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Reformers McCain and Palin?

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Message Douglas C. Smyth
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What kind of mother (or father) brings a Down's child into the world, and then leaves it for long periods to run for Vice President? Is it cruel and in bad taste to bring this up? Sarah Palin has a 4-month old baby. Is it family values, to leave him to his father, or to her pregnant daughter?

Gee, speaking of the latter, Abstinence Only training really works, huh?

Obama says that a family's private life should not figure in an election campaign, that Palin's daughter also being pregnant, though unmarried, should not be discussed. But families all over America will do so anyway--and it is relevant. People aren't elected just on objective measures of laws passed, or years served, or budgets met--usually. This is especially true now that national candidates appear in our living rooms nightly. What kind of people they are, and how they project onscreen has become critically important.

But how someone is perceived is also very subjective. Someone who advocates Abstinence Only sex education and then has a daughter pregnant out of wedlock, well, that is, at very least ironic, isn't it?

It's wonderful that the girl hasn't been cast out and denounced. She wears no scarlet letter. Perhaps Christians are getting more forgiving, but you could also conclude that Abstinence Only didn't work, and Mrs. Palin's judgment is not the greatest either--to advocate it with her daughter's unwanted pregnancy as the result.

What does that say about her readiness to be commander in chief?

The McCain campaign has a different spin: Sarah Palin and McCain are now reborn as reformers who will sweep out the corruption of the old GOP. McCain will now try to reclaim his tarnished "maverick" image.  But what is this "reform?" The oil companies will love it: more drilling. So will the religious right: sweeping bans on abortions, which could be pushed further to include anything the anti-abortion zealots consider to be "abortifacients," in other words most forms of birth control except condoms, plus Abstinence Only and Creationism in the schools.

McCain's supposed maverick position on global warming (for a Republican) will apparently undergo some dilution, with an active denier on the ticket: Palin denies any human cause; you can't advocate drilling oil everywhere if burning oil contributes to global warming. McCain's environmental positions, more moderate than Bush's, are weakened, too, by choosing Palin, who's for shooting everything and anything, while developing, drilling and mining anywhere.

What does McCain "reform" already offer: privatization of all health insurance, beginning with employer funded policies. Staying in Iraq is an easy one: Sarah's oldest son is about to be shipped off to the war zone. At least she's willing to sacrifice her children for her beliefs…what am I saying?

Did you know that Hitler ran as a reformer? Not that I'm drawing any parallels, since McCain and Palin are definitely not leading some party of thugs and riff-raff like the Nazis, with their brown shirts and black shirts.

No, no, the Republicans are much more polished. But, if you look at what they stand for: spying on the people; maintaining state power to inspire terror--McCain already compromised on torture--detaining "enemies" indefinitely; fighting aggressive wars, a foreign policy dominated by force: this isn't far from Mussolini's worship of violence as the highest expression of the State.

Finally, there is also demonization of a group, in this case Arabs and Muslims, considered interchangeable although they are not. Many Republicans also demonize illegal immigrants--as if American corporations' insatiable appetite for cheap labor had nothing to do with it, as if subsidizing agri-business and undercutting Mexican corn had nothing to do with it, either. McCain might be more "moderate" on immigration, but who knows Palin's position; Alaska has little of an immigration problem, and McCain will probably bow to the know-nothings on this, as well as on so much else. So, all these are also on offer: what Palin brings is the social component to reform--Christian right-wing style--and a slim anti-corruption record.

Consider this, too: in fascism, government enriches large corporations; it depends upon their control of society, as well as government's own.  With the CIA, FBI, NSA--and the private corporations that do most of their spying--and the local police as part of the national network, we have in place all the machinery necessary for a Surveillance State.  

I forgot to add ICE, which conveniently raids plants where unions have begun to successfully organize immigrant workers and private prisons, which are equipped to hold large numbers of "detainees."

McCain and Palin appear as enthusiastic boosters for Big Brother--to combat the terrorists, of course.

Obama might not be perfect; he may not be angry enough about all the damage the selfish class has done (see, but at least he wants to decrease tensions, withdraw troops, speak to foreign leaders instead of threatening them, and he wants what he thinks would be good for America, like affordable health care for everyone, and safeguarding Social Security rather than privatizing it. And, while Obama is not a woman, nor is Joe Biden, neither is against birth control.

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Douglas C. Smyth Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a writer and retired college teacher. I taught college courses in Economics and Political Science (I've a Ph.D) and I've written as a free-lancer for various publications.

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