The threat of Sarah Palin is as real as was that of George W. Bush, a decade ago. The fact that Palin is so popular, to begin with, among voters who see things differently than I and has the animal magnetism and the classic ability of the corrupt and successful politician to charm and to fool the masses, bodes strongly in favor of her being the one to defeat in 2012.
Intellectuals may be incredulous that someone so obviously unqualified for the office of president would have a good chance of arriving at this power. Intellectuals never fail to be surprised at what foolishness can be accomplished by the power certain people have of guiding the masses. Falling rocks may appear to have no intelligence, but when they land on you, they flatten you very effectively. And so it is with the threat of Palin: no intelligence but a lot of flattening power.
Palin has shown great ability to rally conservative religious people, the wealthy, and the badly informed, into one effective mass that will obliterate anything in its path. She would get the vote almost across the board of those strongly against abortion and those who don’t understand the importance of stem cell research—since those two issues have become intertwined in the minds of many. She appears to be anti-intellectual as well as pro-religion, and this fact alone potentially mobilizes millions of churchgoers.
In the recent election in which Palin came close to winning, she demonstrated the potential to be elected, although not the potential to govern. She demonstrated a talent at lying effectively, and also at wooing many disappointed Clinton voters.
In the 2008 election that put Palin on the map, she showed the ability to use a misconception to her advantage such as the promotion of “guilty by association,” as a valid type of thought. She took the truism that a person isn’t “guilty by association” which originally meant that a person isn’t guilty based on who they have met, and has turned it on its ear to mean the opposite: supposedly if you’ve associated with a person deemed “bad” that makes you become tainted.
Palin has the ability to use fear and prejudice to her aid, such as when she falsely accused Obama of being “a muslim” and “a socialist.” With respect to calling Obama “a muslim,” not only was this a lie, it also took advantage of the power of people’s fear and prejudice, and did so without making Palin appear bigoted, which in this case, she was. In the case of calling Obama “a socialist,” it was a meaningless statement intended to bring up people’s fears. And it worked.
A number of Americans will only vote for the white Anglo-Saxon person loudest at proclaiming their Christianity. As long as the candidate is within those bounds, that section of voters won’t discriminate. It seems that Palin has a lot of unfair and effective tactics in her arsenal—just like Bush.
So far, I’ve discussed reasons why Palin has a good chance of becoming president. But what about that? How will it be for America to have her as our leader?
Palin would become the most unqualified human being elected to the oval office in the history of the United States. The US needs leadership, and we won’t get that from Palin. Palin could either be a disaster for the country and for the world as the president, or worse. The lack of basic intelligence that she has shown, if authentic, could cause the end of civilization as we know it, should she come to power. She must not be elected president if we are to survive as a nation.
As a result, I suggest that the person we elect president should be required to take and pass a basic competency test. I believe that this is the only way to reliably stop Palin from becoming president. Such a requirement might be passable as a constitutional amendment, or even as a law, under the Obama administration, and would block people from being elected who are mentally incompetent, such as Palin, from taking on the most prestigious job on the planet.
Jack Bragen is a Martinez resident.