When Sen. John McCain picked Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate a few months ago, he intended to capture disgruntled Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters’ votes by appealing to their sense of feminism. Instead, Palin publicly undermined his campaign and his advisors.
Now the election is over and Palin is headed back to Alaska, for now. She is rumored to be considering running for the White House in 2012 and is considered to be a top contender to fill the lack of leadership in the Republican Party.
If she is nominated for the presidency in 2012 or becomes the leader of the Republican Party, she could ruin its future.
Independent voters and moderate Republicans alike shy away from Palin for a number of reasons. For one, she is an inexperienced politician and leader. Voters who thought President-Elect Barack Obama’s lack of experience was scary surely cannot bring themselves to vote for someone whose resume centerpieces are a few years as governor of the third least-populated state in the union and mayor of a city of ten thousand.
Another reason Palin is unfit to lead is her stout preference of absolute secrecy. Even on the campaign trail, a time when most politicians are eager to use the mass media to get their messages across, she stiffed reporters and gave only a few interviews.
After watching her interview with Katie Couric, it is easy to see why. Secrecy on the campaign trail is sure to transform into secrecy in office, and the American people are tired of administrations that refuse to trust them and leave them out in the cold.
Transparency is a fundamental aspect of a democracy. Without it, the media are unable to function as a watchdog of the government, and the American people are unable to hold it accountable.
Palin’s dedication to mud-slinging is another reason why she is unfit for high office. It is a well-known fact that the bottom of the ticket is used as an attack dog and makes negative accusations against the other party that the top of the ticket cannot be seen making. But Palin took this role to a new low.
By accusing Obama of “paling around with terrorists” and being a radical she appealed to people’s very base emotion – fear. She represents the kind of dirty politics that makes independents cringe and polarizes America.
In addition to her nasty campaigning, her incompetence also disqualifies her from a position of leadership. Among her many slip-ups during the campaign trail was an interview before McCain picked her, when she admitted she did not know what the vice president does. Months later she would claim she was joking.
Astonishingly, even Fox News reported that Palin was under the impression that Africa was a country.
She also went so far as to claim that being in close proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience. The lack of such critical knowledge in a candidate is inexcusable.
The Republican Party is in a tough spot right now and needs a leader to step up, but Palin can’t fill that role. Republicans can do better and the American people deserve better.
Michael Kittleson is a freshman AEP major from Byron. He is a Scout staff reporter.
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