Dancing with Daggers?
Well, I posted my initial impressions of Palin, McCain’s VP pick last week. Since then I have spent every day working in the hot sun (what Labor Day weekend?) so my brain is kind of fried. Still, I’ve tried to think about a few things including the Palin pick, so here are my Friday ruminations.
Palin. Sigh. I guess my opinion hasn’t changed a whole lot, though I’ve come across a few thoughts that are interesting. She’s everything liberals hate and evangelicals love, so she has re-invigorated the Republican base. Most of the things that liberals/Democrats hold against her are things that conservative evangelical’s like, so most of the criticism against her isn’t hitting its mark. I mean yeah, it’s easy for a liberal to take umbrage at an anti-choice, pro war, pro-oil drilling, global warming denier…but those things aren’t really a problem for most evangelicals/conservatives. So a lot of the criticism of her is kind of pointless, yeah, she’s not going to get any liberal democrat votes. So what? She wasn’t trying for their votes. And attacking her will just drive more evangelicals to the polls.
I do agree it was a risky pick on McCain’s part. Risky choices are McCain’s stock-in-trade. This is a fellow who volunteered to fly jet bombing raids against America’s chosen enemies. Someone pointed out that a jet bomber pilot might not be the best choice for the Presidency, the skill set and psychology required is a bit different. Still, a lot of Americans buy into the “we have to be more macho than our enemies” mind set, so I can see McCain’s appeal.
I read a thing where someone suggested that McCain selected Palin knowing she would crash and burn, IE the skeletons in her closet would force her to withdraw from the race. Then McCain can pick a VP who will get crossover votes, but still get the benefit of having his base re-invigorated by picking Palin. Seems kind of contrived to me, but does show the versatility of the Palin pick…even if she does crash and burn, McCain still has good options.
One of my main objections to Palin as the VP pick is that it exacerbates the left/right dichotomy in the USA. She’s a divider not a uniter. While liberals may not really understand that there are entire states full of conservative McCain supporters, much of the evangelical right is even less tolerant and understanding of liberals. Her pick isn’t going to help the country heal its divisions, if anything it may make them worse. On the other hand, the Democrat’s platform is “new hope” while McCain just announced his campaign promise is “change.” Talk about a difficult choice, eh? Some division. This is why I am cynical about the American political system, both parties make a lot of noise, but all we ever get is the same old same old.
Can Obama and McCain talking about global warming? Nope. The worsening situation in Afghanistan? Nope. The unfolding catastrophe in Somalia? I could go on, and yes, I’m sure they may have made passing reference to same, and all the other problems facing America, but I wish I could hear something besides “I’ll do a better job of it than my opponent!” I don’t want our leaders doing a “better job” of things that should never have been attempted in the first place. In some senses we have become like the Roman Empire, where whatever laws/policies a previous Caesar implemented had to remain in place after he died because of course to change them would be to admit that the edicts of Caesar weren’t the pronouncement of a God.
OK, this has turned into a rant. Part of the reason I have posted so rarely recently is that I don’t know where to start. I men, aside from the above links the US economy looks really grim. Then there’s the horrible violence plaguing Mexico, the USA bears some responsibility for that, and at the very least we should be concerned. Oh, then there’s the mess in Georgia and American attacks inside Pakistan. In both cases it seems like confrontation and escalation is the USA’s answer to any problem, no matter how the problem originated or what the stakes are for the USA.
So anyhow, I still think the apocalypse is upon us and I’m not going to really relax until after the election. Any day now the USA or Israel could attack Iran, precipitating God knows what sort of mess. In fact it’s even been claimed that Israel has arrangements to use Georgian airbases for an attack on Iran. Georgia would be insane to allow that, since it would give the Russian’s ample excuse to actually invade and conquer Georgia instead of the somewhat limited recent incursion. However, since Georgia’s president thought he could attack an independent town full of Russian citizens and Russian peacekeepers while the Russians sat idly by, I wouldn’t put more insanity past him.
Have a great weekend everyone.
(The above image is from www.ossetians.com and is used within their guidelines. I got the picture from this page, which has all sorts of other fascinating images. The man is doing a traditional Ossetian folk dance, called oddly enough, the Dance with Daggers. I just thought it was indicative of the state of the world today, plus being something I never would have imagined. I mean, it looks dangerous. What the heck does is signify anyhow? And apparently the Georgians have a similar dance, it’s probably not a good idea to have them dancing at the same venue at once.)