It has been more than a year since the presidential election but Sarah Palin continues to arouse the political sentiments throughout the United States, being embraced in recent months by the anti-government Tea Party movement and still polling high as a possible contender for the Republican primaries of 2012.
There is ample reason to assume that in the end, Palin won’t run for president. Her popularity, though impressive, is unlikely to rise further, considering liberals’ deep resentment with the very qualities that make her popular on the right and her inability to stir enthusiasm with moderate voters. In spite of her Tea Party appeal, Palin has no ideology. While that allows her to spearhead the broad discontent with the Obama Administration’s agenda, it also makes her an unlikely candidate for a party that is busily redefining conservatism.
Moreover, there are two qualities about Palin which put her squarely in the social conservative camp previously claimed by President George W. Bush. First among them is her folksy, Washington outsider image which currently resonates with voters but is unlikely to meet approval with the majority of Americans who agree that a repetition of Bush-Cheney policy is not what the country needs. Second is her religious fanaticism.
Palin has carefully avoided to elaborate on her beliefs in order to amass popular support but any future election is bound to expose her peculiar world views. Like many Americans, she likes to think of the United States as God’s Chosen Country and believes that He consciously directs world events. While that is not an alarming perspective per se, it is for someone who might aspire to become Leader of the Free World.
In June 2008, speaking before her church about her son going to war in Iraq, Palin urged the congregation to pray “that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God; that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.”
Should a political leader really promote the view that today’s wars in the Middle East are nothing short of crusades? Is it really a good idea to place the most powerful military force in history at the disposal of a woman who believes that, if elected, it was by God’s will, not the people’s? Imagine Sarah Palin as president of the United States, faced with the prospect of a nuclear Iran and contemplating her role in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy at the same time.
The United States have had to endure eight years of a presidency inspired by Christian fervor already. George W. Bush admitted in 2005 to having consulted a “higher Father” about invading Iraq and repeatedly implied that he was carrying out God’s work while instigating death and destruction in the Middle East. But even he was careful to note that America was not at war with another religion. Palin’s role in America’s newfound Islam backlash is far more troubling.
There are many reasons why Sarah Palin should not be president. Her ignorance of policy is telling but all the more upsetting is her faith which dictates that she has no influence on world events. The presidency of the United States is arguably the most powerful position on Earth. It should not be put in the hands of a woman who believes that, no matter what she does, it is in accordance with God’s will and therefore righteous.