A friend of mine quipped that if the American president rules the world, why is it left up to the Americans to decide who that will be? The laughable basis for the recent success of the McCain–Palin campaign suggests that the average US citizen might not be taking that responsibility seriously enough.
McCain’s advertising campaigns have attacked Obama on the grounds that he is popular with celebrities, and that he might be the antichrist. Strangely, Paris Hilton seems to be one of the few who recognised the absurdity of the former, and stranger still, my fellow conservative Christians have allegedly believed the latter. “The TV said it, so I’m voting for God’s man, not Obama the devil”. Perhaps the series can be wrapped up with an ad suggesting that the similarity between the names Obama and Osama is not a coincidence, and that the Al Qaida leader has now shaved and become the Democratic candidate. Voters have taken the first ads seriously, so why not?
Now that ‘surprise’ running mate Palin has come on board, all sorts of further irrelevancies are drumming up more support from swing voters. Firstly, Palin was clearly chosen to offset the criticisms of McCain that he is too old and too white-and-male for the American public so eager for a change. Now it seems that Palin’s embattled motherhood is finding an audience with soccer moms all over the states. What motherly pride swells in the collective national bosom at the thought of her son and yours departing for Iraq! What self-sacrifice, what patriotism! Oh wait. Who started that war again?
What should concern American women even more is that the best token female that the Republican Party could find is a small-town mayor from Alaska. Is it really worth giving the feminist vote to a party that is interested in [token] women in the first place (as opposed to the real thing like Hilary), and which seems so short on qualified female leadership?
Secondly, Palin and McCain have been playing up the Vietnam vet issue ad nauseam. So let me see if I understand this. An unfortunate victim of the US of A’s most unnecessary, unpopular war is using this fact to encourage voters to persist with the party responsible for their current unnecessary, unpopular war?
Palin’s recent crowd-pleasing speech played on ‘unsettled times’, and the need for a government who can fight for the American people. But only one candidate has actually fought for the country, she says, and so vote for the military man. Well, let’s think about that for a minute. Firstly, it’s not the foot soldiers who make the tactical decisions, it’s the politicians. So, in a tight spot, do you want a tactful, intelligent and charismatic statesman like Obama, or do you want the decisions made by a soldier who was captured by the enemy in a war that the USA lost?
But all of that is far less important that the biggest problem with Palin & McCain’s line of strategy. Where is all this instability that they’re talking about? Well, one serious conflict that comes to mind is an unprovoked invasion of foreign soil by Republican America, motivated by blatant lies about nuclear weapons, and seemingly to secure oil that doesn’t belong to them. In fact how many sparks of conflict over the years have been fanned into flame and fuelled by American money, weapons and national interest? Maybe the best approach to avoiding ‘uncertain times’ and international grudges is not to vote for the guy who promises that he likes fighting, but rather to vote for the guy who is best at avoiding fights and focussing on improving things.