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Symptomatic of Deeper Problems -
on December 12, 2009
"Going Rouge" is closer to the truth than "Going Rogue," depicting Sarah Palin as a conservative fundamentalist Christian flaunting ignorance as a virtue - 'America's nightmare.' (Given her stance on global warming, 'world's nightmare' might even be appropriate.) On the other hand, she's not that much different from Bush '43 and some of the other leading Republican candidates. Her approval rating among Republicans stood at 70% before the Huckabee pardon scandal (Maurice Clemmons - 4X cop killer), and is most likely higher now.
The book is actually a collection of more than 50 short essays written about Palin during the campaign - as a result, the material is generally dated. (Example: "Going Rouge" credits Palin with not getting into the Obama 'birther' controversy, while since it was written she has.) In addition, the essays do not cover well her early controversial days as Mayor of Wassila. Worse yet, the material is superficial and probably no more credible than Palin's "Going Rogue." Readers would do better to read the accountings within the Anchorage Daily News about her various ethics challenges.
Whether one likes or dislikes Sarah Palin, however, is not that important. A more significant issue is "Why do personages like Sarah Palin or Bush '43 appeal to so many in the U.S.?" My suspicion is that it derives from our historical values of personal freedom and limitations on government, coupled with educational laziness that easily translates into simple solutions consistent with those values. On the other hand, the general inability of academics or the educated elite to 'solve' basic economic, business, education, and social problems doesn't help them garner respect either; neither do dogmatic and authoritarian religions, the daily avalanche of confusing half-truths promulgated by various position advocates, and the near domination of dogmatic party-line responses to issues instead of pragmatic, data-driven analyses.
Bottom Line: The names don't matter. Whether its Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Joe-the-Plumber - someone with similar simple-minded 'solutions' will crop up to lead the right because its in our collective DNA. Meanwhile, the left's 'thinking' and solutions usually aren't much better. Thus, when combined with arcane Senate rules, gerrymandering, and the domination of elections by monied interests, major problems such as global warming, terrorism, oil shortages, out-of-line expenditures for health care, defense, drug control, government overhead, and education (vs. other developed nations), unfunded Social Security liabilities, deteriorating infrastructure, and illegal immigration all go unresolved. The U.S. political system is unable to cope with the complications of the 21st century.