The selection of Sarah "Mooseburgers" Palin as the vice-presidential candidate on a ticket headed by a 72 year old man who's had cancer four times absolutely boggles the mind. It's not without its amusing aspects, but ultimately its cynicism and dangerousness contribute more to my summer-long disgust with American politics.
This is America, where any boy or girl can grow up to be President, right? Well, yes--but I don't think that our celebration of that fact contemplates any old boy or girl becoming Presdent without having had some sort of relevant experience. I'm hard pressed to think of any major party Presidential or vice-presidential candidate having a thinner resume than Mooseburgers Palin.
But while she is barely qualified for the vice-presidency, she is by virtue of her gender and her ideology definitely qualified leadership in the Republican Party. If you liked Michael "Heckuva job!" Brown, the hapless Republican hack who was in charge of FEMA when Katrina hit, you'll love a woman who was elected as the part-time mayor of a city of 5,000 by virtue of her opposition to abortion.
Though unprecedented, Palin's selection is actually well within the American tradition of anti-intellectualism. This hardy strain of populism was on full display last night as Rudy Giuliani and Mooseburgers made the argument that being a non-pol from a tiny town in the third least-populous state was actually a qualification, not a disqualification, for the highest office in the land. Obama is just too smart; time we had some people just like you and me in Washington.
In any normal country, a candidate like Sarah Palin would not be taken seriously by most people. That's why she is so dangerous to Obama and the Democrats; ours is not a normal country. "Ignorant and Proud" is our real motto. The realization of this truth is killing my lifelong passion for politics.