Friday, October 3, 2008

Thoughts on politics

It's the day after the VP debate, and I need to throw out a few thoughts on politics that have been nagging me for the last several weeks.

1. When did "intellectual discourse" become a dirty word? (Ok, it's a phrase, but you get the picture.) Seriously - I wasn't alive before the 1970's, but as a student of American history, I have always been inspired by the educated and thoughtful (and grammatically correct) speeches of FDR, Eisenhower and Kennedy. Hell, I even liked Reagan's speeches. Unfortunately, it appears that well-reasoned and inspiring political discourse no longer appeals to the voters. Instead, some political "masterminds" seem to think that America is populated by uneducated dullards that find "folksy" and "cute" to be the only qualities necessary to lead one of the most powerful governments on the planet. I miss the days where politicians were allowed to exercise their intellect and use "big words" to explain their policies...

2. With that in mind, everyone MUST READ this book. It will inspire you to consider the true definition of patriotism, regardless of your party affiliation.

3. Sarah Palin makes me crazy. Of all the women in politics, why on God's green earth did McCain have to choose her as his running mate? I'm sure she's a wonderful person, but I have been horribly disappointed with her as a VP candidate. She is uninformed about major issues (ranging from foreign affairs to the economy to basic human rights), and I find her inability to answer the questions in last night's debate to be highly disturbing. I was mortified with her response to the question regarding VP responsibilities. Did anyone else notice that she's for expanding the duties of the Vice President?? Considering what Cheney has done to the office (let alone his inability to decide which branch of government he belongs to), I am terrified at the possibility of further disregard for the Constitution. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.

4. I was a little disappointed with Biden for not digging into Palin for more specifics. Unfortunately, he did the best he could with the pressures he was under. He really was in a no-win situation with regard to facing off with Palin. If he had handled her with kid gloves, he would have been railed for sexism because he "didn't treat her like an equal". If he had fought back at her, he would have been railed for being combative. Poor guy was screwed either way. I think he handled it very well, though I wish he had called her out for not answering the questions (seriously - did she actually answer any of the questions other than the one about not believing in gay marriage?) and for resorting to a bunch of irritating punchlines that came off as horribly fake. Blergh.

That said, I have been very impressed with the class and integrity with which Obama and Biden have conducted themselves during this presidential campaign. I tend to agree with some of my friends in that McCain has come across as doddering, inconsistent and cranky. Palin has come across as fake, oblivious and inexperienced. Of course, none of the candidates are perfect. But I'll be honest: I'd much rather have a constitutional lawyer as president over someone who has made a career of running for President.

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