Monday, September 08, 2008

Stepping up The Ladder

On the evidence of his convention speech, John McCain looks like a fairly decent guy. I can deal with a fiscal conservative whose social policies are fairly libertarian. I can also deal with someone who has a history of annoying his own party by not toeing the line. So far, so good.

But when dealing with polticians I am always acutely sensitive to hypocrisy. What tends to happen with even the most idealistic public servants is that they compromise. Sometimes this is purely pragmatic. Compromise is a way to get things done. But other times their eyes grow big with power and they shed ideals in direct proportion to how many votes they can get. Stepping up the ladder, they make friends amongst the influential whose mission it is to influence politicians. They enjoy the attention, the wealth and the feeling of power. Their decisions become motivated not by ideals, or even ideas, but by expediency.

So rather than choose Joe Lieberman as his VP, McCain chose Palin. She is the exact opposite of him. Extreme rather than moderate. Socially illiberal, economically ideological. And the fact that she is a woman, and therefore bizarrely touted as some kind of consolation Hillary. Is he in charge of his own campaign, or has he ceded himself to the machine that can get him to the top of the tree. Oh how his long dead father would be impressed if he became the Prez.

It is this that makes me distrust him. His eyes are as big as saucers and he is shedding (or hiding) his moderate pragmatic side by the day. Palin was the expedient choice; a bespectacled rung on the ladder to power. Nothing more.

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