It could be argued that we stand witness to the most epic of political battles in the recent history of our marvelous republic. Based on television viewership, surging voter registration, and the sheer volume of water cooler and bar stool talk; It seems that many voters feel that this is the most important election in their lifetime.
Both McCain and Obama have done the necessary dirty deed of pandering to the religious right to try to secure that voting bloc. And, yes, I do not think that neither of these intelligent and honorable men has nearly the religious conviction that their rhetoric would have you believe. The unfortunate truth is that, if one wants to serve this country (or state or community), they must feign strong spiritual belief…and both have done so in spades.
McCain raised the ante, however, with the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. It is my sense that her selection was a ‘Hail Mary’ effort to get a leg up on the Obama juggernaut. As a political move, I would characterize it as brilliant and has likely delivered the evangelical vote to McCain signed and sealed.
My problem lies in some cold, hard facts. Social Security actuarial tables indicate that there is about a 15% chance that John McCain will not live through his entire first term. I have also read that there is roughly a 7% chance that Mr. McCain could have a debilitating illness or injury (not sure of the veracity of that number, but it sounds reasonable). This puts us at a 1 in 5 chance that we are actually electing a President Palin…not even good odds for Russian Roulette! With those kinds of odds, we need to ask ourselves is Ms. Palin fit to be President Palin? By any reasonable standard, NO!
In Palin, we have someone who pretty obviously believes our actions in the middle-east are God’s will. In my estimation, there is nothing so dangerous as to have public policy defined by supernatural worldviews. Palin’s religious beliefs are so deep that she believes her motives to be unassailable…just like al Quaeda and the Taliban. If Palin turns this into a religious war, or even gives that impression (which she already has), we will make the world a far more dangerous place and there cannot be any winners…just divisions and conflict and death.
The original colonies of our country’s fledgling days became mini theocracies. It is not insignificant that our founder’s very first amendment to our constitution was to separate religion from government and address the clear dysfunction that ensues when they merge. Governor Palin, while very possibly an otherwise capable person, must not place her religious convictions on the world stage; and we cannot risk the possibility of there being a President Palin.