Friday, October 3, 2008

The Death of Straight Talk

For many die-hard John McCain enthusiasts, including yours truly, August 29, 2008 was a potentially disastrous day for the Straight Talk Express. The setback occurred in Dayton, Ohio and the spark was Sarah Palin. “She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am," were Senator McCain's words as he introduced his Vice Presidential pick. To all real Conservatives who value honesty and sincerity this fateful day would be the tragic beginning of the end for the 2008 Republican Party.

The potential ascension of Governor Palin to the office of Vice President is considered by many to be a national offense. Many pundits consider her nothing more than a poorly executed stunt, an obvious ploy for capturing Clinton supporters still smarting from the Democratic primaries and for appeasing Evangelical Christians. Putting politics before country is a dangerous move.

Palin's performance in St. Louis underscores Mr. McCain's regrettable decision. She responded to serious questions about the economy and foreign policy either very generally with memorized talking points or with obnoxious giggling. When she referred to the top American military commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, as General McClellan on two different occasions she demonstrated that the result of days of preparation is a bad parrot at best. Is it really too much to expect Executive Branch candidates to be able to pronounce the word "nuclear"?

Prominent conservative writers including Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and Kathleen Parker have already made the case that Sarah Palin is not ready to lead. Ms. Parker has even called for Palin to exit the race. Although greatly appealing, Palin's removal from the Republican ticket does not address the current Republican Party's much deeper problem.

Long gone are the days of Straight Talk when those within our borders that stood in the way of science and progress were correctly labeled "agents of intolerance." It is past time for the Republican Party to recapture its soul and once again embrace the ideals of true Conservatism: government transparency, elimination of government waste, sensible foreign policy, and individual liberty (to name a few). When did we go so wrong? Yes, the disaster might have happened back on August 29 but appallingly the wheels have been coming off the Republican express for some time. (back to homepage)