Lunacy Abroad In The Land

10 09 2008

Just when we thought things could not get worse – what with the catastrophic Bush years, the economic melt-down, the building confrontation with Russia and the price of gas, along comes the pit bull with lipstick. What a choice analogy that is! The pit bull- a stubborn, quarrelsome, violence-prone breed known for it’s stupidity and unpredictability – quite as likely to attack the postman or a child in the back yard as a real threat. That’s our Sarah all right. That a person as devoid of credentials could possibly be catapulted into a situation where she is, in the famous phrase, “a heartbeat away for the presidency” (in the case of the very senior McCain, not an unlikely development) is simply astonishing unless one has a deep understanding of the abysmal ignorance and anti-intellectualism that pervades the vast throng of the citizens of this country. It is remarkable that, in a country where almost everyone wants their kids to go to college and which in fact has the best system of higher education in the world, the prevailing sentiment is one of rejection of learning, of genuine scholarship in favor of simplistic dogma. Of course, there are colleges and there are colleges. On the one hand, we have Princeton, Harvard, MIT, the great state universities, the superb small colleges such as our own College of New Jersey – and then we have the hundreds of jumped up technical schools, self-appointed “universities” that are in fact mere trade schools and the plethora of troglodyte religious colleges such as the absurd Bob Jones “University” or Falwell’s Liberty University. It’s a mixed bag indeed. A great many graduates are provided with the job skills needed to make a living but only a relative handful actually get an education. This being the case, we should not be surprised at Sarah Palin’s overnight rocket ride to celebrity status. That she is an ardent suporter of Creationism and hence must be assumed to believe in “Bishop Usher’s Generations” – that the world is a bit more than 6,000 years old and God created the fossils just to screw around with our heads resonates well with a public that finds the Sunday comics an intellectual challenge and can not absorb information that requires more than one sound byte on Fox News. The contradictions between the Palin Presentation being foisted by the Republican party, and the facts of Palin’s career evidently require too much thought and analysis to prevent the possibility of a soccer mom presidency. Now, of course we all love soccer moms – backbone of the nation and all that – but I hope to be forgiven for failing to see how shopping at Walmart and driving the kids to practice qualifies one for the most challenging position in the Western world. Wouldn’t a little education be nice? Of course, Mrs. Palin went to college – five of them in six years. That indicates either a real quest for knowledge OR an utter failure to meet minimum standards – you decide.

Then there is her Fahrenheit 451 predilection. Among her first steps as mayor of what Karl Rove referred to as “the second biggest city in Alaska” (population 9,000 – wow! what a metropolis) was to try to ban books in the library. We’d love to know what books. Specious lists have been circulating on the internet but as yet no authoritative list has been made public. Of course, we can assume Harry Potter figured prominently – just a guess of course, but one I’m confident about. Given the chance, I’m sure Sarah could really go to town on The Library of Congress.

Sarah opposes sex education – the lack of which is clearly evident in her own family. Her press release announcing her young daughter’s unwed pregnancy was immediately followed by her campaign’s harsh criticism of the press for paying attention to it.

The Church Sarah belongs to – a fundamentalist, evangelical sect several times declared heretical by the natonal organization of The Assembly of God (and trust me, when you are too loony for The Assembly of God, you are waaaay out there) believes the Virgin Mary to be “Diana the Queen of Heaven and in fact to be the chief demon corrupting the world, has conducted expeditions to to plant prayer flags on Mt. Everest in order to create some sort of protective shield against the evil machinations of demon Mary, teaches that Christianity (their brand) must take over the world by force and actively supports “ex-gay therapy.” And that is but a sample of their documented insanity. Can we pause here a moment to note a certain inconsistency in the major media? Obama’s former pastor makes a few remarks which, taken out of context, seem questionable and there is a media firestorm about it. Palin’s outfit condemns the entire Catholic Church as devil worshipers and argues for a world-wide suppression by force of all other belief systems and what do we hear about it? Barely a word. none of this is classified. Not only has the alternative media been reporting it in detail, (see www.alternet.org/story/97939/ ) any reporter can ask the church leaders themselves. They don’t make a secret of it. As I write this, they are promoting one of their ex-gay outreach programs.

So, we are talking about a vice presidential candidate who rejects science and scholarship, wants to ban books, thinks we should eliminate all religions but hers from the planet, believes demons are running the world and wants to convert gays by having them come to Jesus. BUT, she’s a soccer mom and that trumps everything else in the minds of a large number of our fellow citizens. I shall retire to Bedlam!

Then we have the ultimate lunacy of the endorsement of McCain – Palin by the Log Cabin Republicans – largely, according to James Kirchick’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal of Sept. 9, because Gays were not overtly bashed at this year’s Republican convention, as we certainly were at the previous one. Of course, the logic of being a gay Republican is hard to fathom – just as being a black member of the KKK or a Jewish member of the NAZIs would be, to give an extreme example. Are they simply brainless fools who can’t tell the buttered side of their bread without a guide book? Are they mostly rich people who put their financial well being ahead of the liberation of their community? There really aren’t any other choices – they’re either crazy or venal. They might be both. But then, there are a lot of ignorant and/or crazy people in this country as the rise of Sarah Palin so graphically demonstrates

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2 responses

10 09 2008
Mary

As always Toby, your clear thinking and writing are excellent

1 10 2008
Anthony

There is logic in being an African American, gay, Christian republican.

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