Tag Archive for ‘ROUND TABLE: Sarah Palin’
Mrs. Palin’s alleged weaknesses are her strengths. Being an innocent abroad, in the dangerous world modelled on Hobbes and Darwin, is preferable to having “experience” in the obsessive attempt to tame and conquer that world. The Weekly Standard cabal and their ilk will be hard-pressed to make President Palin obey a bunch of Manhattanite intellectual pseuds, let alone to internalize their foreign policy schemes that are evil, stupid, and harmful to our troops’ safety: unlike any laptop bombardier, she has a son on his way to Iraq. I’d say that it is at least 50-50 President Palin would act as a foreign policy realist who’d refrain from new “missions,” “engagements” and “force projections.” That translates into 17 percent chance of America conducting a sane foreign policy, for the first time in decades, some time before 2012.
Thomas Fleming, Scott Richert, and Aaron Wolf have all offered typically thoughtful pieces raising important points to consider in evaluating Sarah Palin. But I would like to offer a different perspective, focusing on the speech Palin delivered at the Republican Convention and the reason the speech succeeded, to the point that Palin now enjoys a higher approval rating in the polls than either Barack Obama or John McCain, not to mention the hapless Joe Biden.
John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin to be his running mate was surprising, but the surprise pales in comparison to the reaction of conservative Christians, especially Catholics. In their race to endorse McCain-Palin, they have cast aside any questions about the complementarity of the sexes, or even the late John Paul II’s theology of the body.
Catholic laymen who have always voted Republican but were unhappy with McCain were, not surprisingly, the first to crumble at the sight of the moose-hunting, pistol-packing pro-life mother of five, but I have since seen orthodox priests say that they wish Mrs. Palin were at the top of the ticket. And one traditionalist Catholic is now implying that it might even be sinful to vote for a third-party candidate instead of McCain.
I will resist the temptation to steal my own thunder for next week’s John Randolph Club meeting in Philadelphia, where I intend to talk about the most important aspect of the Palin Pandemonium: the conservative Christian rejection of the natural order.
There are at least two other aspects of McCain-Palin that are troubling: abortion and Israel.
James Dobson predictably ate his own words, and pro-lifers now, nearly to a man, are “energized.” George W. Bush’s words are now in the mouth of McCain, and we’ll hear them again and again until the first week of November—”culture of life.” What conservative doesn’t want a culture of life? Sarah Palin, we are told, is a sign, a winkie-winkie to the pro-life community that a Roe-reversal is in the cards. “Change is coming!”
Many Christian conservatives, reassured by the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP, have set aside their objections to John McCain and have enthusiastically endorsed the ticket. Some have gone so far as to speak of a Christian or Catholic obligation to support the party with a pro-life platform. Others have raised doubts about Ms. Palin’s opposition to wasteful government spending or have expressed disappointment with her off-handed way of discussing her daughter’s premarital sex and conception. Several Chronicles editors have agreed to take up one or another aspect of this question, not because they wish to muster support for or opposition to McCain-Palin, but in the hope that they can help to clarify what is at stake.