I’m still in shock from the vice presidential debate last Thursday night.
Everyone expected Sarah Palin to crash and burn, showing the viewers and the country that she was grossly incapable of the office for which she is running. Everyone expected her to stumble, to retreat and to show that she was completely out of her league.
Instead, she did the unthinkable: she strung together a few complete sentences. They were devoid of any substance or meaning, but at least they were grammatically correct.
My favorite part of the debate was Palin’s ongoing feud with “the past.” Every time Joe Biden talked about the blunders of the Bush administration, she scoffed. She refused to acknowledge that global warming was a completely man-made phenomenon.
Sarah Palin seems to hate history, and if not, she does her best to ignore it. An ignorance of the workings of the world is one of the main reasons that the Bush administration has failed the country so badly. If Bush and McCain had understood even the most basic points of Islam’s history, they would have known that their notion of Sunni and Shias working together, treating as American troops as liberators, was far-fetched and wrong. If they had learned lessons on the volatility of oil markets from the past, they would have decided to invest in renewable energies instead of constantly giving tax breaks to the largest oil companies and continuing to rely on foreign oil. If they had learned from the failures of Reaganomics, they would have known that Reagan’s tax policies were the driving factor in the decline of the middle class.
Then there’s Palin’s and McCain’s utter disdain for diplomacy in foreign policy. Do they realize that the most effective foreign policy presidents, from Kennedy to Nixon to Bush Sr., have all pursued diplomacy with adversaries and in so doing have made the world safer? Kennedy once said that “Domestic politics can only harm us; foreign policy can kill us.” Can you imagine what would have happened if McCain or Palin was running the country during the Cuban Missile Crisis? It is a frightening scenario.
Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to care much about history, or about what lessons our country has learned over the past half century. This is an important thing to keep in mind while voting.