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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A conservative case against Sarah Palin

In case anyone's wondering: currently I'm registered as a Republican. I helped a friend run for statewide office this election season as his treasurer, running on a platform of parental choice in education. Prior to that I ran for office myself, partly regarding issues of fiscal conservatism. In my opinion Ronald Reagan was the last real President that America has had and I'm very thankful that I got to drive to Washington D.C. a few years ago to pay my respects as his casket lay in state at the Capitol.

I never vote for the party though. I've voted for Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians and independents and a lot of people in between since I first registered to vote several years ago (the day after my eighteenth birthday).

I would never vote for Barack Obama. The man's social spending ideas are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Neither can I ever vote for John McCain: this is a man bankrupt of any principle and I absolutely cannot believe that so many professed "conservatives" are now lining up to support him. This was the Senator who pushed through McCain-Feingold, fercryingoutloud. And as I've said before: any man who dumps his wife just so he can have a younger woman, does not have the moral fiber to be given the responsibility of the most powerful office on Earth.

Now y'all know where I'm coming from. Which brings us to the matter of Sarah Palin. A woman who I have had great admiration for.

Until now.

And trust me: this has nothing to do with what is going on with her family at this moment.

When McCain announced that Palin would be his running mate, I didn't know what to make of it. That Palin, who had previously expressed support for Ron Paul (a candidate as unlike McCain as there's apt to be) would now hitch her wagon to McCain didn't make any sense to me. And after considering it at length, my first assumption was that Palin is a very good governor, who has no idea what she is being drawn into and is perhaps not ready for this at all.

Let me put it another way: I thought that Palin was being used as a tool by the McCain campaign. As one friend put it, Palin as a running mate was analogous to putting lipstick on a pig. She's got a tremendous reputation and is by widespread acclaim "easy on the eyes", but she does nothing to change the fact that John McCain himself has a horrible record on so-called "conservative" issues. Palin, many have told me over the past few days, is only meant to be a distraction from the real John McCain.

Then I started, for the first time, to take a seriously hard look at Sarah Palin's record as mayor of Wasilla, and then governor of Alaska.

And you know what?

There's no way that I could support Sarah Palin now, even if she were to run for President herself (which I earlier had suggested I wouldn't mind happening).

In fact, the notion about Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world, is now downright scary.

It was her record as mayor of Wasilla that sent the first red flag popping up in my mind. When she was sworn in after being elected in 1996, the town of Wasilla, Alaska had no debt. When she left, the town was twenty-two million dollars in the hole. We're talking a town with a population of about five thousand souls. My own hometown has about three times that amount, and I don't think it's ever been that much in the red.

Where did all that money go on Palin's watch? Much of it went to a new sports and entertainment complex. A bit went to a new park. None of it apparently went to actually improving the infrastructure of Wasilla or toward urban planning. I'm now hearing plenty of horror stories about how the town is a cacaphonic sprawl of bad streets, run-down buildings and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart.

But think about it: Wasilla went from owing no money, to owing $22 million during Palin's tenure. Does that sound like sound economic conservatism to anyone?

Then the tales came out Palin's dictatorial style: how she set down a policy that no city employee could talk with the press without her permission, and how she fired the town's respected librarian and lost a police chief (in addition to several others who she tossed out) because she believed they weren't "loyal" enough to her. So forget financial discipline: now we're dealing with matters of personal discipline and humbleness as a public servant. Palin apparently thought that since she was now mayor, she could be "the decider" of Wasilla. She quickly filled the vacant positions with people that she had previous relationships with. It began a pattern of cronyism that continued into her time as Governor of Alaska and is now come back to haunt her in the form of a state trooper firing scandal.

Maybe some of this could be attributed to being "young" and "fresh" on the job. Some eagerness to over-excel. Kinda like how Barney on The Andy Griffith Show is always getting in trouble because he wants Mayberry to be like a big city rife with organized crime. That's a heap of fun if we're watching a Sixties-era television comedy... but in real life, when the pattern persists from small-town mayor to state governor, it stops being funny or excusable.

It was how Palin became mayor of Wasilla in the first place that finally convicted me to no longer be able to give her any credence as someone I would ever want to be within a hair's breadth of so much power. In what is usually a non-partisan, friendly election in small town America, Palin injected her mayoral race with "wedge issues" like abortion. She received heavy backing from the Alaskan state Republican Party. At one point she was apparently making it out that she was going to be Wasilla's "first Christian mayor".

How is abortion possibly an issue for a sleepy burg of five thousand people tucked away in a valley in Alaska? That's like trying to teach A.P. history in what's supposed to be a high school woodshop class.

Palin's campaign for mayor of Wasilla had little to do with actual issues, and too much to do with exploiting people's emotions. That's how she came to elected office to begin with: not by appealing to intellect, but by playing off of base psychology.

Which brings me to the final reason that I will share for now about why I cannot ever support Sarah Palin being in the Executive Branch of the United States Government...

...namely, that the Book of Revelation is not a foreign policy manual.

Understand this about me too: I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I've been a Christian for going on a dozen years now. And even before then I saw how having a faith in God is not something that is supposed to be used as a weapon against other people or other countries. In my opinion, God has not blessed America because America doesn't care about God anyway. Too many self-proclaimed Christians in this land think nothing of exploiting God for their own temporal motives, however. That's something that I not only cannot stand, it scares the hell out of me.

So now witness Sarah Palin, as Governor of Alaska, speaking before a church service and telling the congregants that the war in Iraq is a "task that is from God"...

Anyone else see that movie Jesus Camp? Anyone else think that Sarah Palin seems way too much of that same mindset?

As Christians, we are supposed to represent the Kingdom of God to those that we come in contact with. We are meant to do so by loving them, in spite of their beliefs or what their opinion is of us. We are called to love even our enemies. That doesn't mean that we don't defend ourselves when we must, because I believe that is a moral right for individuals and families and nations. But we were never given an ordained duty to seek out and destroy our enemies in the name of Christ! That's just more of the world's way, and not God's at all. And it is the absolute height of arrogance to assume that God's plan is our own plan enough that we have a license to believe He will grant a blanket blessing on all of our endeavors.

The more that I read of Sarah Palin, the more that I cannot but believe that the woman is an adherent of Dominion Theology. As a theology professor of mine put it ten years ago, that's something that "will beat a path straight to Auschwitz". And as I've studied it since then, the less that I've been able to deny that he was right.

If for no other reason, this alone is why I cannot trust Sarah Palin. God Only can judge her heart, but in my mind the woman is way too infatuated with the power of God and not nearly enough with the love of God.

That won't deter a lot of the so-called "evangelicals" from adoring her, from supporting her without question however. I've even heard a few of them quite seriously declare that Palin is a modern-day "Deborah for America". They're the ones who still believe that America has a special place in God's divine plan for the world. They're also the ones who tend to hold that God allowed George W. Bush to be elected so that it would "help" to eventually trigger Armageddon.

Don't think that I don't know what I'm talking about here. I used to attend a school that was eventually taken over by such apostles of the Apocalypse. And Sarah Palin, now that I've examined her, is precisely the kind of politician that they have been hoping and praying for. Maybe... maybe... even more than George W. Bush turned out to have really been.

These people have forgotten that what makes America special is her virtue. And in the name of God, these people - who should have been the most virtuous - gave up their virtue for sake of a little power in the fleeting span of their lifetime.

And now it is a question of whether there is any virtue left for their children, and their children's children.

And it looks like they're ramping-up to sacrifice even more.

Suddenly, the idea of a John McCain presidency, which I've always felt would be a disastrous continuation of the policies of Bush, threatens to become something much worse than most of us have yet imagined.

There is nothing "conservative" about Sarah Palin, I must sadly conclude. If anything, she seems cut from the neoconservative cloth that espouses bigger government and glorious empire. To her credit, Sarah Palin seems very much to be an all-American wife and "action mom". I certainly respect her strong stance for the Second Amendment. But her track record as an elected official indicates that if given far more power, she would continue the precedent that the current White House administration has set for detaching the American government from the American people.

There is nothing about that which is the least bit conservative.

That's still not enough to prompt me to vote for Obama, however. Nothing could possibly entice me to do that. So this election year I'm either casting a write-in vote for Ron Paul, or writing in what is rapidly becoming the most sensible alternative to the mess that this country is hellbent on becoming...

"A glass of whiskey, a gun and two bullets".


Anonymous said...

Very encouraging to read a Republican whose not blinded by the lights.

bondservant said...

What a GREAT speech Rudy Guiliano gave at the Republican National Convention.

bondservant said...

Same goes for Sarah Palin, GREAT speech!

Anonymous said...

Not impressed. Palin sounds too awful much like Sally Field at the Academy Awards. 'You LOVE me! You REALLY LOVE ME!'

bondservant said...

Both Guiliani and Palin showed what a Great President John McCain will be for America! Very, very honorable man!

Chris Knight said...

I didn't watch it (I've been playing Gears of War on the Xbox 360 all night, trying to get past this bloody Berserker) but a lot of e-mails have come in from friends who did and so far I've heard "sophomoric" used twice now to describe Palin's speech.

We should know by this time next week how this is going to play out between now and November.

But in a sane world, we should not have these two and ONLY these two candidates foisted upon us. America is literally dying from idea anemia because of the two-party kleptocracy.

(gets off soapbox for the night)

Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis, many thanks and a worthy read. Is there any connection between her and Rev. Hagee? Is that how McCain found her?

First thing when I saw Palin, I thought, "Gee, McCain sure likes to hang out with the ladies!"

Given that McCain is as old as Reagan when Reagan left office, and given his war wounds, the "one heartbeat away" concern is more real than ever. How'd you feel about GHWBush and his pick of Quayle as a running mate?

Oh, and hi from the left coast. It's your evil twin, the OTHER Chris Knight (no, not that Chris Knight, the OTHER OTHER Chris Knight.) Us twins gotta stick together!

Anonymous said...


The Republicans are scared to death of being in league with their own president!

Mccain and Palin can only win if people forget about Bush fat lots of luck that!

Anonymous said...

"I've been playing Gears of War on the Xbox 360 all night, trying to get past this bloody Berserker)"

I got past him...several times so far :-) Admittedly it took quite a few tries before i finally did it the first time.

Anonymous said...

wowowow look at the polls...looks like your (once again) wrong.

Theres a good description out there for aetheists used by apologists all the time...."aetheists sure can lay some rotten eggs, yet they have no idea how to produce a good one".

Anonymous said...

ahhh yes another driveby from a person who never reads the rest of the blog.

anonymous, chris is very nonpartisan. he has said harsh things about mccain and obama equally. hes one of the most principled christians ive seen with a blog.

chris has said before here that hitler won every poll for his election so that shows you how reliable they are.

Chris Knight said...

It is true: I do not put any stock in polls. Historically they have proven very poor evidence of wise judgment.

If I recall correctly, a poll taken in Jerusalem around 33 A.D. showed an almost unanimous public demand to free Barabbas, and crucify some other guy in his place.

Anonymous said...

"I thought that Palin was being used as a tool by the McCain campaign. As one friend put it, Palin as a running mate was analogous to putting lipstick on a pig." Too funny ... given the "controversy" over Obama using that same phrase in reference to McCain's policies!

Anonymous said...

All that changed is a dying man got a pretty nurse.