Dangerous Armor: Governor Sarah Palin. All The Same: McCain Palin, Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain Campaign, McCain For President, And Stupid George Bush.
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is a fact readily acknowledged, that for humans,
President George Bush, Governor Sarah Palin
President George Bush, after all, is most often referred to as stupid George Bush, dumb George Bush and funny George Bush.
Governor Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is widely seen as a smart cookie. A rookie, as well - someone who may know dangerously little, but with lots of savvy, smarts, and charm. Plus she's a mom.
And then Senator John McCain wants to be seen as a maverick who has served his country all his life.
Where's the connection?
Self righteousness. A dangerous armor of self righteousness tied with denial.
How does that fit with Bush? He has been called a "dry drunk", meaning that, though he stopped drinking long ago, he has the characteristics of an alcoholic. A major characteristic is denial, holding on to beliefs, no matter what the evidence.
Denial. No one could forget Bush's insistence on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - despite the total lack of evidence. (The public was fed false claims of evidence.) Over and over came the urgent demand, "We must invade Iraq" - no matter that the evidence was overwhelming that the big danger of terrorism came from Afghanistan.
And along with the denial, was massive self righteousness. Those against him were part of the axis of evil. Countries which refused to blindly follow into the war in Iraq were considered traitors - and French fries were, in the United States, widely renamed freedom fries. As for French kissing, I don't know.
The cost of Bush's self righteousness and denial of evidence is huge: not only the war in Iraq and all it has directly cost, in terms of lives, money, and the reputation of the United States, but also the world - very much including the United States - in massive financial turmoil.
There's so much more to say about Bush and his self righteousness and denial.
But what about Governor Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain, the McCain Palin connection?
Last night, I listened to a debate - Obama vs McCain. Their last big debate. McCain kept making charges about Obama. Palin has made the same charges over and over - usually with a huge grin on her face - first and foremost charges about someone Obama has supposedly associated with.
Obama refuted the charges - names and dates in detail, including names of prominent Republicans who had been associated with the same organizations. This is not the first time Obama has given out this information.
He might as well have been bouncing a rubber ball against a wall.
The information is clearly irrelevant to McCain and Palin. This is a fundamental McCain Palin connection, part of the personality of both of them - self righteous denial. (The alternative is that they are just being dishonest, are lying with awareness.)
I would expect Governor Sarah Palin to be a champion of self righteous denial. She's associated with a church which wants to teach creationism in schools, along with evolution - which must relate to an utterly massive denial of all the evidence of evolution.
If she and McCain have not done the damage of Bush, I'd say it has mainly to do with their having had less scope, less chance. Or their self righteousness may be less damaging. Not everyone could be quite as dangerously self righteous as Bush. However, self righteousness, blocking out reality, is a potentially lethal characteristic.
Denial of reality. Not a good characteristic of anyone, let alone a president of a powerful nation.
I come once more to George Bush's policies, especially his invasion of Iraq.
I also think back to the McCarthy era in the United States, when thousands of Hollywood careers were destroyed as the nation was gripped by the delusion that Commies, Reds, lurked in every corner, ready to take over the United States. A delusion is a denial of reality. Two people were executed.
I think of Hitler, who denied the humanity of the Jews, and the Hutu leaders of Rwanda, who denied the humanity of the Tutsis. Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews in World War II. Slaughter of almost 1,000,000 Tutsis in Rwanda just over a decade ago.
Then, what I reapeatledly hear about suicide bombers is that they are out of touch with reality, that they are convinced of self righteous beliefs - such as, that their deaths will give them instant access to heaven.
More denial of reality. Racism is based on denial - denial of the full humanity of the people one is prejudiced again. People against full rights for people of all races, of women, of gays and lesbians are all in denial - in denial of the full humanity of all these people. Over and over again, such denial is hugely dangerous.
I'm back to: the denials of Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin may look minor. Still, I wouldn't want to give them a chance to show all the denial they're capable of, given the opportunity.
That brings me to the American voters.
I don't expect President George Bush, Senator Sarah Palin or Senator John McCain to become aware of their self righteousness and denial. My expectation? Their walls are too high and thick.
And I know that many Americans have walls as thick as - or even thicker than - those of Bush, Palin and McCain. After all, many Americans voted for and still support Bush.
And this morning I heard that many Americans believed McCain had done well in last night's debate. (!!!)
Here's what I saw. Clear forceful arguments from Obama. Point by point, well thought out, well backed. And from McCain there was a pepper-spray of points going all over the place, often intending to discredit Obama rather than to build any points. My partner and I, watching the debate, were astounded at the distance between the two candidates, and at how poorly McCain stacked up against Obama. Who would vote for McCain, given the alternative?
The answer. Lots of Americans. The self righteousness and the denial of McCain Palin and Bush is obviously a characteristic shared with many Americans. So they mirror each other well.
My hope: that the self righteousness and denial of McCain Palin and Bush is appealing to ever fewer Americans.
I want to end on one of the huge dangers of self righteousness and denial. A sense of righteousness means the person can speak with utter deep-seated conviction. Palin's self righteousness gives her - as it gives Bush and McCain - the power of conviction.
Obama said, in the debate yesterday evening, that Palin is nice. I would add that hell is paved with good intentions.
No one is more dangerous than someone utterly convinced of something disconnected from reality. That person is armed and dangerous - armed with self righteousness.
I'm not against having strong convictions. The danger comes when information is shut out, when logic is thrown away. One needs conviction based on evidence, rather than in denial of evidence.
My hope: that Americans will vote for the candidate who seems far more in touch with reality.
That is not either McCain or Palin.
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THE IDEA EMPORIUM on
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN, ARMED AND DANGEROUS;
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT, ARMED AND DANGEROUS;
STUPID GEORGE BUSH, GEORGE BUSH FUNNY, DUMB GEORGE BUSH, ARMED AND DANGEROUS.
* COMMENTARY * CONTROVERSY * THEORY * THEORIZING on
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN, MACCAIN PALIN, MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT - DANGEROUS DENIAL.
UNDERSTANDINGS * COMPLEXITIES * UNCERTAINTIES * VIEWPOINTS * OPINION on
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN and her DANGEROUS SELF RIGHEOUSNESS;
STUPID GEORGE BUSH and his DEVASTATING SELF RIGHTEIOUSNESS;
THE MCCAN PALIN CONNECTION of SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS;
THE MCCAIN FOR PRESDIENT WEAKNESS OF INGRAINED SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
THOUGHT-PROVOKING IDEAS * STIMULATING THEORIZING - IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS on
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN, THE MCCAIN PALIN BUSH CONNECTION.
Dangerous Armor: Governor Sarah Palin.