Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Just Might Change My Vote

In a recent lunchtime political debate with a friend, I was listening to the stream of invective about all the horrible things Sarah Palin has supposedly done. I stopped her when she began parroting the line about how Palin was "for the Bridge to Nowhere, before she was against it." 

"Just wait a minute," I said. "Do you mean to tell me that you would vote for a politician who was unwilling to change their position on a project like this even if the circumstances fundamentally changed? Because that's what Palin did."

I realize, of course, that it makes a damaging sound bite to say, "I voted for it, before I voted against it." But the truth is, I wouldn't vote for anyone who was so unthinkingly committed to a proposition that they would refuse to change their position even if the circumstances changed dramatically.

My friend then asked, apparently frustrated, "Are you so committed to Palin that she couldn't do ANYTHING to lose your support?"

Of course not! I'd be happy to work against her, rather than for her, if she fundamentally (through her actions) changed my opinion about her positions and her integrity.

For instance, she might decide to abandon unborn children (the ultimate powerless victims) to those powerful people who were trying to sanction their murder. She could decide to jump onto the embryonic stem cell research bandwagon, even though it's totally unwarranted and unnecessary, simply because it was the politically expedient thing to do. (By the way, McCain's support for embryonic stem cell research is one of the reasons I haven't been real excited about him.)

She could stop thinking logically about America's vast natural resources and decide that, rather than supporting the cautious exploration of the ANWR for oil and gas she would instead seal these remote areas off from exploration and seek to throw even more American energy money to Arab nations who don't deserve it and function as a hotbed for terrorists.

These are just for starters. You see, there's all kinds of things Sarah Palin (and John McCain) could do to lose my vote. I'm not like those who criticize a politician for changing her mind when the circumstances change. If she changes her positions, if she compromises her integrity, I'm sorry, I'm outta here.

However, I would like to turn my friend's own question back on her: "Is there anything at all that Sarah Palin could do that you WOULDN'T criticize her for?"

Like others, I've been following the news about the hacking theft of Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account on Yahoo. The Huffington Post had an interesting article about this. They insinuated that Palin was somehow wrong for having such an e-mail account, that she must have been trying to hide government communications from the Freedom of Information Act.

Comparing Facebook groups 1 million strong for Sarah and 1 Million Against the New Facebook layout
Give me a break! Did you Huffers even watch the news this morning? Even on the Today Show, they said there was nothing in her personal e-mail account but personal e-mail, and that the theft would actually work in her favor because it would show that she had actually done a good job separating the two (keeping her government e-mail on government accounts, and her private e-mail on private accounts).

This is certainly better than I could do. My business life and my private life are so intertwined that I have a tough time keeping personal stuff out of my business e-mails, and keeping business talk out of my personal e-mails. I certainly try, but it's a challenge. (Unless, of course, I'm trying to hide something from the public ... then I put it in my gMail account where it is likely to get HACKED and posted on the Internet! Sorry, that's sarcasm slipping in, isn't it?)

I think this must be true of anyone who loves their job. If you work 60 hours a week, 20 of them at home, how do you keep one sphere from seeping into the other? It's tough. I admire Palin for demonstrating some measure of success at this.

The REAL question is, why aren't we going after the people who (illegally, I might add) hacked into Palin's personal e-mail accounts at Yahoo? That is so wrong it makes me seethe. Can you imagine that happening to you? How angry would you be if someone hacked your most personal e-mails to your friends and displayed their contents on the internet?

Why aren't the "champions of privacy" coming to Palin's defense and pointing out that she is the victim here? Why are her private e-mails instead being splashed in the media? (The same media who are refusing to cooperate with the government investigation of the crime?)

And why isn't the Huffington Post concerned about this aspect of this recent revelation? Oh wait, I guess you can file this under the triumph of ideology, right?

Okay, this is only my second political post in the last 15 years. And my second in the last month. Hmmm. I guess I must be slipping.


Scott said...

Great post. Perhaps you shouldn't wait another 15 years...i

robdogg said...

nice one mate!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree!

KB said...

Slipping? or the highly charged group you're now hanging out with at work? :) Great post. I didn't know that about John McCain. INterESting. ;/