I’m considering voting for a major party’s presidential ticket this year, for the first time in decades. As a matter of fact, it would mark the first time I’ve voted the top of the ticket for this particular party in my life.
I’ve met the presidential nominee. He’s got character. He’s also a likeable guy — most politicians share that asset — though he’s clearly a creature of the Senate, where respect for freedom and limited government are laughed at, deemed a handicap in “making the deal.”
Over the past year, though, he’s run a come-from-behind Cinderella campaign that could become the stuff of legend. And then last week, he did something that made our enemies afraid.
That made me take notice.
Mind you, there’s a good moral case to be made for not voting. By participating in the election, you tacitly acknowledge the winner has the right to do all the awful, unconstitutional, morally wrong things they now do in our names.
I still vote largely because the “Libertarian” button is available. This year, though, the Libertarian Party has nominated Fearless Drug Warrior Bob Barr, a man who has opposed medical marijuana initiatives, opposed needle exchanges, a man who zealously locked up for years those seeking to peacefully medicate themselves or help others to do so, shoving them into small cages where they’re subject to anal rape by guys named “Bubba.”
It’s tempting to stay home on Nov. 4. But there’s now at least a 50-50 possibility — higher, given Americans’ demonstrated reluctance to elect ultra-socialist Big City senators over the past 40 years — that when Americans wake up Nov. 5 they’ll rub their eyes and wonder what kind of a shuck job the Leftist Mainstream Press has spent the past year peddling them about some Chicago ward heeler whose silver tongue seemed to tie up pretty quick when he strayed from the prepared script and the Teleprompters, and how this same press corps largely missed the come-from behind Cinderella story of a guy they declared dead in the water in August of 2007.
Wishing won’t make John McCain a small-government libertarian. But think back to how the defeatist fellow-travelers in the media ridiculed him when he said The Surge could defeat al-Qaida in Iraq.
Think back to when the genius political analysts told you McCain’s campaign was dead, that this guy was so clueless he had no remaining plan but to spend the entire autumn in New Hampshire, hanging out and gabbing with the locals at Dunkin’ Donuts.
And then last week my former senator, John McCain, threw the entire race into a maelstrom, confounding all expectations and common wisdom by choosing Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate.
If Democrats believed what they say — that Gov. Palin is such a poor choice that John McCain might as well fold his tent and go home — they should be condescendingly patting the little lady on the head right now, saying, “Oh, how cute.”
So how are we to explain the way the Democratic Party is now going after Sarah Palin and her perfectly lovely pregnant daughter, for all the world like the frenzied final holdouts on some Japanese-occupied Pacific atoll, shrieking “Banzai!” as they level their bayonets and charge the machine guns in their loincloths?
I’ve already lost count of the ways the ululating harridans have attacked this anti-corruption reformer. She can’t be president because she lives too far from Washington. Because she bore a child with Down syndrome instead of aborting him. Because a woman with young children shouldn’t put them through the strain of a campaign for high office. (Is the Democratic position now that only sterile old men should be president, or does that one apply only to women?)
Her husband wants Alaska’s federal land turned over to the state (oh, the horror!) and had a DUI some decades back, before they were even married. (I don’t believe the Democrats actually used the phrase “drunken Indian,” any more than they specifically said a woman still of child-bearing age can’t be president because she might be irritable during “that time of the month,” though they sure went right up to the line. My, how thin is their veneer of political correctness?)
Why the desperation?
Because Vice President Sarah Palin would mean Americans could actually end up electing a woman president without tapping a manipulative, soulless, stay-married-just-to-stay-in-power socialist.
How dare the Republicans threaten to do that? Only the “progressive” party is supposed to be allowed to put the first articulate woman in line for the White House! Why, it’s just like when the Republicans dared to put a conservative black man on the Supreme Court. It’s so wrong!
Sarah Palin is a gun owner and Westerner who seems to still understand the core American notions of Freedom and the Frontier, a woman who vetoed a half billion dollars in proposed state spending and “put the government of our state back on the side of the people.”
Yes, it bothers me that she might outlaw other women’s abortion choices if she could. But she can’t.
What these screeching attacks on Sarah Palin are really all about is not a pregnant daughter or a 20-year-old DUI. And the “no foreign policy experience” red herring would have barred Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as well as Barack Obama.
What this is really all about is that she is the first everyday American in a generation, the first person who is not an Ivy League attorney, not a career Washington insider, not vetted by the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations and the CIA and Ellen Goodman, a person who works her husband’s fishing boat and drives her own car to work and buys her own groceries, to be given a shot at leading this nation.
And that appears to have a certain element of the political power structure terrified.
Why do you suppose that is?
Gov. Sarah Palin can’t save America all by herself. That’s the underlying absurdity of this near-religious frenzy to pick a new Guy On A White Horse every eight years.
But an America that could elect Sarah Palin might still save itself.
Because they know their guy’s already absurd claim to be the best and only available “agent of change” ran out when he tapped graying political plagiarist Joe Biden — and John McCain decided to roll the dice and go the other way.
Because the chances are now better than even that when Barack Obama awakens on Nov. 5, the song they’ll be playing is, “We used to love him, but it’s all over now.”
Vin Suprynowicz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is assistant editor of the Review-Journal’s editorial page.