The Appeal of Sarah Palin

Carl Sagan once observed:

All of us long for a competent, uncorrupt, charismatic leader. Preferably someone who is attractive, commanding, patriotic, and exuding leadership.

We leap at the opportunity to support, to believe, to feel good.

Now we know why Sarah Palin has such appeal. As many of us knew all along, it has absolutely nothing to do with her abilities, experience, or skills.

Carl Sagan certainly had a grasp of human nature.

Air Security and Politics

Leonard Pitts, columist for the Miami Herald, recently wrote an excellent article about air security and politics.

One of the most telling statements in his piece was this:

Too often, our leaders cannot work for the greater good because they acknowledge no good greater than politics.

He was referring to how “partisan” the Christmas Day failed attack has become. The Republicans (e.g., Dick Cheney) couldn’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity to condemn the Democrats for being “weak on security” and “pretending” we’re not at war. (Of course, they forget that Richard Reid’s bungled attempt to blow up a jetliner with his shoe was on President Bush’s watch.)

He comments that our leadership has become so polarized that it is “incapable of seeing in any dimension beyond the political.” In fact, he goes so far as to write, ” … partisanship literally matters more than life itself.”

Pitts further notes this latest incident has the Republicans wondering how they can turn it to their advantage, while the Democrats (Janet Napolitano) wonder how thay can deflect the blame.

Personally, I find this constant bickering between the parties totally disgusting and completely antithetical to the common good.

Would that we could get some people in Congress that care about “We the People” instead of whether or not they will be re-elected!

You can read the full article here.

What Political Path Do You Follow?

I recently took “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz” to determine my political leanings.

There are five categories — Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Statist, and Centrist. The quiz determined I was a “Liberal” (no surprise to me). Not a ‘hard-core’ liberal, but definitely with liberal leanings.

What I found interesting were the descriptions of the various political groups, particularly the ones for Conversative and Liberal.

Here’s the Conservative description:

Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates “traditional values.” They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.

And here’s the Liberal description:

Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

(Emphasis mine.)

Yes, I definitely lean towards being a Liberal because I don’t think it’s up to me to tell other people how to live and/or conduct their lives.  And I do feel that we should try and help others — I don’t believe in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

I do not think war is the answer to every global crisis; however, I do agree with the Conservatives that we need to have a strong military (for the same reason I think it’s good to know how to protect yourself). But I don’t think jumping into the fray with guns blazing is always the path to take.

Of course I oppose high taxes, but I’m realistic enough to know that if we’re going to have government-run services, someone has to pay for them. I just wish the government watched their budget as close as I have to watch mine.

So what did the test tell you about yourself?