The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

The conservative vote should go to Obama

Posted by Bill Nance on October 23, 2008

On September 12, 2001 I started a reading program so I could understand exactly what the Hell had just happened.

I started with re-reading the Koran (yes, I had read it before, along with several apologetics on Islam), continued with my trusty Encyclopedia Btrittanica and of course everything I could get my hands on from the Web and the local library. I also re-read the incomparable Orientalism,” by the late Edward Said. Within a matter of days I had a reasonably good idea of what our enemies were up to and why, as well as a solid understanding of how incredibly wrong were the arguments Bin Laden and others of his ilk.

This wasn’t terribly difficult to do. All I had available were the resources of a fairly small local library, an encyclopedia and the web. Since then I have done my best to keep up with the issues and read new books and articles, knowing that having my information filtered through the lens of television and it’s focus on ratings and infotainment is no substitute for well thought out and researched books and news articles.

It’s blindingly clear to anyone who open to reason that Sarah Palin has never done anything of the sort, even with seven years time to accomplish it. On my worst day, after a few dozen beers, I could give a more clear, cogent and comprehensible view of national security issues than Sarah Palin does even with coaching. I am not a genius. I am not a scholar. I’m just a regular guy with something Sarah Palin clearly lacks: A brain and an interest in using it.

The absolute ignorance of this woman on every significant international issue is nothing short of astounding. She parrots the most stupid and jingoistic catch-phrases as though these are some substitute for actual knowledge or understanding of the subjects. This ignorance might be acceptable (if still stupid and ill-informed) coming from the mob. It is catastrophic coming from a President or someone in line to be President.

As the last seven years have proved, intellectual laziness, group-think and assumptions based on the false”truths” of ideological orthodoxy make for horrendous policy. Our failures in Iraq should prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt. They led directly to too few troops to win an occupation, silencing of even supportive voices of dissent and an absolute unwillingness to deal with reality, even when the cost, both in blood and treasure were showing beyond doubt the existing strategy wasn’t working. (The time for the surge was 2004, not 2007)!

Palin represents a choice so stark for anyone who actually loves their country I can hardly believe any sane person could support her. George W. Bush has shown even Republicans how anti-intellectualism and a lack of curiosity about the world are clear and present dangers to our national security.

Sarah Palin takes all the worst qualities of the President and expands upon them. Never in the history of this country has a person more clearly unqualified for high office been nominated to be in the line of succession.

This isn’t just about experience, it’s about good judgement. John McCain, in his most important decision as a potential President, has shown an utter disregard for the safety of the nation in a cynical attempt to get elected at any cost.

McCain famously said he’d rather lose an election than lose a war. What about placing the entire country in jeopardy? No sane person can defend Palin’s lack of understanding on the serious issues facing the country. For McCain to have picked her as V.P. is a move that makes him utterly unsuitable to be President.

On November fourth, I hope my conservative friends will make the right choice and truly place their country first. Given John McCain’s age and questionable health, placing Sarah Palin anywhere near the White House is the most irresponsible act I can think of, strictly from a national security viewpoint.

Hold your nose if you have to, but if you reach for the McCain lever, remember the buffoon who you may be voting into office. Patriots will vote Obama.


3 Responses to “The conservative vote should go to Obama”

  1. Ben said

    Hey Bill,

    Just a coupla constructive comments:

    “I started with re-reading the Koran (yes, I had read it before, along with several apologetics** on Islam), continued with my trusty Encyclopedia Brittanica and of course everything I could get my hands on from the Web** and the local library. I also re-read the incomparable Orientalism**,” by the late Edward Said**. Within a matter of days I had a reasonably good idea of what our enemies were up** to and why**, as well as a solid understanding of how incredibly wrong** were the arguments Bin Laden and others of his ilk.”

    This is the start of a potentially interesting post. (Might be worth reexamining as its own post in the future once we inevitably run out of election shenanigans.) I see the point of putting it here, but it would become much more credible if you posted links to arguments and resources rather than simply claimed it (tossed a few stars in where links might be posted). Otherwise it can sound like a bit of chest puffing without backup and doesn’t serve the point you intend it to (which would be served by *showing* us how an intelligent person learns about issues, not just telling us).

    It’s particularly a concern when the rest of your post leans towards being a lengthy, rehashed, anti-Palin rant. I think your point was meant to be the embrace of anti-intellectualism epitomized by the selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate. If the point is the anti-intellectualism that choosing her represents, focus more on that – give us some links and analysis – rather than a general “OOOOOH, SHE’S SO STOOPID! CURSE YOU, JOHN MCCAIN.” rant the content of which we’ve mostly seen before. (BTW, read Gore’s “Assault on Reason” yet? I think you’d find it interesting.)

    Your recent posts on Colin Powell and other leading conservatives endorsing Obama, inevitable strengthening of gun control and how a guiding hand by Obama might be better than a crap congress run amuck, and the well-titled “Socialism my ass” have been great, but this post was a little disappointing. Less rehashed rants, more links and new substance!


  2. Excellent article, well argued and put together. So much truth in there!

  3. Bill Nance said

    Hi Ben!

    Glad to see you’re reading the blog.

    The format you talk about is something many bloggers do. I generally do not, unless I’m making a particularly outrageous claim which needs to be backed up or I’m talking about something obscure.This is consistent with my newspaper background, just as if I were writing an editorial.

    I am afraid I disagree with your idea.

    Firstly, I’m not making any claims in this post which anyone open to reason is not well aware of unless they’ve been living in a cave. This has been all over the news 24/7 since the day she was picked and even more so on the web.(Same goes for the whole Bush thing. It’s been so widely reported I don’t need to cite sources for a half a paragraph). As such, I don’t think I need to educate my readers unless I’m referring to something obscure. You’re example of linking to Orientalism, for instance. Yes, I might have included a link, but listing the author’s name and the title of the book should be more than sufficient.

    Secondly, when you say it sounds like chest puffing, frankly opinion writing is largely that. I hold myself to the standards that anything I write needs first of all to be true. If I’m making an outrageous claim, I always link, usually to more than a single source. But in the end, it’s all just my opinion.

    Now as to the purpose of the post itself, it was to put together a few separate ideas into a cogent whole. A lot of what I write tends to be of this variety. To my mind, what bloggers can really offer is to coalesce a set of ideas into a comprehensive article. Ideally the reader will be inspired to say: “Ya, THAT’S what I was trying to say!”
    Sometimes I do a great job, others, well, not so much:)

    I think what you’re referring to style-wise, is something along the lines of slash-dot. This is a writing style I’ve no interest in emulating. I’m not interested in debating, so I don’t feel I have to defend every claim I make. If someone decides I’m full of sit because I don’t have a link to a widely known and reported set of facts, I don’t really care.

    This doesn’t mean to say anything derogatory to you, so don’t take the preceding personally please! It’s really just that I have come to the conclusion that on-line text-based point-counter-point rarely leads anything in the way of understanding or progress. It usually just winds up with two or more people shouting their opinions, usually with plenty of sophistry and lying thrown into the mix.

    Of course the bottom line is always time. As I posted in my blog, I’m swamped with the campaign now, so any time I get to write is usually very limited.

    Good to hear from you, don’t be a stranger!

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