Sarah Palin wanted to ban books from the public library when she was mayor of the little town of Wasilla, Alaska. That type of anti-intellectual thuggery is typical of extremists on the left and on the right.
Moving away from the frame of constipated values and interpersonal smack-downs towards the more issues-based interactions we can expect in the next few months, I was reminded of how far on the path to recovery we as a country have come in the last year. In 2007, Democrats were still smarting from the “swift-boating” media manipulation that (along with a certain insufferability) cost John Kerry the 2004 election. The average American was looking forward to another Hunt versus Heinz ketchup contest. (Remind me to share the story of H.L. Hunt, ConAgra, and Texas wild-catters versus the eastern establishment.) It looked like another clothes-pin contest was shaping up, one of those elections where you held your nose when you cast your ballot. At this point, it seems like there will be a real choice for most of us. Republicans hope that McCain and Palin will be part of a spiritual revival so that God can truly bless America. Democrats are perhaps more issues and policy oriented.
Listening to the Republicans these last few days has been challenging. McCain will be up in a while, explaining why he thinks he’s more qualified to be President than Barack Obama. Palin spoke disrespectfully of community organizing in her speech. In doing that she was speaking with disrespect of me and of many of the people I admire. Community organizing is no less than people banding together to address serious issues. It will take a lot more community organizing over the next two months if we want a leader to emerge who will listen to Americans with respect and create and administer policies that benefit us all.
This video highlights the signs of hope and change that have given each of a feeling of optimism, a feeling that we CAn influence government in a better direction.