Practice What You Preach

If somebody asked me today why I was against the Bush Administration, I’d probably say “Because of the hypocrisy”. Bush is against gay rights but the VP’s daughter is a lesbian. He’s all for troops in Iraq, but has he ever fought a battle? And he’s totally anti-abortion, but if he got preggers, would he go through with the bun in the oven?


Although I don’t have much respect for republican ideals, I have found a republican who at least stands behind what SHE says. From watching the Republican National Convention, I’ve gained respect for how potential Vice President Sarah Palin’s political views are carried out in her personal life.


Palin, who’s pro-life, has a 17-year-old pregnant teenage daughter. Palin could have told her daughter that she couldn’t have her looking bad in the public eye and aborted it before the media even found out. Instead, she has backed up her beliefs by embracing her daughter’s pregnancy.


Palin is also for the “War Against Terrorism”, and has a 19-year-old son who deployed for training on September 11th. Palin could have persuaded her son that war was too dangerous, and that he had his whole life ahead of him, but she supports the cause so passionately that she is willing to let her own son fight.


But is Palin just supporting her views or is she being a selfish mother and formulating a larger ploy?


My point is, when Palin’s own children are so much in the public eye and doing controversial, dangerous things, she may not be the best mother, but she certainly supports what she believes in.


Palin vs. Zuma

By Unathi Kondile

Cape Town – Um! I’d like to apologize, in advance, to all fans of Sarah Palin and Jacob Zuma.

In South Africa we have a fella by the name of Jacob “bring-me-my-machine-gun” Zuma. See, our standing South African president was recently ousted, so Zuma now heads the ruling party, but is not currently the president of the country. He may be officially elected in 2009.

Zuma never went far academically, and is notorious for making precociously conceived statements, then constantly rectifying them. He’s a charismatic leader who aims for hearts as opposed to minds.

I could spend an entire day quoting some of Zuma’s diatribes, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll draw your attention to one Sarah Palin. And no, Palin isn’t South African and she isn’t part of Zuma’s party. But she might as well be.

Sarah “vice-presidential elect” Palin has wormed her way into South Africa’s press and we now know more about her than we ever bargained to know about any Republican. She too, like Zuma, seems to aim for the publics’ hearts rather than minds. Aside from being a former mayor somewhere in Alaska, and being dubbed the ‘Killa from Wasilla’ by environmentalists, Palin has proved that our embattled almost-state-president Zuma can eat dust when it comes to her.

Here is a person who has it in her head that homosexuals just need prayer to find their heterosexual purpose in life. She believes that abortion is not an individual right but rather a divine right that cannot be practiced by those who would want it. Palin is a person who believes abstinence is the only proper way for teens to approach sex.

So let’s say the Republicans win the election. John McCain is president at around the age of 73. In his tenure as president he suffers from some old-age complications and opts for early retirement. Who’ll take over? Aha! Palin.

I’m sorry, but I’d rather have a rape-accused, pending-corruption trial president in the form of our Jacob Zuma than someone who is far flung from reality, living in an isolated idealism bubble and lacks even the most basic parenting skill of distinguishing between right and wrong for her child. We know that Palin’s 17 year-old daughter is knocked up. How can she lead a country when she can’t even break down ‘the birds and bees’ talk? Is contraception totally out of the question for this anti-this-and-that vice-presidential candidate? Abstinence in this day and age is like trying to dissuade a pig away from getting dirty in a muddy pigsty – you can’t.

The more I think about it, I’m happy right here in South Africa. Happy with the prospects of the Jacob Zuma presidency. The American Dream can wait. Far from being a dream it now seems to be veering in the direction of The American Nightmare.

Better Late than Never

It’s been a pretty hectic time since last week’s Democratic National Convention finished. Of course, there was the Barack Obama speech as well as John McCain’s choice of a running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I wrote out my thoughts on those issues while spending some quality time on a Denver-Madison, Wisconsin flight after spending endless hours trapped in the puddle-jumper end of DIA; I know these stories are old news, but I think it’s still worth posting:

Obama Speech: Mission Accomplished, But Not Much More

From my seat in what’s normally the south end zone of Mile-High Stadium I could tell that the sellout crowd on hand for Barack Obama’s speech accepting the nomination would have stood and cheered so long as they got a glimpse of the Senator. Obama could have stood at the podium reading from his autobiography, or told them why John Elway sucked as a quarterback (which he does, but that’s a different matter), the crowd was with him. So that’s why he didn’t need to speak in an earth-shattering way – he didn’t need to reach the heights he did in his post-primary speech from New Hampshire, or at the DNC four years ago. But he did have to deliver more specifics to a campaign that had so far frustrated some undecided and even Democratic voters with its vague “Change” and “Hope” messages, and he did just that.

From last night: “So let me spell out exactly what change would mean if I am President. Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it. Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas… I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow. I will cut taxes for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class. And for the sake of our economy, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.”

I think for a lot of people, those kinds of messages were needed. Sure, he didn’t lay out every step for getting the nation off of oil, but he didn’t have to – there’s no need to go all policy wonk on 75,000 people and a massive TV audience. But he did have to give examples of goals he will set for his presidency that are more substantive than “Change we can believe in.” Don’t  get me wrong, Barack Obama delivered a good speech last night, but not because of any soaring oration or rhetorical skill. In 20 or 30 years, few people will remember direct quotes from this speech, but they will be able to say they saw a politician attract 75,000 people, who waited in lines that took hours, to watch him speak. What people will remember in 10 weeks, the Obama campaign hopes, is that this was a substantive discussion of goals by a candidate for President – and when they go to the polls on November 4th, that’s more important.

McCain Chooses Woman… Oh, Sorry, Sarah Palin

About 12 hours after Barack Obama took the stage at Mile-High Stadium last night, John McCain announced his pick for Vice-President: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I should preface this by saying that because I’ve been in the Denver airport all day (thanks, United!) I haven’t been able to see much news about the announcement. But clearly, this is a move to win over disillusioned Clinton supporters still not attracted to Barack Obama, but I don’t know if it’s a pick that will pan out well. One of McCain’s main arguments against Barack Obama is his lack of experience, but Palin’s time in government is made up of her time as Alaska Governor, and before that as mayor of a 6,900-person town (which I think counts as a major metropolis in Alaska).

Palin’s gender played a big part in McCain’s choice of his nominee, and it allows someone like Joe Biden to really turn the tables on the experience argument. Biden has already come out as the attack dog in this campaign, and the Vice Presidential debates probably won’t be a fun experience for Palin. I haven’t had time to really research Palin (I didn’t even include her in my top picks for a Republican VP), but I can’t really tell why she was picked if, as the McCain campaign has said, gender played no part in the process. I can tell that she enjoys her firearms, though (as shown by a picture of her peering down the scope of an AK-47, pointed at the camera) – how long until that photo appears with “John McCain’s Vice President will Blow You Away” in a ad?

In a campaign built on experience and military judgment, I don’t know if they want the Governor of the most sparsely populated state in the union a heartbeat (and let’s face it, some group on the left will make John McCain’s age and Sarah Palin’s experience an issue) running the country as Commander in Chief. Perhaps some more research will help me understand the picking of Sarah Palin more, but as for right now, I don’t think John McCain made a great decision.  

UPDATED: It would appear as if the McCain choice was successful in its timing, effectively stunting an Obama bounce for a short time. Politico first wrote that the bounce was smaller than many had expected (probably because of a lack of post-game coverage by networks the day after because of the Palin pick), but yesterday came out with a Gallup poll saying Obama had reached the 50% mark for the first time in the campaign.