment clause into the First Amendment.

Accordingly, as Thomas Jefferson once said, "No power to proscribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the Federal Government."

Today, Jefferson is surely spinning in his grave.


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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
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