The Political Elite Don’t Get It

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Sun, Aug 31, 2008, 6:44 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

{Please read this post in the spirit it is intended, somewhat satirical and a little exaggerated at times to make a point often missed in today’s political climate.}

This has truly been a historic week, although not for the reasons that you will hear in the media. Most of the political messages this week were in the form of the great speech given by Obama and the message of change that he brings; how 85,000 people filled a stadium and cried as he spoke. The other messages are about how dark horse VP nominee Sarah Palin is exciting the Republicans because of her pro-life, pro-gun credentials or how McCain is purely playing to the disaffected Clinton crowd (or crazy). My wife, for the first time in her life did a google search on a political candidate, but not for any of the reasons listed by the political elite. She does not care about Obama’s change message or popularity, nor does she care that Palin is pro-life and pro-gun, nor was she a disaffected Hillary supporter. For the first time in our adult life we will be excited to cast our ballot in the presidential election, instead of doing it out of duty.

For our entire adult lives we have been given the President/Vice-president choice between political elites. We have had to chose between wealthy people that either earned their money or inherited it (does it really matter?), or the Ivy League educated politicians who have been targeting the White House since they were in college. I have watched as the financial and educational elite fuel their political power while standing on the sidelines as special interest groups, with the media there every step of the way to help hone their message and convey it to the ignorant masses that are not rich or “well educated”. We have then had the blessed experience of listening to their campaigns criticize their opponent for not understanding middle America, while they talk up their own experience and how even though they are politically elite they somehow understand. At that point we have rolled our eyes and tune them all out, their message lost in the glare of their own hypocrisy. For the last few decades we have watched the political elite destroy this country, some have been Democrats and others Republicans, somehow, it does not seem to matter. I had written off the federal government; I saw no way for a “real” American to get elected, one that actually understood my issues and problems. I assumed that the ruling of this country would be left to the elite, and I began to ignore both parties and longed for the day when the 2 party system would be gone (editorial note: this is the fundamental reason I support public campaign financing and have written about it before).

In one single instance this week a new dawn awoke and hope has returned. The political commentators (media, politicians, experts) will never understand what happened that fateful Friday morning. What all of us average Americans saw was not a pro-life, pro-gun, get the Hillary vote, galvanize the conservatives’ political pawn. What we saw that day was a family on the biggest stage in America shell shocked they were even standing there. What we saw was a woman that got involved in local politics because she wanted to make a difference and then when she happened to get appointed to a state board she called out the political elite for fraud and forced them out of office. She then ended up as governor and now as a vice-president candidate. What we saw was one tough family because they had experienced what we have experienced. She was on the biggest stage in the world and we all knew that she did not expect to be there or want to be there; she was there because we needed her. She was not educated at Harvard or Yale or Stanford, but simply got a degree from some college in Idaho before starting a family and began the typical American experience. For the first time a presidential ticket candidate has to worry about how to pay the mortgage while their family spends full-time campaigning for the White House. For the first time the American dream became a reality, a non ivy league educated, middle-class person wondering how they would pay for retirement could finally end up as President. As I stated, my wife did her first google search for a politician and it was not Barack Obama, it was for Sarah Palin.

The political elites will have a field day. They will make all sorts of claims about experience and background, but with every word they dig their own grave and prove my point (they already have). I have never believed that the battle was between conservative and liberal, democrat and republican, that has all been a farce by the political elite to divert the real conversation. The true battle in our country is between the ruling political elite and the average citizen. For the first time since I could vote I now have a candidate that understands what I really want; not because they know what words I want to hear, but because they have lived what I have lived. In a day when there are no political hero’s, one sprang upon the scene. The party bosses, media, political consultants and other political elites will never understand what just happened, but that is OK because I do.

g.h. kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 31, 2008, 7:54 pm

Well said.  While I can’t say I agree with a number of her beliefs, you know she believes them sincerely.  It will be very very interesting to have an authentic American to measure the rest against.

I truly enjoy the pundits and the opponents attacking her lack of experience.  Wasn’t it just last week that they were telling us that Mr. Obama made up for his shortage of experience with insight and character?

Well, now we’ll see some character! Huxley told us that experience isn’t what happens to a person; it’s what a person does with what happens to them.

And the Honorable Oliver Wendell Holmes explained that, “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a lifetime’s experience.”

What is it they teach on Harvard Square, or what could you possibly learn at those Georgetown cocktail parties, that would ever trump life on the frontier, making your living from the sea, and watching over your kids with a rifle leaning next to the backdoor?

“A person is wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.”

Nobody needed to teach this woman that Ted Stevens and his son Ben, Don Young and the Republican insiders in Alaska weren’t straight.  And she wasn’t worried about her career when she took ‘em on.

No, I sure don’t agree with her on a lot of things, but what a refreshing figure to disagree with.


Tip Johnson  //  Mon, Sep 01, 2008, 2:48 am

Huh?  I don’t get it!

;-)


Scott Wicklund  //  Mon, Sep 01, 2008, 8:00 am

Tip, This is a “dog whistle” message to the extreme social conservatives.  They can do a google to confirm that Sarah Palin would use government power to prevent all abortions (no exceptions for rape & incest,) to require the teaching of “creationism” in public schools, would let you keep your guns, and believes that global warming is not the result of human activity but rather is just God’s will.
The fluff about the “political elite” and the rest is just some gloss on the core message.
A true social conservative knows that knowledge and experience are not as important as the litmus issues they support.  The intent is to get this message out without the rest of the reality based folks hearing it. 
The social conservative “values” trump all rational and traditional considerations when it comes to government.  This decision by John McCain does show how desperate he is to win this election.  He did not have time to vet Sarah Palin’s actual public service in Wasilla and her 18 months as Governor that is becoming obvious.  She does have “baggage” and I don’t mean her five kids!


Doug Karlberg  //  Tue, Sep 02, 2008, 1:53 pm

I smell fear in the Democratic Party.

We have a great race now.

This is good for us, no matter who you like in the race. Competition brings out excellence.

As America face many challenges in this 21st century, and many now realize that our competition, worldwide has also gotten better, and we will have to compete harder.

How can we possibly accomplish great things when we do not fundamentally trust our government?

Paralysis and partisan backstabbing are the norm. Citizens are not voting in droves.

This is democracy?

Major problems are not solved by government, while this endless argument continues.

We can do better. Sarah Palin can help, even if not elected. The power in Washington DC hates both McCain and Palin and what they represent.

Elected officials from both parties hate these two.

I like that.

Both McCain and Palin represent not simply “Change”, but explicitly “Change” in how our government functions. Both have good records of both reaching across the aisle, chastising their own party, and even, God forbid voting against their own party.

Proof positive that they are people of their word. If your word can’t be trusted, then why listen to the political promises?

Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin all share a common characteristic, none of them can change Roe versus Wade. Even Supreme Court picks are not a certain method of changing the abortion law, especially with a Democratic Congress.

Frankly, I don’t agree with Palin on abortion, but I do respect her position.

The argument that you are backing the perfect candidate, is the highest form of idiocy. There are no perfect candidates. All are compromises.

There are legitimate differences though.

Here are two that I believe are very important:

One, Only Sarah Palin has executive experience. She has managed a $10 BILLION dollar budget, and 24,000 employees.

This is more than the other fellas have in their lifetimes, put together.

Second, I am confident that Sarah Palin will bring the views of a mother of five into the White House…

... and that is a good thing, and about time.

~


Scott Wicklund  //  Tue, Sep 02, 2008, 7:33 pm

You have to keep a sense of humor here.  I found this article which helps put John McCain’s choice in perspective:
+ Link
I strongly recommend you read and enjoy the whole comparison which is dead spot on the mark.
Where did you get your talking points?


Doug Karlberg  //  Tue, Sep 02, 2008, 9:04 pm

Scott,

I’ll let your recommendation for a serious, impartial website named “horsesass.com”, speak for itself(and you).

The “Horsesass” column makes the argument that Alaska is hardly even a State, and that picking a candidate from a larger state, like Washington State is some how a better pick.

I disagree. The size of a persons character, judgement, and natural ability are of more importance to my selection.

Using the size of a population to determine the qualifications of a candidate, would have disqualified many great Presidents. Lincoln and Washington to name two.

Which leads me to my second point, which neither Washington nor Lincoln had any foreign affair experience, nor national experience.

Both had great natural intellect, judgement, and character.

Both were natural leaders.

I am explicitly not saying that Palin is a Washington or Linclon, but simply pointing our the characteristics that were critically important in our great Presidents.

Palin has these qualities. I have fished in Alaska for 35 years, and I can tell you that what she did taking on the corruption in her own party first and foremost, also took great personal courage.

Palin is an inspiring public servant in a mold that we do not often see any more.

As I pointed out previously, you don’t have to agree or vote for her, but if you look at her record with an open mind, I think that you will see something in her performance to admire and respect.

Others do, which is why when she gives her speech at the convention, she may for the first time in history have more people tuning into her speech than McCain’s.

In some ways her story is one of inspiration to young women, as to what they can do and accomplish as a public servant.

She is inspiring. We need some inspiration from our elected leaders, rather than the self-serving crooks that so often emerge from both parties.


By the way, I get my talking points from no one, except myself.

~


Scott Wicklund  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 8:33 am

Sarah Palin’s image as a reformer is a little tarnished…  She has taken VECO money too, and was a director of Ted Steven’s 527.  She supported the earmark for the bridge to nowhere before she said she was against it.  She sought to use her powers to fire anyone who would not do what she wanted, even for personal purposes (troopergate.)

John McCain now has a team of opperatives in Alaska seeking to lockdown the flow of information.

+ Link

Here is a good article about Sarah and the comments include some from local Wasila residents about her governance…

+ Link

Remember if the facts don’t fit your faith, just attack the sources!


Scott Wicklund  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 8:42 am

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Soldiers in Iraq on a mission from God?


Scott Wicklund  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 8:46 am

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Hell fire and damnation!  Sarah Palin on foreign policy.  (video clip)


Doug Karlberg  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 11:46 am

There are no perfect candidates.

~


Craig Mayberry  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 12:17 pm

Scott,

Do you really want to get into a debate on the baggage of Sarah Palin versus Obama, McCain, Kerry, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Gore, Dukakis, or any other presidential or vice-presidential candidate in the last 3 decades. 

I greatly appreciate the sudden resolve to have the perfect candidate but most of us normal people understand that no one is perfect and frankly we will take Palin’s baggage over the baggage of Obama, McCain, Kerry, Clinton, Bush, Gore, Dukakis, etc.


Scott Wicklund  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 12:30 pm

Craig, I do hope Sarah stays on John McCain’s ticket.  While she does appeal to a narrow focused group, I do not think the majority will choose to have her a heartbeat away from the Presidency.  No she is not perfect, but there are alternatives which are far more reasonable.  Please update your Google search and add a few links to spice up your post.  There is now much more information to review, and the best is coming from Alaska where her record is well known.  To say the least, your candidates (McCain & Palin) have been misrepresented in your post in view of the historical record and the lobbyists who run their campaign.
It is now obvious that it will take a lot of lipstick to cover the extreme views of Sarah Palin….


Scott Wicklund  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 2:42 pm

+ Link

Alaska, with its oil wealth, spends far more per capita than the rest of the Nation.  But Governing Magazine ranks Palin’s performance with a “C” far below Washington States Christine Gregoire….  Read the whole article for a good breakdown.  After all, no candidate is perfect….


Craig Mayberry  //  Wed, Sep 03, 2008, 4:40 pm

Scott,

I think you missed the point of my original post.  I did not say anything about qualifications or whether see would be a good vice-president.  There will be discussion and the appropriate vetting process and everyone will decide for themselves.  The point I was making is there are a lot of people in this country that are tired of being given a choice between four elite politicians (either educational elite or financial elite) for President/VP.  The rally cry behind Sarah is not because she is pro-life/pro-gun, the rally cry is because she is not an elite washington insider that went to an ivy league school and is a multi-millionaire who wanted to become president since they were in college.  Name one other president or vice-presidential candidate in the last 30 years that was not any of the above.

I appreciate the spirited debate on who has screwed things up more, republicans or democrats.  Personally, I am not sure it matters much when less than 33% have a favorable view of the president and even a lower percentage have a favorable view of Congress (democrat controlled).  It seems to be a better conversation if we talk about what the elite have done to damage this country and how do ordinary citizen now undue the damage already done.


Scott Wicklund  //  Thu, Sep 04, 2008, 9:30 am

+ Link

Sarah Pallin and Ted Stevens: video evidence of the so-called “anti-elitist reformer’s” involvement in pay for play.
I did not see anything I liked last night.  She seems to be a hateful person, along with the rest of the white base especially Giuliani. The extremes have taken over, and offer nothing more in their vision than more of the same policies of the last eight years.  To say that this person deserves serious consideration to lead our Nation is a joke.


Scott Wicklund  //  Thu, Sep 04, 2008, 9:36 am

+ Link

More on Sarah Palin stretch on her role in combating earmarks from Anchorage Daily News…


Scott Wicklund  //  Fri, Sep 05, 2008, 7:49 am

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Here is how one Wasilla resident views Craig’s VP wannabee….  Not a worthy choice in my book.


Scott Wicklund  //  Fri, Sep 05, 2008, 2:07 pm

+ Link

Looks like Todd Palin’s former business partner has just filed an emergency motion to seal his divorce records!  Traffic to the Alaska records website has overwhelmed the server….

“Elitism” as a concern seems really more like racism, especially when Lynn Westmoreland jumps in talking about the “uppity elitist” Obamas.  Perhaps some anti-intellectualism in there too.  What is wrong with a good education?  When the Bushies are under indictment they don’t hire the Bob Jones Law School god squad, they hire the best.  Only us taxpayers are getting stuck with the Monica Goodlings…


Scott Wicklund  //  Fri, Sep 05, 2008, 11:48 pm

+ Link

Sarah the free spending earmark beauty queen…You want to talk about average folks and promote McCain and Pallin?  McC can’t tell us how many homes he owns and Pallin can’t tell the truth.  Look at that bar graph!


Scott Wicklund  //  Sat, Sep 06, 2008, 9:20 pm

+ Link

Here is another Alaskan view of Sarah Palin.  IMHO she is clearly not qualified by any conventional measure for a position as VP.  The only reason to support her would be to promote an ultra-conservative extreme social agenda by any means necessary.  She will be kept under wraps in an attempt to prevent the real story from coming out.  If she cannot stand up to questions from Larry King, how could she face Vladimer Putin?

The bogus “elitist” label is just a not too clever form of anti-intellectualism and racism to promote that extreme social agenda…


Scott Wicklund  //  Sun, Sep 14, 2008, 4:04 pm

Hey Craig:  Do the facts as they have been dug out still fit your little narrative talking points?  I will say here and now that both John McCain and Sarah Palin are lying posers not worthy of the high offices they seek.  I hope you also have the intelligence to see you have been had!


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Sun, Aug 31, 2008, 6:44 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

{Please read this post in the spirit it is intended, somewhat satirical and a little exaggerated at times to make a point often missed in today’s political climate.}

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