Choices: are we the sum of our experience?

The main reason I take the time to write and maintain this blog (besides venting) is so that when it comes time for someone to choose to vote for me or against me- my thoughts are here for them to examine in my own words. In fact, I believe it should be a requirement for anyone who wants to run for office to spend at least a year blogging before being allowed to file to run.

So, when John McCain picked his running mate, to the shock of many, you would expect her to be fully vetted. Picking a VP is a very important choice, since should you die in office, this is the person who will step in and take your place. Sarah Palin doesn’t cut it in my book. I found this on Andrew Sullivan’s blog (thanks John) and although it looks like it’s a quote from somewhere else- I think he constructed it- since he doesn’t give attribution. It’s dead on the money in my book:

I’ve voted a straight Republican ticket every year of my life since 1975, when I first came of voting age, but I was stunned and horrified by McCain’s choice of Palin. I simply cannot even consider voting for McCain after this choice, which speaks loudly of his own selfishness and fundamental frivolousness.

So I was shocked when I turned to the conservative blogs looking for others who shared my dismay and found a celebration going on. They really honestly believe that Palin’s “inexperience” and Obama’s “inexperience” are equivalent. I have had no luck at all in the past 24 hours trying to explain that Obama is quite obviously an impressive man (with whom I disagree on almost every major issue) with extraordinary qualities of organization, discipline and leadership. I see nothing in Palin’s record to suggest that she has any such qualities.

He is a man who has spent his adult life thinking serious thoughts about serious issues and having serious conversations about them with other serious, well-informed people; while Palin quite as clearly has done none of those things. He was the president of the Harvard Law Review; she was the point guard on her high school basketball team.

He has surrounded himself in his campaign with world-class people (with whom, again, I disagree on almost every issue); and though I am doubtless an elitist and snob for saying so, I doubt that she has even met a half-dozen world-class people in her lifetime.

While Obama might do a hundred things as President that I believe are bad for the country, I am confident that he would surround himself with experienced, informed, competent advisors and that he would make no world-destroying blunders. I cannot say the same about Palin and, in view of what this choice reveals about McCain’s character and judgment, I cannot say the same of him either.

The Palin pick says much more about McCain than it does about Palin (all it says about her is that she didn’t have the good sense to turn it down). What it says about McCain is that he is more interested in politics than policy, more interested in campaigning than governing, tactical when he should be strategic, and reckless when he should be considered.

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

If we had these candidate sites to reference, instead of having to depend on the media to “deliver” their filtered perspectives of candidates- or worse, depend on the :30 tv spot and all its mudslinging soundbite glory, we might have a better (certainly more cost effective) system of elections.

For right now though, the idea of Sarah Palin as VP scares me for the reasons above. In our short 232 year history as a country, we’ve only had one accidental President- Gerald Ford, who was iminently more qualified than Sarah Palin. I don’t care how much of an outsider, maverick, defender of the commoner she’s being painted, the fundamental issue is does the sum of her experience qualify her to be President.

To me, clearly the answer is no. I consider it my civic duty to work against this travesty of a ticket. Please, join me in making sure that our country doesn’t sink to electing PTA members/point gaurds to our highest office. If Palin had a brain, she would reconsider, withdraw and put in a few more years as governor- and then maybe, she could be considered seriously for the position.

Right now, she’s an untested, unknown and the sum of her experience evident.

Your thoughts?

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