Sarah Palin

Last night while watching Sarah Palin speak at the Republican convention I came the closest I ever have to wanting to vote conservative.  Sarah Palin is one of the most engaging plain-talking politicians I’ve ever heard.  What’s terribly amusing is she is a product of liberal evolution.  It’s been only a few years back that most conservatives believed that women belonged in the kitchen, and less than a century since they were allowed to vote.  It would be rather ironic if the conservatives elect the first woman Vice President and possible future President.

Conservatives may not like change, but they are adapting quite well with Sarah Palin.  They have been quick to accept the idea that she should be treated like a man and be freed of maternal slavery so she can put in the long hours needed be a political leader.  It’s either that, or not allow any candidate, male or female, with dependent children to work in the White House.  Hell, it hasn’t been that many years since I’ve heard conservatives talk about how women can’t be President because of hormones.  I’m proud of you Republicans for evolving in your liberal thinking.  Now, if you could only get over your hang-ups over gays and lesbians.

I really liked John McCain’s comments tonight about Obama and how we’re all Americans.  I get so sick of Republicans acting like liberals aren’t patriotic, and believe we don’t love this country as much as they do.  Republicans have this really offensive behavior of thinking that anyone that doesn’t agree with their philosophy is a traitor to the U.S.A.  I think that attitude is un-American because it erodes free thinking and encourages ugly group-think.  I believe the McCain-Palin ticket has tried to back off from acting like that.  I think McCain knows it’s offensive, but I don’t know about Palin yet, with her pit-bull with lipstick demeanor.

While listening to Sarah Palin I had to keep reminding myself why I don’t vote Republican.  The thing is I have lots of conservative beliefs myself, but Republicans have such a smug holier-than-thou attitude towards everything that I don’t think I’d fit in with my Hamlet like indecisiveness of seeing a thousand gray shades in every issue.  Besides, they really hate atheistic evolutionists like me.

Of course I also have problems with Democratic ideals too.  I’m comfortable in the political middle and feel both parties are extremists.  I’m for free trade and globalism, lower taxes, smaller government, but I’m also for helping the poor, some entitlements, and a minimal level of universal health care.  I love both business and the environment.  I think abortion should be legal but wished no one would ever get one.  I think capital punishment can be an ethical solution but doubt if we have the discernment to see the true distinctions in what’s involved.  I think war is often necessary, that it’s important to keep a prepared military, that the Iraq War might be the biggest mistake our country ever made, but since we broke it we should pay for it.  I wished the Republicans would admit that Iraq was a huge mistake and I wished the Democrats would admit that sticking with the surge and going the distance is the right thing to do.

Politics is so far from black and white that I can’t believe people get so polarized.  I disagree with many of Sarah Palin political stances, but I think she might make a good leader.  I think her small town salt-of-the-earth good-people philosophy is fine as long as she doesn’t press personal and religious beliefs into law for everyone.

I have an odd view about Republicans and Democrats in relation to religion.  I think Republicans are really Old Testament thinkers, and Democrats are followers of the New Testament.  The Old Testament is about God, the Law and the Chosen people.  The New Testament is all about compassion for the poor, sharing the wealth of the fish and loaves, understanding criminals and prostitutes, and so on.  The Old Testament is about being powerful, prospering, forming a strong nation to please God, and most of all, law and order.  The New Testament is about uplifting the meek and helpless, understanding your neighbors, and walking in other people’s shoes, breaking out of the old ways and forging a compassionate philosophy.

I can understand all that Old Testament thinking – it’s how mankind got its act together to create civilization.  The New Testament is the origin of liberal thought.  It’s the beginning of the shift from believing that the nation is of ultimate importance, to the shift in valuing the importance of the individual.  All people in this world, except the most extreme fundamentalists have been affected by liberal thought.  The trouble with the most extreme liberals is they threaten the stability of the nation.  For example, would universal healthcare damage the economy?  Would gay marriage threaten the social fabric?

In other words, I can understand why conservatives are threatened by liberals.  But to my conservative friends, has women in the military, boardrooms, legislative houses and maybe the White House hurt us?  Is education about how not to get pregnant or acquire a STD so scary, especially when children are bombarded with pro-sex television, movies, books, songs, and advertisement from the time they are tiny?  Sex education in the schools of any kind is completely anti-sex compared to pop culture.  And do you not realize that teaching creationism or intelligent design is defective thinking similar to astrology, Tarot cards and palm reading – something the Enlightenment passed by hundreds of years ago?

If the Republicans get more liberal, more into the New Testament, more concerned about the environment, maybe I’ll consider voting for them.  Sarah Palin, I think you are beautiful, charming, full of grit and sand, honest, and worthy of the job, but also still too Old Testament scary for me.

Jim