Just when you thought Sarah Palin couldn’t possibly get more annoying, Reuters reported that “the former Alaska governor is teaming with uber-producer Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) to shop a reality series about her home state”. After her appearances on almost every television network, her stand up “comedy” on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and her intellectually shallow evaluations of various political events, one thought constantly pops into my head: “Please go away.”
I should probably point out that I do not dislike Sarah Palin for the same reasons as most. I am personally a social conservative, as she is, and I will concede that the media did attack her rather unfairly at times during the 2008 campaign, especially that hideous collage depicting the Alaska governor holding her Down Syndrome child with a coat hanger transposed in the corner with the phrase “Better Luck Next Time” written underneath. I don’t have a problem with her faith—and neither should the rest of America, considering they had no problem with Reverend Jeremiah “damn America” Wright.
I also think that people who write her off as ‘stupid’ are displaying their own lack of intelligence: whatever Sarah Palin’s faults, she isn’t stupid. I believe the media is playing into her hands by savagely attacking her for irrelevant incidents such as the crib notes written on her hand during her speech at the Tea Party convention, especially considering that President Obama the Chosen One even used Teleprompters in an elementary school classroom. (What did worry me slightly was that one of the notes scribbled on her hand was “tax cuts”—what Republican needs to be reminded to talk about tax cuts?)
The reason I want Sarah Palin to be a stay-at-home mom is simple: she is turning into a distracting celebrity sideshow that can do nothing but hurt the Republican Party’s chances at regaining the presidency in 2012—especially if she decides to run for president herself, jeopardizing the chances of an economically experienced candidate who could conceivably help the country such as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Palin manages to constantly retain media attention, the majority of which reveals her inexperience and penchant for whining.
At the Tea Party Convention, she declared that the conservative movement should “not get bogged down in the small squabbles. Let us get caught up in the big ideas.” This followed on the heels of Palin’s call for Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel’s resignation after he used the word “retarded” in a private strategy meeting. Palin stated that “Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and development disabilities—and the people who love them—is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking.”
Good grief. While I think we can all agree that Emmanuel could probably have worded his tirade in a slightly more tactful manner, we can equally acknowledge that his statement was in no way meant as a personal insult directed at Down Syndrome children and their loved ones—and certainly cannot be equated, as Palin claims, with the “N-word”, a racial slur clearly directed at a specific ethnicity. The conservative movement is fond of chastising the left for their practice of nitpicking speeches and then accusing their opponents of racism and bigotry whenever something that appears slightly politically incorrect surfaces. When Palin engages in the same behaviour and then almost simultaneously calls for us to “not get bogged down in the small squabbles”, it comes off as pretty hypocritical and creates an unwelcome distraction from what should be happening; in depth discussion of the issues and realistic alternatives the Republicans can provide to Obama’s leadership. This distraction became crystal clear when Palin’s stand-up comedy appearance on Jay Leno’s show majorly trumped Mitt Romney’s appearance on David Letterman.
Columnist Keli Goff made the following observation about Sarah Palin: “Whether during an interview, debate, or speech, she often comes across as unprepared—like a student who waited until the night before to cram for a test. The only problem of course, is that running for president, and running for re-election as president, essentially consists of years of non-stop tests, or more accurately, never ending pop quizzes.” And that’s just trying to get the job. What about if she actually got elected? Republicans made the case during the 2008 election that the presidency was not a position that allowed on the job training, and they were correct in stating so. Unfortunately for ex-Governor Palin and her possible presidential ambitions, this applies strongly to her as well. Palin has proved time and time again that although she may be a charismatic speaker with a penchant for connecting with conservative voters, she simply does not have the intellectual depth or experience to lead the most powerful nation in the world. There is clearly a place for Sarah Palin in the conservative movement; she has proved that she could make an extremely lucrative living writing books and doing public speaking engagements.
However, the conservative voters in America need to realize that liking someone’s personality and agreeing with their values does not necessarily make somebody presidential material. I like a lot of people and agree with the values of many whom I would not want to govern the United States of America. Hopefully we can move past the celebrity politicians like Sarah Palin and choose somebody with the experience and capabilities to lead the US out of its deepening recession. Failure to do so will prove devastating to the conservative movement, and almost certainly crippling to its future.