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Palin’s candidacy forces a re-evaluation of the dream that anyone can be President

LatinaLista — With only a few hours till the vice presidential debate, Sarah Palin is probably nervous. She has good reason to be. With every interview that she’s done, with the possible exception of one with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo where she talks about energy issues, she has come across as being, well, clueless.

Of course an argument in her defense, when talking about the Couric interviews, is — can anyone name a Supreme Court decision besides Roe v Wade when blindsided during a recorded television interview? Maybe not, but anyone should be able to name at least one periodical. Not even the hometown newspaper got a nod.
If Palin does well tonight, and I sincerely hope she does, she may redeem herself in her critics’ eyes but it won’t mean that she’s any more suited than last week to assume the second highest position in the country.
As First Lady Laura Bush said, Palin’s a “quick study” but it’s one thing to cram for an exam, it’s another to actually comprehend what’s learned.

By her own admission, in the now infamous Couric interviews, and I would cite other interviews if she had given them, Palin confesses that she’s an “average Joe” who has had to work all her life, sometimes two jobs at a time, who only last year got a passport.
Though it’s pure conjecture on my part, I’m thinking the only reason she got a passport was because now it’s needed to travel to Canada. Since Alaska shares its border with Canada, any kind of road trip is going to take you through Alaska’s Arctic neighbor.
While Palin shows enough spunk to fear her analogy of a pit bull with lipstick, it’s not enough to compensate for her lack of knowledge in other areas. Yet, throughout all her interviews and her speeches, there is one area that she is undeniably an expert in — Alaska.
In most of her interviews, it’s curious as to how she always falls back invoking her home state, something she knows intimately but gives the impression that is all she knows about. She bristles when she perceives people think Alaska is in its own corner of the world, but the truth is — it is.

Palin and her family return every year to fish Bristol Bay.
(Source: Alaska Magazine)

The average lifestyle of Alaskans, who are probably much healthier than the rest of us in the continental U.S., revolves around the outdoors. No secret that Palin is an avid hunter. Yet, hunting and fishing are not just hobbies for the majority of Alaskans or recreational pursuits, they are a way to supplement livelihoods, diets and survive an environment that is beautiful but still a frontier in many ways.
That lifestyle is not the norm for the continental 48 states nor within the realm of experience for the majority of Americans. Though it’s ridiculous to say that lifestyle is a disqualifier for national political office, it does explain a certain disconnect, more than the average feeling, that Alaskans may feel towards the lower 48 and Washington in particular.
A day at the United Nations meeting foreign dignitaries isn’t going to suffice for a lifetime of blissful ignorance of foreign rulers/countries/policies or the ignorance of Supreme Court decisions, let alone naming at least one Supreme Court Justice.
While Palin’s performance in the interviews has been painful to watch, it underscores that we now live in a world where it’s no longer enough just to aspire to the highest office in the nation. There has to be specific preparation, education, exposure to what the world looks like far outside our borders, as well as, within them.
Leading a nation that is as multiculturally diverse as the United States means that there is no “average American” either. Yet, there is still that common dream that unites us all — that we can be anything we want to be because our nation affords us the opportunity to fulfill that goal. It’s just up to us to make sure we’re prepared when that dream arrives.

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  • laura
    October 3, 2008 at 6:43 am

    Dear Marisa, I think the saying that in the United States, anyone could be president, never meant that you could just pick “the average Joe” (Sarah Palin’s favorite description of herself) off the street and put them in the Oval Office. I think it always meant that in the US, every child has the opportunity to educate themselves and to rise and grow in the world to the point that they were qualified to be president.
    Under the past 28 years of essentially Republican rule, that opportunity has been lost for many or most Americans, as education has slipped out of financial reach for middle class families, as elementary schools have become more and more underfunded, while government was placed into service for the richest of the rich.
    Sarah Palin and John McCain deny these facts, while claiming that utter ignorance is not a disqualification for the highest office in the country.
    Palin is like George W. Bush – capable of folksy appeal while ignorant and incurious of the world. We know where that folksy appeal landed us over the past eight years. I take strong issue with her saying she doesn’t know anything because she had to work all her life. Some of the most knowledgeable and intelligent people I know worked all their lives. They worked and learned about politics, history, and geography.
    In fact I would bet that there are many much more knowledgeable and better informed residents of Alaska than Sarah Palin. I don’t think it’s where you live (or whether you hunt for meat) – I think it’s whether you want to find out about the world, about how other people think and live, and about why we are in the shape we are in today. Sarah Palin never wanted to find out any of those things, very obviously. That’s why she doesn’t know them now.
    That is why her nomination by John McCain was, as you previously said, such a cynical insult to American women.

  • Irma
    October 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I didnt take the nomination of Sarah Palin as an insult. I viewed it as kow-towing to the religious right. They care more about fetuses than they do about people who are walking around , working etc.
    Sarah Palin is not a dunce. She apparently has a very good memory, to be able to
    memorize as much as she apparently did for the debate last night. She definitely is not ready for prime time – but is she stupid? NO. Should she be the next vice president? NO.
    Tell you what I realized last night.
    The other person on the stage SHOULD
    be the next president. Oh well, as least
    the Democrats will win even if the wrong person is at the top of the ticket.

    October 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Well, maybe you would prefer someone with a background and education like this person.
    Barack Obama’s Stealth Socialism
    Posted 7/28/2008
    Election ’08: Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called “economic justice.” He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code — socialist code.
    This is the first of a multi-part IBD Series: The Audacity Of Socialism.
    During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. “I’ve been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served,” he said at the group’s 99th annual convention in Cincinnati.
    And as president, “we’ll ensure that economic justice is served,” he asserted. “That’s what this election is about.” Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn’t have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.
    It’s the rest of the public that remains in the dark, which is why we’re launching this special educational series.
    “Economic justice” simply means
    punishing the successful and
    redistributing their wealth
    by government fiat.
    It’s a euphemism for socialism.
    In the past, such rhetoric was just that — rhetoric. But Obama’s positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.
    In his latest memoir he shares that he’d like to “recast” the welfare net that FDR and LBJ cast while rolling back what he derisively calls the “winner-take-all” market economy that Ronald Reagan reignited (with record gains in living standards for all).
    Obama also talks about “restoring fairness to the economy,” code for soaking the “rich” — a segment of society he fails to understand that includes mom-and-pop businesses filing individual tax returns.
    It’s clear from a close reading of his two books that he’s a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.
    Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.
    Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He’s disguising the wealth transfers as “investments” — “to make America more competitive,” he says, or “that give us a fighting chance,” whatever that means.
    Among his proposed “investments”:
    “Universal,” “guaranteed” health care.
    “Free” college tuition.
    “Universal national service” (a la Havana).
    “Universal 401(k)s” (in which the government would match contributions made by “low- and moderate-income families”).
    “Free” job training (even for criminals).
    “Wage insurance” (to supplement dislocated union workers’ old income levels).
    “Free” child care and “universal” preschool.
    More subsidized public housing.
    A fatter earned income tax credit for “working poor.”
    And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.
    His new New Deal also guarantees a “living wage,” with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and “fair trade” and “fair labor practices,” with breaks for “patriot employers” who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for “nonpatriot” companies that don’t.
    That’s just for starters — first-term stuff.
    Obama doesn’t stop with socialized health care. He wants to socialize your entire human resources department — from payrolls to pensions. His social-microengineering even extends to mandating all employers provide seven paid sick days per year to salary and hourly workers alike.
    You can see why Obama was ranked, hands-down, the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal. Some, including colleague and presidential challenger John McCain, think he’s the most liberal member in Congress.
    But could he really be “more left,” as McCain recently remarked, than self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (for whom Obama has openly campaigned, even making a special trip to Vermont to rally voters)?
    Obama’s voting record, going back to his days in the Illinois statehouse, says yes. His career path — and those who guided it — leads to the same unsettling conclusion.
    The seeds of his far-left ideology
    were planted in his formative years
    as a teenager in Hawaii —
    and they were far more radical
    than any biography or profile
    in the media has portrayed.
    A careful reading of Obama’s first memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18 — a man he cryptically refers to as “Frank” — was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his “subversive,” “un-American activities.”
    As Obama was preparing to head off to college, he sat at Davis’ feet in his Waikiki bungalow for nightly bull sessions. Davis plied his impressionable guest with liberal doses of whiskey and advice, including: Never trust the white establishment.
    “They’ll train you so good,” he said, “you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**.”
    After college, where he palled around with Marxist professors and took in socialist conferences “for inspiration,” Obama followed in Davis’ footsteps, becoming a “community organizer” in Chicago.
    His boss there was Gerald Kellman, whose identity Obama also tries to hide in his book. Turns out Kellman’s a disciple of the late Saul “The Red” Alinsky, a hard-boiled Chicago socialist who wrote the “Rules for Radicals” and agitated for social revolution in America.
    The Chicago-based Woods Fund provided Kellman with his original $25,000 to hire Obama. In turn, Obama would later serve on the Woods board with terrorist Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. Ayers was one of Obama’s early political supporters.
    After three years agitating with marginal success for more welfare programs in South Side Chicago, Obama decided he would need to study law to “bring about real change” — on a large scale.
    While at Harvard Law School, he still found time to hone his organizing skills. For example, he spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course taught by Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. With his newly minted law degree, he returned to Chicago to reapply — as well as teach — Alinsky’s “agitation” tactics.
    (A video-streamed bio on Obama’s Web site includes a photo of him teaching in a University of Chicago classroom. If you freeze the frame and look closely at the blackboard Obama is writing on, you can make out the words “Power Analysis” and “Relationships Built on Self Interest” — terms right out of Alinsky’s rule book.)
    Amid all this, Obama reunited with his late father’s communist tribe in Kenya, the Luo, during trips to Africa.
    As a Nairobi bureaucrat, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Harvard-educated economist, grew to challenge the ruling pro-Western government for not being socialist enough. In an eight-page scholarly paper published in 1965, he argued for eliminating private farming and nationalizing businesses “owned by Asians and Europeans.”
    His ideas for communist-style expropriation didn’t stop there. He also proposed massive taxes on the rich to “redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all.”
    “Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed,” Obama Sr. wrote. “I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development.”
    Taxes and “investment” . . . the fruit truly does not fall far from the vine.
    (Voters might also be interested to know that Obama, the supposed straight shooter, does not once mention his father’s communist leanings in an entire book dedicated to his memory.)
    In Kenya’s recent civil unrest, Obama privately phoned the leader of the opposition Luo tribe, Raila Odinga, to voice his support. Odinga is so committed to communism he named his oldest son after Fidel Castro.
    With his African identity sewn up, Obama returned to Chicago and fell under the spell of an Afrocentric pastor. It was a natural attraction. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches a Marxist version of Christianity called “black liberation theology” and has supported the communists in Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere.
    Obama joined Wright’s militant church, pledging allegiance to a system of “black values” that demonizes white “middle classness” and other mainstream pursuits.
    (Obama in his first book, published in 1995, calls such values “sensible.” There’s no mention of them in his new book.)
    With the large church behind him, Obama decided to run for political office, where he could organize for “change” more effectively. “As an elected official,” he said, “I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer.”
    He could also exercise real, top-down power, the kind that grass-roots activists lack. Alinsky would be proud.
    Throughout his career, Obama has worked closely with a network of stone-cold socialists and full-blown communists striving for “economic justice.”
    He’s been traveling in an orbit of collectivism that runs from Nairobi to Honolulu, and on through Chicago to Washington.
    Yet a recent AP poll found that only 6% of Americans would describe Obama as “liberal,” let alone socialist.
    Public opinion polls usually reflect media opinion, and the media by and large have portrayed Obama as a moderate “outsider” (the No. 1 term survey respondents associate him with) who will bring a “breath of fresh air” to Washington.
    The few who have drilled down on his radical roots have tended to downplay or pooh-pooh them. Even skeptics have failed to connect the dots for fear of being called the dreaded “r” word.
    But too much is at stake in this election to continue mincing words.
    Both a historic banking crisis and 1970s-style stagflation loom over the economy. Democrats, who already control Congress, now threaten to filibuster-proof the Senate in what could be a watershed election for them — at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
    A perfect storm of statism is forming,
    and our economic freedoms are at serious risk.
    Those who care less about looking politically correct than preserving the free-market individualism that’s made this country great have to start calling things by their proper name to avert long-term disaster.
    © 2008 Investor’s Business Daily, Inc. Used with permission
    Barack Obama has styled himself a centrist, but does his record support that claim?
    In this series, IBD examines Senator Obama’s past, his voting record and the people who’ve served as his advisers and mentors over the years. We’ll show how the facts of Obama’s actions and associations reveal a far more left-leaning tilt to his background — and to his politics.
    Not really what I would consider qualified or even considered as President of the U.S. Check it all out and you will find it to be all facts, no kidding.

  • Evelyn
    October 4, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Was the smear, misinformation, and pack of lies about Obama pinned by someone affiliated with stormfront? No link means you are ashamed of whoever wrote it or the link it comes from.

  • laura
    October 4, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Irma, I agree with you that Senator Biden was excellent in the debate. He was extremely knowledgeable, responsive both to the questions and to his opponent, and clear in his statements. I was glad to see that he politely and respectfully took no bullshit. He was appropriately critical of the Republican ticket, but never lost his courteous demeanor. In contrast, Senator Obama in my opinion was much too agreeable – I couldn’t believe all the times he said to Senator McCain, “I agree with you,” or “you are right.”
    Unfortunately, Senator Biden in 2002 voted for the Iraq war – that’s why his candidacy for the nomination didn’t go anywhere last year, and that is my very strong reservation against him.
    Irma, I am still begging you to reconsider wasting your vote on a write-in. It’s about not having Four More Years. Arguably McCain/Palin could be even worse than Bush/Cheney. One reason is that Bush took over a stable prosperous (if already skewed toward the very rich) nation at peace, and had many years to run it (us) into the ground.
    Due to the years of Republican rule, this country is now teetering at the edge of the abyss. Even if McCain does not get elected, the United States may yet end up like Russia – a huge bankrupt nation with nuclear weapons and poor people dying in the streets of alcohol poisoning (in our case, of crystal meth). If McCain does get elected, we can be sure – we will fall off that cliff.
    Please Irma, help make sure there are no Four More Years.

  • laura
    October 4, 2008 at 11:36 am

    One more thing, Irma – don’t be sure the Democrats will win. They might if all citizens who want to, could cast a vote, and if all votes were counted as in 1,2,3,4.
    But over the past eight years, Republicans have perfected the art of stealing elections, by using electronic machines that can be (and most certainly are) rigged, and by denying citizens the vote, both tactics used in huge numbers.
    In order to overcome these vote-stealing tactics that Republicans relied upon both in 2000 and in 2008, Obama would have to win by a landslide. Given the fact that many people will simply not vote for a black candidate, are you sure this will happen?
    That’s why I am saying – we all need you to do your utmost to prevent a McCain/Palin presidency.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Evelyn___The post about Obamas socialist agenda was published by Investors Business Daily. Feel free to check it out and you will find it to be factual. Anything that you may disagree with or consider a lie, I would like to see proof that any of the statements are not truthful.

  • Evelyn
    October 8, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Show the link. I cannot get into Investors Business Daily because I am not a member and have no desire to become one. Show the author and a link.

    October 9, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I did a key word search of “investor business daily obama” and the search found several that lead straight to the article. Don’t be too surprised that eveything in the article is fact and can not be debunked.

  • Evelyn
    October 11, 2008 at 1:02 am

    I think all of what the article says is great. Of course they
    (investor business daily) a company who caters to very rich conservatives are going to tell them what they want to hear.
    I an glad you brought this subject up. It does need to be addressed because it is dangerous and the Hispanic community are suffering the brunt of it’s cruelty.
    As we define socialism, the banking elite’s theft from the majority with the blessing and help of Republicans like McCain and Gramm , can’t be ignored.
    Socialism seems to have its hands dipped in other types of political movements such as Fascism.
    Dictionary defines Fascism as:
    “A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”
    Other elements of Fascism include:
    Powerful idea of Christion Nationalism
    Powerful executive control in government
    Lower human rights outlook
    Military reigns supreme
    Corporations wield great power
    Idea that National Security is at great risk to some threat
    Identifying of enemies/scapegoats that unifies citizens in Patriotism
    Mass media controlled by State and Corporations
    Fixed elections
    Rampant corruption
    Unlimited power held by police force
    Thoroughly debunked in 2 minutes!

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