Column: Varied Expectations For Candidates Unacceptable

This story was written by Tom Hart, The Daily Cardinal


Hollow, scripted and uninformed. These were the three words that first came to mind as I watched that horrendous spectacle known as the vice presidential debate. Questions were avoided and meaningless statements were thrown out. The culprit? Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her responses had less foundation than a blanket on a McDonalds ball pit.

Joe Six-Packs, hockey moms, and early 90s Tom Cruise Flicks (see Maverick in Top Gun)one could have found more insightful responses from a Magic Eight-Ball. It doesnt matter what the question was, the responses popped up with complete irrelevance.

The scary part of debate analyses is that 41 percent of Americans believe Sarah Palin won the debate. She may have covered the figurative spread, but this spread was wider than if the Dallas Cowboys played the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

We shouldnt lower our expectations for individual candidates. Every politician should be held to the same golden standard regardless of his or her IQ or educational background. The American public is charged with the responsibility of hiring the best possible candidates to run the country. We simply cannot afford to judge the applicants to the position on uneven grounds. The task handed to us is too important.

The low-point of the night came when Palin attributed climate change to the cyclical changes of our planets weather. Cyclical changes? If you dont understand what the cause is, its virtually impossible to come up with a solution, retorted U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. I agree with Bidens response and believe the continuous use of Drill baby drill! is a verbal slap in the face of the solution to our environmental crisis.

When asked about John McCains foreign policy credentials, Palin responded that McCain would be able to win a war because he knows what evil is. This vague response is not what we need to hear from a vice president. Every elected official should be able to recognize the difference between good and evil, albeit subjectively. The question in this election is who will weigh all the options and make the best choice possible. Palin either fails to realize this or was too busy reading the script on her podium.

Additionally, I was uneasy with comments such as, Doggone-it. Heck. There you go, Joe! I realize that the governor was trying to appeal to Main Street Americans, but dumbing down rhetoric only weakened her stance. Where was the real response? A vice-presidential candidate is one step away from the actual presidency, and I dont think Im asking too much in expecting an answer with some substance. If the American public casts their vote based on the use of popular expressions and dumbed-down rhetoric, a bleak future awaits.

Yes, Sarah Palin might be a nice, down-to-earth person we could see ourselves throwing down a few beers with at a local bar, but that is not the personality we need in a national leadership position. Our country is now at a crucial turning point and demands leadership with solid understanding and clear vision of the key issues facing our nation. We can either choose to continue our downhill slide or we can make a stand and have our votes count for something this year. The White House has been void of a clear mind for almost eight years. We will not survive four more years of clouded decisions.

The nomination of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket brings about the emergence of a dark path on the horizon of our countrys future. Her close-minded viewpoint is only one breath away from the presidency. That prospect scares the hell out of me. Palin evoked a very truthful Ronald Reagan line, stating, Freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. I fear that electing such a misguided candidate puts us one step closer to Reagans predicted resut.
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