When John McCain picked Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to be his vice-presidential running mate, I thought he had lost it. It was obviously a desperate attempt to reinvigorate his floundering campaign. Some compared it to a Hail Mary pass in football. The play almost never works, but when it does, it could be a game changer.
Whether or not McCain’s Hail Mary will work still remains to be seen. It has certainly reenergized the Republican base of evangelical Christians, who were always lukewarm to McCain himself. But if he’s hoping to win over women voters who backed Clinton, the ploy may backfire. Clinton supporters are smart enough to see through it.
Regardless of the reasons he picked Palin, the possibility that McCain’s campaign might actually have a shot at victory has me worried. Although vice-presidents typically hold very little power of their own, they at least have the ear of the president. And if something happened to McCain while serving, Palin would actually become the president. That should be enough to make anyone nervous.
This woman is spooky. She scares me half to death, not because she’s a bulldog or because she speaks her mind or because she may be a maverick. Those things I can deal with. It’s her ideology that scares me.
George W. Bush has been the worst president in our history, and that’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of professional historians who know all about American history. But Palin might just be farther to the right than he is. Consider some of the things she has said just since she has been Governor of Alaska.
She told ministry students from a church school that troops were sent to Iraq “on a task that is from God.”
And that’s not all. She claims to be doing God’s will in governing Alaska, particularly in building a natural gas pipeline. “God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said.
In talking about building roads and buying new police cars, she invoked the will of God and told people it couldn’t happen unless they prayed for it. “But really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God,” Palin said.
Now, obviously, these words and her sentiment might please the bible thumpers. But they should frighten everyone else, including mainstream Christians. Here we have a woman who wants to be a heartbeat away from an aging president and who believes that her policy decisions on everything from the economy to energy and foreign policy have been mandated by God.
Palin told the ministry students that she would work to implement God’s will from the governor’s office. And God’s will was to build gas pipelines and to send young Americans to fight the war in Iraq. And she called on all Alaskans to pray for God’s will to be implemented. “That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan,” she said.
That brings forth an obvious question. How does she know what God’s will is? And if it really is God’s will, why do we have to pray for it to be implemented? We are in Iraq because of Bush’s perception of what God’s will is. Now Palin wants to carry on God’s will at the side of McCain for the next four years.
Not since the Divine Right of kings back in the Middle Ages has a leader given over governance of a country to his narrow view of what God wants. Bush has done that, and Palin wants to continue his legacy, bringing our country even closer to a theocracy.
Never mind the Constitution or separation of church and state or freedom of religion. Never mind that we are supposed to have freedom of choice in this country. We don’t now and really never did, but we have far less freedom of choice under Bush than we did under previous presidents and we will have even less with McCain and Palin.
Personal freedom is very important to me. We, as Americans, ought to have the private right to do whatever we want, as long as it does not infringe upon others’ rights to do the same thing. But with Bush, and with McCain and Palin, we will have the personal freedoms only to do what they believe is God’s will. Seems we may be coming full circle to the days when the king knew best, because he obtained that knowledge from the Almighty.
May God help us.