As a new US citizen one of the challenges I face is deciding who to vote for in November. I've wavered back and forth between McCain, whose economic policies are much closer to my views, and Obama, who I believe understands how much damage the childish "with us or against us" foreign policy of the current Administration has done to America's interests not to mention undermining the very foundations of the freedoms that make America unique.
But the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP candidate has helped me make a choice.
Whilst the Republicans are busily touting her executive experience I couldn't help but look at the reality. She's the Governor of a teenage state, sponging off its parents in Washington. Here's a State that receives back two dollars for every dollar it sends to Washington. So how is she going to apply that model to balancing the Federal budget? Here's a State that's so awash in oil and gas money it has no sales tax, no income tax and sends its residents money every year. So what exactly are the tough choices she's had to make as the Governor of such a State?
Added to that, her penchant for firing anyone she didn't appoint indicates she's a "leader" in the mould of George W. Bush interested primarily in loyalty (to her) above all else (and isn't it interesting that we've just had another hurricane in New Orleans to remind us of the results of Bush's "heckuva job Brownie" model of management).
And for someone running as a "family values" conservative, I can't but help look at her personal life and think, "no thanks I've already got a mother and it looks like you've got your hands full". Plus, I'm sorry, but I don't admire the sort of single minded ambition that would allow you to run for high public office when you've got a special needs baby and a pregnant, unmarried 17 year old daughter on your hands. In the same way I simply couldn't understand how John Edwards could run whilst his wife was fighting breast cancer. Talk about your screwed up priorities (little did I know how big a toad he is).
But it was her speech tonight that really sealed the deal for me. I just can't believe that the Republicans wrote her a speech that regurgitated the same divisive, hateful, totalitarian rhetoric that poisoned the 2004 campaign and risks putting America on the path to becoming a one party state where to hold a different view is considered treasonous.
Well I've got news for Republicans. You are the ones who have wilfully and repeatedly betrayed the very essence of the United States, the Constitution, and until you realise that you're not fit to hold even the lowest public office, let alone deserving of another four years in the White House.