Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian
I ADMIT IT. Iâ€™M A CONSERVATIVE JOURNALIST.
I support the second amendment. Iâ€™m pro-life. I support teaching creationism in schools. (Donâ€™t worry, Iâ€™ve informed my editor in chief about the deluge of hate mail weâ€™ll get for my daring to support such things.)
I should be thrilled that Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose the extremely conservative Sarah Palin as his running mate. Iâ€™m not.
Palin, currently in her second year as governor of Alaska, is the second-biggest mistake McCain could have made.
The first would have been to pick Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman for the position.
Rumor has it Palin was chosen to both entice Hillary Clintonâ€™s former supporters and reassure Republicans concerned about McCainâ€™s history of compromise. In other words, Palin is supposed to appeal to both the extreme left and the extreme right.
Lynda Carter, move over.
First, letâ€™s look at why Palin should appeal to Democrats. Clinton is female. Palin is also female. Therefore, Clintonâ€™s supporters should now support Palin. In addition to failing tests of basic logic, this is the most offensive assumption McCain could have made. Policies and ideologies donâ€™t matter to voters as much as the candidateâ€™s sex does.
Some women, of course, supported Clinton merely in hopes of seeing a woman in the White House. History shows that there werenâ€™t enough of them to keep Clinton afloat. Why would any politician try to copycat a losing tactic?
Then thereâ€™s Palinâ€™s conservative appeal. A hunter and fisherwoman, she supports gun ownership and use while advocating drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. She supports abortion only when the motherâ€™s life is in jeopardy. She wants creationism and abstinence-only sex ed taught in schools.
She is the rightâ€™s answer to Obama in that she, like him, has very little actual experience. Dreamy-eyed as only a neophyte can be, she holds aloft the banner of party idealism, becoming, like Obama, more of a caricature than a real person.
Granted, such a deficit of experience is more forgivable in a vice presidential rather than a presidential candidate. But with less than two years as governor of Alaska under her belt, sheâ€™s hardly someone to go running to if, to create an impossibly outlandish scenario, terrorists fly airplanes into the Twin Towers.
She could very well be the person handling Americaâ€™s delicate international situations if McCainâ€™s age gets the better of him.
Someone who got her first passport in 2007 is not ready to make decisions of that magnitude.
So she doesnâ€™t have experience with foreign affairs. At least sheâ€™s had experience managing the budget for the state that had, nation-wide, the fifth-highest gross state product in 2006.
One of Palinâ€™s selling points is her experience at exposing governmentâ€™s fiscal excess. She auctioned off her predecessorâ€™s private jet for $2.1 million on eBay. She refused federal funds for the so-called â€œBridge to Nowhereâ€ that was to connect Ketchikan, Alaska, to the airport on nearby Gravina Island.
At least, she refused to build the bridge. The Anchorage Daily News reported on August 31 that a federally funded road was still being built to the bridgeâ€™s planned location because Alaska would have had to return the money allocated for the road otherwise.
There wonâ€™t be a bridge, the funds for which are being used â€œfor other projects,â€ the ADN reports. But there will be a road to the waterâ€™s edge.
Magnify that inanity by fifty and apply it to national issues.
In McCainâ€™s 2002 book, â€œWorth the Fighting For,â€ written with Mark Salter, McCain said of his decision-making, â€œOften my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.â€
He may indeed be able to live with the consequences of his rushed decision to pick Sarah Palin over a more stable, less polarizing candidate like Mitt Romney.
America shouldnâ€™t have to.