Entries from September 2008 ↓

Sarah Palin feels like a rip off

I haven’t posted in weeks, and it feels insane to try tonight, but I need to get some stuff out.  The new book is at the printer’s and I lead worship one more time this fall after a 13-week series of sermons in four different churches this summer.  After Sept. 14, I look forward to heading back to Charleston to campaign for Linda Ketner and hope anybody who wanders by here will look at LindaKetner.com.

Sarah Palin’s nomination feels like a rip off, but there is a part of me that suspects everything in politics is a rip off.  I’ve been around some deeply cynical people lately and some of it has rubbed off.  For those of you who know me and love me, and I can’t imagine why anybody else would read this blog, you know for me to feel cynical is a huge deal.  I am one of the last of the true believers.  I mean, we have had the Republicans literally steal the last two elections, and how could they not pull out all the stops to steal this one, too?  And yes, the Democrats stole the 1960 election, so maybe all’s fair in . . .

But my cynicism runs far deeper and wider than that.  I work in advertising.  Advertising is a rip off.  We live in a culture where the well-advertised lie is more commercially viable than the unadvertised truth. Commercial viability, the ability to make a profit, corporate stock values, call it what you will, there is a whole veneer of value that we paint onto products and services that have nothing to do with meeting needs. We are in the business of creating the perception of need.  Prescription drugs are now available to treat diseases which didn’t exist 20 years ago.

We spend more money in this country to treat restless leg syndrome than we spend to treat AIDS in Africa. We probably spend more money to advertise the drugs that treat restless leg syndrome than we do to treat AIDS in Africa.  How is this possible?  People dying in Africa are simply not part of our lives.  

But back to Sarah Palin.  She is dynamic with her toothy smile and biting wit.  She is also a shameless liar who claims to have turned down pork from Washington while, in fact, spending serious money to hire Washington lobbyists to funnel pork to her city.  She is a babe who is as good-looking as McCain’s wife and the woman McCain’s staff had to insist he spend less time with, a story the New York Times reported thoroughly, never claiming a sexual relationship, but nonetheless got a scolding for implying a sexual relationship.   This is not to say good looking women shouldn’t lead the country or that a national leader should be judged solely on the basis of his libido, but Sarah Palin feels like a bit much, and of course, she embodies a value system I reject because I don’t believe the Republican party line.  I am deeply skeptical of the Democratic party line, but I reject the Republican way categorically.  I might be dubious of the Democrats’ ability to do anything meaningful with the White House, but keeping Republicans off the Supreme Court is reason enough to vote for Obama, even I didn’t believe he’s a fantastic motivator and organizer.  I really believe he’s going to be a great president, and Linda Ketner will be a great ally in Congress.

When either of these predictions proves false, I promise to confess here.