Opinions

Palin and the new American leadership

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W e're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that.

- John McCain

"Al-Qaeda terrorists still plan to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he [Obama] is worried that someone won't read them their rights."

- Sarah Palin

These two obviously contradictory statements by the Republican presidential ticket were made within 24 hours of one another at the party's convention two weeks ago. The glaring inconsistency wasn't scrutinized, though, and became lost in the intellectual wasteland of American presidential politics-- where something so minor as the treatment of human beings couldn't possibly attract the attention of the vultures. Yet, this is one of the most important issues the campaign could possibly be about.

In his address to the Democratic National Convention the week prior, President Bill Clinton stated that there were two issues of paramount importance in this election: "to rebuild the American dream and restore American leadership in the world." In order to do so, the U.S. must assert not only its military and cultural leadership, but its moral as well. Clearly, how the country chooses to treat its prisoners has tremendous implications for this.

It is interesting to note that Palin, making such a comment-- which suggests she doesn't have too much concern for how prisoners are treated-- does so while on the same ballot as the only Republican candidate who consistently rejected the use of torture throughout the primaries. That said, this curiosity is not the heart of the issue. Rather, the point that McCain made in his speech is. Disregarding the rights of perceived enemies erodes the philosophic foundation upon which the U.S. is erected. Surely there can be no clearer and more alarming indication that things have gone terribly wrong with the U.S. political situation than the fact that such a statement-- the direct antithesis of the American ideal-- can find its way into a vice-presidential candidate's speech.

In order for the U.S. to reassert itself as a respected world leader, it must go back to its beginning and resurrect its ideals.

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Comments

According to Wikipedia: much like how all former Prime Ministers of Canada retain the title of "The Right Honourable," all former United States Presidents retain the title of President into perpetuity.

Cam Cotton-O'Brien writes

" . . . President Bill Clinton stated that . . . "

I've got news for you Cam. You might want to look into who is presently President of the U.S. before engaging in political commentary

McCain didn't specify what those rights are. They probably include freedom from tyranny, but not the freedom to inflict tyranny, so I don't see the statements as being in conflict at all.
When America starts accepting that one of those rights is the right to not be "American", then their stature on the world stage might stop shrivelling. I doubt they have that kind of integrity.

The sad thing is that this lady from the north lies so much that for her the difference between lies and truth are a gray mass of nothingness. Those of us who are not lucky to be citizens of your great country, are scared of the prospect that another less than honest, not well educated, poor excuse of a leader is going to continue the damage done to your country and the whole world. God Save us and God Bless America.