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Sarah Palin: A Drunkard’s Dream

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of being interviewed on Indie Talk’s’ “The Blog Bunker” on Sirius radio — a nifty show that whets & feeds the appetites of political bloggers, junkies and newbies alike. (p.s. Kudos and thanks to Alexandra and Joe!) Anyway, it struck me as odd that I could experience stage fright in the absence of a stage. I was also surprised to discover I have something in common with Sarah Palin, besides my ability to mangle the English language in front of a world audience. I now know, first-hand, how Sarah Palin must feel after an interview. Oh, the things I would do differently, if I had it to do all over again.  

I wish the interview had been a dress rehearsal, and I could do it again today, because (aside from wishing I could edit out the 100 or so times I said, “you know”) there are a few things I wish I had said. Mostly, I wish I’d brought up the oh-so-boring topic of voter fraud and disenfranchisement, which makes moot the quaint idea that our votes have anything whatsoever to do with electing the president. I wish that — while I had a captive audience — I’d mentioned the vile tactics and trickery being used, as we speak, by the McCain campaign and the Republican Party to commit voter fraud — a campaign that is even more dishonest, reckless and reprehensible than their presidential campaign, if such a thing is possible. 

But I also wish I’d been more clear in my criticism of Sarah Palin during our discussion of the poll numbers. More to the point: I wish I’d been more succinct in my criticism of the national stupidity that could embrace a candidate like Sarah Palin. Because — make no mistake — Sarah Palin is not the problem. The polls make this clear. The problem is that 40-something percent of Americans say they would actually vote for a candidate like Sarah Palin.  

Presidential Politics: Dancing with the Stars meets American Idol (p.s. How do I phone in my vote?)

We touched on this in the interview, when I griped about the media’s paparazzi-style coverage of this campaign (pure fluff and controversy — which, before the Wall Street crisis, was 24-7 Sarah Palin) with a dearth of substantive coverage on the actual issues of this campaign. The network ratings mirror the polls, which make clear that this is exactly what the American public wants. Interestingly, these same numbers are reflected within the tiny realm of this very blog. People read about Sarah Palin, almost to the exclusion of anything else.

 

As evidence, my own posts on Sarah Palin have been read 1300% more than ALL of the following topics COMBINED: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, George Bush, John McCain, Aafia Siddiqui, Bruce Ivins/anthrax, patriotism, the truth about the Bush Administration on illegal torture, detainment, secret prisoners, the desecration of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, propaganda, wiretapping and spying on U.S. citizens, 9-11, the Iraq War and Afghanistan wars, Georgia-Ossetia, plus all the covert U.S. wars throughout the world. Granted, many of the readers are people like me: incredulous, horror-striken, praying for some god-out-of-the-machine turn of events that will put an end to the nightmare-specter of a McCain-Palin presidency.     

 

If I were a business, I’d be out of business, without Sarah Palin.

So it only makes sense that the media would cover Sarah Palin to the near-exclusion of everything else. This is why we don’t see substantive, in-depth coverage of the actual issues. This is why we don’t see longer clips of speeches, or more in-depth discussions with the candidates. This is why the media has not played a real role in forging a national dialogue on the issues. This is why most Americans — if asked — would be hard-pressed to actually explain the platform issues of their chosen candidate. Such topics make people’s teeth hurt.

In yesterday’s interview, I said that most Americans actually know very little about their candidate of choice. John McCain, for example. Most Americans — if asked to tell everything they know about John McCain — would be hard-pressed to offer more than, “He was a POW and he’s a maverick.” If asked for specifics on his platform and his legislative record, they’d draw a blank. The same is true for Obama, except for the lies, which the media have abrogated their duty to correct. Too, I’d hazard to guess that most Americans know more about Sarah Palin’s ex-brother-in-law than they do about Joe Biden.

A newer, “betterer” America: diplomacy is wimpy and real people don’t use big words.

This is a direct result of the “dummying-down” of our national dialogue over the past 8 years. It’s gotten so bad that the candidate who brings actual presidential qualities to his candidacy is jeered as being elitist. The candidate who has consistently shown a level-headed, nuanced, intelligent and unwaveringly deliberate and methodical approach to addressing the serious problems we face as a nation, is seen as being weak. He’s called ‘professorial,’ as if this were somehow a bad thing. Meanwhile, the candidate with the erratic, kamikaze approach to problem-solving, who consistently lies, distorts the facts, fearmongers, bullies, blusters, and shows a flagrant ignorance of the facts, and can’t even debate the issues with a leader of his own country without losing his temper and saying “horseshit” (or worse) is seen as being strong. The candidate who brought us Sarah Palin is seen as being the better-known quantity…. Hmm.

Our country is suffering from a fatal disease. While the pathology is as invasive and malignant as any cancer, I would liken it more to alcoholism: we are determined to self-destruct by our own hand. Maybe this is a good thing. As any former gutter drunk could tell you, you have to hit utter rock bottom before you get desperate enough to change. Lucky for us, I suppose, we’ve almost arrived.

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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Related reading:

Huffington Post: Why the Debates Won’t Matter (Hint: It’s a Felony)

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