My Turn: Pondering Palin after debate

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008

As many of us, I was glued to the recent vice presidential debate.

I was amazed but dumbfounded by our governor's abilities. Sarah Palin's Reaganesque, feel-good performance, her beauty-queen smile and adorable winking and camera flirting could not mask her inexperience with the issues. She did her homework, crammed for her "test" without faltering on the stage. Her delivery was brilliant and responses quick, however, she repeated lines drilled into her by McCain campaign strategists, not insights gained from experience and thoughtful consideration of the issues.

She spoke of "loving Israel," of Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan; we know she hasn't been to all of them, but do you suppose she has actually thought about these places before her nomination as McCain's running mate? Or studied U.S. policies concerning them? Or interacted with their representatives in any way?

Do we not want a vice president who has spent more than 22 months mastering state issues, let alone national?

The energy policies with which Palin claims expertise were the product of her advisers' experience; they address gas alone, not renewable wind/solar/hydro or clean coal, let alone the nuclear agenda McCain promotes or the waste nuclear power produces.

When she spoke of women's rights, what does that mean exactly? Certainly, not reproductive freedom.

The Iraqi war - John McCain is fixated with "not losing" and funneling all of our resources into focusing on Iraq at the expense of all other global affairs, let alone any domestic programs.

We cannot afford to police the world, nor is it our place to cram our viewpoint down the throats of other nations. We do not have the right or the funds! We need to promote the NATO alliance to do this job.

The U.S. will continue to come off as the global dictator of diplomacy by using military force, and by doing this we are creating nations of terrorists who will in return focus their violence and hatred toward us.

This war is not the answer. By withdrawing our troops it does not mean "we lose" - we have tunnel vision if we accept McCain's and Gen. Petraeus's viewpoint here.

Again we do not have the money to focus in on one country (has anyone been reading about the state of our economy?) We must pull back and do what we can diplomatically with Afghanistan, Korea, Israel, China, Sudan - the world.

It is not about winning or losing, it is about "living within our means" as Palin so glibly stated, but shallowly applies. It is about rethinking our righteousness, and perhaps sitting down and talking with leaders we do not agree with (preconditions or not).

Palin would be a 72-year-old heartbeat away from being leader of the free world, folks. We need more than a beautiful woman's love affair with the camera and the adulation of the masses. Please think beyond image and spin and take a hard look at what we as a nation can afford.

Palin is not stupid, but not smart enough to see beyond her own ego to realize she does not have what it takes to potentially guide this country through these tumultuous times.

• Laurie Knapp is a Juneau resident.

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