Where’s a Good Mormon When You Need One?

Well, the teams are set and here we go down the home stretch into the election. By now I almost always have my choice made. That lets me sit back and enjoy the show. This year is different. Like a wise sage once said, “I find neither of these tickets very exciting”. (That’s a slight paraphrase) Make no mistake, this will be an historic election. We will have either our first black President or our first woman vice-president. Both of them are long past due. My problem is that I have just enough issues with both tickets that either way I’ll be making a compromise that won’t go down well. The worst of the compromises will be if I end up voting for a ticket that includes Sarah Palin.

By all accounts, Sarah Palin is a good person. She appears to have strong ethics and knows how to stand her ground when faced with opposition. But, she wasn’t the best vice-presidential choice for John McCain. She MAY have been the best choice to “balance” his ticket. But therein lies the rub. Balancing the ticket almost never works.

The American electorate is notorious for ignoring who’s in the second seat, unless that person is a really bad choice. Therefore, the golden rule in politics, at least since Thomas Eagleton, has been to pick a running mate that won’t cause any damage. Sarah Palin certainly fits that description.

She also has a shot at garnering some of the disaffected “Hillary” supporters from the Democrats. She’ll go a long way towards battling the argument that the Republican ticket is out of touch with the middle class. Based on her very strong conservative positions on abortion, gay and lesbian rights, gun laws, creationism, animal protection, global warming and ANWR drilling, she will probably pull some of the disaffected right wing of the Republican party back in line. But, that’s not what a vice-presidential candidate should be or do. A vice president is there to become president if the need arises. That’s why the office has no other constitutional duties other than napping in the Senate.

So let’s look at what Sarah Palin doesn’t bring to the table. Despite two years as Alaska’s governor, she has minimal experience running a large government. She has no foreign policy experience at all. Having spent all of her adult life and most of her childhood in remote Alaska, she is out of touch with the realities of life in the forty-eight contiguous states. She doesn’t believe that mankind has ANY impact on global warming, which isn’t surprising given her state’s economic dependence on oil. Finally, and most importantly given the current state of affairs, she has no macro-economic experience other than what she gained in two years running the state of Alaska. Before you give too much credence to those two years, remember that Alaska is forty-seventh in state GDP and forty-ninth in total state revenue. That’s not a ringing endorsement is it?

As I have said before, we have one abiding national problem this election and it’s the economy. Despite the proclamations of our current leader, the economy hasn’t hit bottom and turned around yet. None of the the other urgent problems… Iraq, the energy problem, health care, illegal immigration, Russian resurgence, deteriorating domestic infrastructure, etc, etc, etc… will be properly addressed until the economy is on the mend. That has to be Job One.

John McCain would probably make a decent president, but no one, including himself, thinks that he has the answers to our economic woes. I was hoping that he would show the strength and fortitude to acknowledge this by picking Mitt Romney as his running mate and then giving Romney the mandate to represent the administration on economic issues. Romney has the background and demonstrated experience to accept that role and succeed.

But, McCain took the easy way out and picked a partner who would address some of his demographic weaknesses. I could almost accept that were it not for one reality. That reality being McCain’s age and health history. The last time that someone of McCain’s age was elected President he left office, in all likelihood, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If he takes the oath, John McCain will be almost two years older than Ronald Reagan was when he took office. That and his past history with cancer make it strongly within the realm of possibility that Sarah Palin may someday be our President.

That possibility concerns me. I don’t think that she has the needed experience and it’s unlikely that she will absorb it by osmosis as Vice-President. From a personal standpoint, her positions on abortion for rape and incest, gun rights, and creationism are a little too right wing for my taste. But, those are personal issues. What really concerns me is the potential that she’ll get that call at three AM. I’d be much happier if the person who got that call had at least some foreign policy experience. That puts McCain, Obama and Biden all a few levels above her in my book.

So here I am, two months before the election without a firm idea for whom I’m going to vote. This is uncharted territory for me. Maybe it’s age and I’m reaching a point in life where the old synapses aren’t firing as quickly. Whatever the reason, it’s time to get in gear and make a decision. I just wish that McCain had made it just a little easier by picking Romney. But then, maybe McCain is a big Geena Davis fan. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to a debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. It’s sure to be an entertaining evening, two bowls of popcorn at least.

See Ya


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4 Comments on “Where’s a Good Mormon When You Need One?”

  1. Tom Says:

    I, like you, thought the VP choice might help me get off the fence, but it didn’t. The only thing I see that it definitely did was to take the lack of “experience” off the table, even if the republican talking-heads argue that her experience as governor gives her more experience than being senator gives Obama. If this argument is true then she has more experience than John McCain does.
    The things I have heard about her sounds good, but I’ll wait a while to see what else the vultures (media) can dig up

  2. Steve (AH) Says:

    I am an Obama supporter. I found your post to be very thoughtful. If we all took such dedcisions this seriously, things would be much better.

    Thanks for writing.

  3. Son of Tigerdad Says:

    I flipped a quarter for you and saved you the indecision. It came up heads. That means you get to go vote for McCain.

  4. tigerdad Says:

    How about Mom, did you flip a coin for her too? 🙂

    Hey, wait a minute. Let me see that coin.


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