Alaska is close enough to Russia. Right? And honestly, who needs to read articles, newspapers or magazines written by scholars and reporters in their field to become knowledgeable? Sarah Palin doesn't.
But being unknowledgeable about the world around her is just part of Palin's maverick personality. She is also independent from so many other politicians that stay in their elected positions until their term ends. And now, she has a new book out and, presumably, a shot at the 2012 Republican nomination. And you thought The Ring was scary.
The truth is, Palin may be the most irresponsible politician of our time. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, you have to take notice of her dubious track record. So, before anyone gets caught up in the flashiness of her new book, her down-homey appeal or her maverick-y persona, let me remind you who Palin really is.
Remember when she campaigned on fiscal responsibility? Well, either we can take Palin's word or we can check out the numbers. I like the numbers. In 2009, Alaska faces a $1.65 billion budget deficit and was expected to face a $3 billion deficit if spending did not decrease by 2010. You may also remember that bridge to nowhere that Palin said she was so against? Turns out, she helped secure the $223 million earmark for that bridge. Oops.
So hey, she may be a liar and a bad budget balancer, but that applies to a lot of politicians. At least she stands for women's rights in political office - or does she? In 2008, a majority of women polled (55 percent) claimed she was unfit for political office. Among men, however, 57 percent said Palin was qualified. On the issue of abortion, a major women's rights issue, she opposes any form of a women's right to choose. In fact, she has stated that even in cases of rape, abortion should be illegal.
Now, I know a lot of people got angry when the Democrats brought Palin's daughter's pregnancy into the debate. Families of politicians should be off-limits - unless they directly contradict the message of the candidate. Palin supports an abstinence-only sex education program because she believes teens should not be having sex under any circumstances. Yet, look at her daughter. If it doesn't work in her own home, how can work across the country? Instead of changing her stance on the issue based on the facts though, she held firm.
We eventually get to the multitude of interviews that Palin did during her run as Sen. John McCain's vice presidential candidate. She claimed she had foreign policy experience simply because of Alaska's proximity Russia. In interviews, she struggled to find one regular publication that she read. This shows a lack of basic intelligence and awareness of the world around her that few politicians before her on the national level have exemplified.
And finally, let's look at Palin's recent move: resigning as Alaska's governor before her term was up. While she says it showed her independence, all it showed was that she is irresponsible. She quit on a state governorship through which she could have actually executed some of the change she claims to stand for. For Palin, the term "maverick" seems to be just another word for "quitter."