The McCain campaign has finally found their voice – their message. McCain is beginning to hammer on the economy. Their campaign is minimizing Bill Ayers (it was not working), minimizing commander in chief questions (it was not working), minimizing Iraq war strategies (it was not working). McCain is finally talking about fiscal ideology. But it may be thirty years too late.
People are fickle. When we are working at good jobs, with good health insurance, and a promising retirement on the lake – we take more interest in extraneous issues. When there is plenty of cheap gas for the boat we can ponder the faults of others while water skiing. When not boating or fishing we can target practice with our new AK-47. When life is good we have time to think about our nephew Joe and his boyfriend. Cultural conservatives think the government should intervene in Joe’s life.
The Government should not allow any benefits to gay partners. No shared health insurance, no visitation in the hospital, no death benefits or inheritance of any kind, and certainly no marriage. The Government should get between women and their doctors – it is the duty of government to manage the lives of non Christian people. The Government should dictate religion in public schools, leading prayer service under the banner of the Ten Commandments. This seems only fair.
But something happened along the conservative way. People lost their jobs and health insurance. Retirement hopes are burried in Chinese labor camps. The boat was sold at a loss because no one can afford the gas to run the darn thing. We no longer care about Joe and his boyfriend. We don’t care which church you worship in – our church doesn’t want us around anymore because we can no longer give them money. We keep our AK-47 loaded because we are afraid of the neighbors.
The conservative movement lost its way about thirty years ago. They took up the mantle of the right wing religious movement – and forgot what government was all about. Their new ideal: Big Government in religion, small government in business.
The result is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – the embodiment of all that is wrong with the Republican Party. The fiscal status of Alaska is unique among the fifty states. No income tax because of the tax on oil revenues. Surcharges on the Alaska pipeline have infused the Alaska State Govenment with lots of cash. Sarah Palin accomplished no great feat of governing prowess – With oil prices through the roof Palin rode the wave. So we have very little information about her negotiating or managing skills – she has not been tested.
Might the Palin cultural ideology be the result of geographic isolation? That would be a kind excuse. Palin is living in the 19th Century. She believes in Creationism as science, the Bible as historical fact, that humans and dinosaurs cohabitated the planet. She does not understand Global Warming or man’s participation in the earth ecosystem. Her concept of foreign policy reaches as far as the eye can see.
John McCain clearly sacrificed the Republican Party to the cultural conservatives, at the expense of sound fiscal policy, and in so doing put our country at risk. McCain and Palin hammered the old fear tactics that work when people are prospering.
Someone in the news said it well last week. When we are drowning we don’t care about the color of the person throwing us the rope. It took John McCain two months to get the message. The people practically shouted at him, “We don’t care about Bill Ayers! We don’t care about Joe and his boyfriend! Tell us about our Job and our Pension and our Health Insurance!”
With eight days left – John McCain is finally getting the message.