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Politics & Power

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Who is the Real Sarah Palin?

From the introduction the GOP gave her at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota last week you might think she is the second coming. Ronald Regan and Susan B. Anthony rolled up in a pretty package that looks kind of like a Hollywood actress. From the recent statements coming out of the Democratic Party you might think she is the anti-Christ come to steal the souls of Americans. Anti-choice, corrupt, attack dog picked by McCain solely to appease the far right in the Party and to court the Hillary Clinton supporters riding the fence on who to vote for in November.

So who is the real Sarah Palin? By her own description, as a “hockey mom”, the only difference between her and a pitbull is lipstick. She is most certainly one not afraid to go on the attack as was made perfectly clear in her address to her Party’s convention where she took every opportunity to criticize Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as being lacking in experience and bad for the future of America. Almost as soon as she was named the Vice Presidential pick for the Republican ticket news also began to surface of scandals plaguing her in her home state of Alaska where she is currently serving in her first term as governor and previously served as the mayor of her home town Wasilla. Some have dismissed the allegations against her as being baseless but there is an ongoing investigation into her actions with potentially serious consequences should she be found guilty of the acts for which she has been accused.

To get to the reality of who Sarah Palin really is it makes sense to look at her stands on issues. She is staunchly against abortion for any reason including in cases of rape or incest. For supporters of Hillary Clinton this may be a deal breaker as it would put two declared anti-abortion rights candidates on the Republican ticket with the potential to nominate three new justices to the Supreme Court during the administration’s term in office. For social conservatives this may make them lean in the direction of McCain. She is also openly supportive of the National Rifle Association and gun ownership rights. As for her fiscal policy the record is somewhat mixed. While mayor of Wasilla she courted government funding of the now infamous “bridge to nowhere” project and accepted federal funds for the project which were never returned. Later she came out against the project as being wasteful but again never returned the federal funds that had been received for the project. She has spoken out about earmarks but in her time in office has requested more earmark dollars from Congress on a per-capita basis than any other governor in the country. Recently a letter purportedly from a citizen of Wasilla and acquaintance of Palin has surfaced on the internet making the claim that while mayor of Wasilla Palin tried to force a librarian to ban certain books from the library and when the librarian refused tried to have the person fired for refusing to cooperate. This might be an indication of a willingness to censor information that does not meet with her ideological views but it has not been independently verified and therefore has to be weighted accordingly. More recently, a video on You Tube has surfaced of her addressing a church congregation in June where she refers to the Iraq war as something that is part of God’s divine design and that our soldiers are on a divine mission of sorts. Clearly her religious beliefs have a great influence on her even in the realm of public policy interpretation. For some this will be a positive and for others a negative.

So with all of the information that is floating around being interpreted as selling points or detractors from Sarah Palin, what should the voter take away as a guide to how they should vote in November? Put simply, the election is for the Presidency and the leadership of our nation. If the values and record of the ticket reflect the ideas and values you feel are best for America then you should vote for that ticket. Both people on the ticket are in positions of great power after being elected and the Vice President is in all reality only a heartbeat away from the White House at any given time.

At the end of the day social stands and personality should be less important than policy decisions for people vying for jobs in the Executive Branch as they are not lawmakers as much as law enactors. The President cannot author legislation or decide on what is included in the federal budget as per Article One of our Constitution that is the purview of Congress alone. The President can sign, veto or propose ideas for bills but cannot write them under the separation of powers as defined in the Constitution. If you are concerned about what laws will be written then you should focus on researching Congressional elections. If you are concerned about who might sit on the Supreme Court, how government departments will spend the money that Congress allocates to them or how the military will conduct its business then you should focus on the race for the presidency. Presidential candidates make promises and say that they will make this law or that law happen but the truth is without Congress they can do none of it and so focusing on the promises of presidential candidates or their running mates is less important than looking at their records, most importantly of the recent past that show how they think and act right now, to see what types of laws they will support and enact when Congress sends them to the Oval Office for a signature. Everything else is mere political theater to sway opinions and garner votes.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

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