Cons and Pros on Palin

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I am continuing in the mode of thinking out loud about all of this. I have appreciated many of the comments, pro and con, for the most part, and so please continue the discussion. It would probably be good, though, to discontinue passing on the bat crap “research” that the desperate left is coming up with as they flail about in response to this devastating development for them.

The first thing to note, after a few more days of monitoring the reaction of conservatives and evangelicals to the Palin pick, is this: if this was all a pragmatic ploy to jazz up the base, and generate enthusiasm for McCain’s campaign, it was a ploy that clearly and plainly worked. The plan has been announced, has had a spectacular effect, and nothing I write here will have the least effect on the vast of majority of evangelicals and conservatives, who appear to have already said, all together and in a loud voice, “Deal us in.” McCain needed them energized, and it appears to me that he got far more than that.

But our duties cannot be determined simply by galloping after a herd — however much fun that particular herd might be. We still have to think it through, and we have to do this by facing the best counterarguments we can come up with — regardless of our current inclinations. I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet, and so here we go both ways. Cons and pros, in that order, although you can read them in any order you like.


1. One of the central lies of pop feminism has been the enticing fiction that “you can have it all.” You can have a thriving family, and a career in academic physics, and be a sexpot, and have a fascinating and exciting life with numerous parties to go to, just like in the movies. In fact, just like in the movies — because the movies have been celluoid shills for the pop feminists on this one. You can do anything you want in the movies, and to generate this impression you don’t even need special effects. But it ain’t true in real life, as numerous women have discovered. Many of them have given up on the false promises in disgust, heading back home again, with a lot of lost years broken on the floor behind them.

So then along comes this superwoman, appearing to set the false promise in front of everybody again. But in making this point, it is not necessary to maintain, however, that Sarah Palin is faking it, or is a lifesized optical illusion. When you have a population large enough, every once in a while, history hands you a Michael Phelps. And when he wins all those gold medals, thousands upon thousands of kids start getting into swimming classes. And the net effect of Phelps being this kind of a role model is that a lot of kids wind up in a little better shape than they otherwise would have. About .000001% of them make it into the next Olympics, but nobody cares. It was fun anyway. But when the false promises of feminism are set before young girls, quite a few of them can seriously screw up their lives, and in the last go around with feminism, quite a few of them did. So put this con under the heading of role model problems.

2. The VP can be a power player, as the current occupant of that office is, or not. That is up to the president, and if John McCain is the president, please note that my distrust of that gentleman has already been registered. Just because Sarah Palin is on the ticket does not mean that McCain is obligated in anyway to make her a key, influential advisor. This concern is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that the office of the vice-president has taken on a life of its own in recent years. But even so, this means the implied promise sent by the Palin selection could be broken. Not as easily as a campaign promise, but it could be broken.

3. On foreign policy, Sarah Palin supports McCain’s approach, which will be a hardline approach with the Russians, with Iran, in Iraq, and so on. There are aspects of this that would be just fine — I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a little smashmouth with the Russians? — but there are also aspects of it that will be extremely problematic. The average American Christian knows that chopping babies in pieces is a moral travesty, and should vote accordingly. The average Christian knows virtually nothing about the pieces of the former Soviet Union, and ignorance and/or hubris about that part of the world could cause enormous problems for us. We should have a strong military for purposes of defense only. God did not give us the military capacity we have in order to plant the false religion of Americanism around the globe. Foreign policy doesn’t appear to be Palin’s interest, or area of expertise, but to the extent she is engaged with it, she is with McCain. So that’s a significant con in my book.

4. Let me look past the McCain presidency for a moment. If he wins, this places Sarah Palin as a front runner in the next go around. The role of the first lady is well defined. Everyone knows what to expect from her. The role of the first husband is not yet written. For a time there, it looked as though the basic precedents for this were going to be established by Bill Clinton. Great — Bill Clinton, in the White House, with time on his hands. But a merciful providence spared us that, at least for the time being, and having a lecherous satyr cavorting on the White House lawn does not appear to be in our immediate future. But what would this look like if the “first marriage” were a decent marriage, with a real man and real woman in it? Those who take Paul’s teaching seriously have to wonder what this could look like, and would want to know a lot more about the convictions of the first husband than we currently feel like we have to know about the first lady. This is especially the case since Sarah Palin spoke of her husband in glowing terms of respect and honor. She has accomplished all that she has without doing to her husband what Jesse Jackson considered to be a desideratum in Obama’s case. So what will that look like?


1. Assuming that McCain did this for pragmatic political reasons, pragmatic political reasons can sometimes get away from you. If Sarah Palin becomes as popular and effective as it looks like she might, a plan to simply use her for votes in the campaign and then disregard her afterwards might become a plan impossible to follow. Double-crossing the conservatives, even if cynically contemplated, could easily become impossible, and it looks like to me that it already has.

2. For reasons of age, McCain is quite possibly a one term president. For those who want to skip John and go straight to Sarah, this is worth thinking about. Just a minor consideration.

3. Saying it is okay for a Christian to vote McCain/Palin is not the same set up as counseling someone to make Sarah Palin’s personal choices. Someone could accept my con #1 (as I do) and still think that the prospect of taking out Roe makes this a reasonable consideration. If I were Palin’s pastor, whether I would counsel her to accept the invitation to be the Veep candidate is a separate question from whether it is appropriate to vote for her. The answer to both questions might be affirmative, but whether they are or not, they are separate questions.

4. On domestic issues, she resembles Ron Paul more than many other politicians do — more liberatarian/conservative than country club conservative. This means that the screechers who — when Ron Paul was presenting a tangible threat to McCain — argued that he was nothing but a screwball, are now going to have to put a sock in it. A lot of that kind of thinking is now on the ticket. For example, Lew Rockwell, while assuring folks that he was not going to support McCain/Palin, commented that she was really pretty good on domestic issues.

5. Far from being a great leap forward for feminism, this seems to me the destruction of feminism as we know it. Think about this for a moment. Think about this woman’s accomplishments — mother of five, stand out athlete, reforming governor, crack marksman, airplane pilot, and what does it get her? The unremitting hostility of the feminist establishment. The advancement of Sarah Palin will reveal, as few other things could, the sham called feminism. Classical feminism will be seen as nothing more than a leftist power grab designed to allow unattractive women a chance to feel important. Feminism is as hollow as a jug, and Sarah Palin will thump it so that we can all hear the sound.

6. File this next one under the heading of “husbands of accomplished babes.” I speak as an expert here. Feminism is not the only heterodox gender-idea we have to deal with. There is a significant stream within conservative Christian circles that is more Muslim than Christian. In my writing on family, I have called this error masculinism, the counterpart to feminism. This selection of Sarah Palin enables us to address that problem. The Bible does not teach that a woman’s place is in the home. It teaches that a woman’s priority is the home. If a woman accomplishes a great deal outside the home without surrendering the priority of the home, there is nothing whatever unbiblical about it. Many people have assumed that Nancy and I are homers simply because we don’t apologize for the apostle Paul’s teaching on headship and submission in marriagae. But while we believe and practice and teach everything the apostle ever wrote on this subject, my wife has taught outside the home, written a textbook, taught at conferences, written other books, and all while managing the home in a spectacular fashion. My daughters are both very accomplished women, as is my daughter-in-law, and I welcome the opportunity for genuine conservatives to reject the ditch on both sides of this gender road.

7. Scripture gives us examples of extraordinary women who are used by God in extraordinary times. The woman’s seed was to crush the serpent’s head, and we see this prophecy of Christ typified throughout the Old Testament in striking ways (Judges 4:21; Judges 9:53). It seems to me that Sarah Palin, as a walking rejection of the pro-aborts more emotional arguments, will be in a position to give Roe a bowl of motherly milk and then put a stake through his head. If that happens, then the question for Christians will not be “how could a woman do that?” Rather, we will see that no one but a woman could have done that.

8. And last, consider the outlines of this story. Obama is a novice who just recently got included in the banquet. Since that time, he has been elbowing his way to the front, and he was competing with someone who had pretty sharp elbows herself. In short, he has been inviting himself to the place of honor, climbing to get into the chief seat. Sarah Palin has been invited to the places of honor from the hinterlands (Luke 14:10). When she became governor, she used her political capital there to stand against Republican corruption in the place where she was, instead of nursing her political capital (voting present in Obama-like fashion) for the sake of personal ambition. The outline of this story seems right to me.

But I am still being careful. Let’s continue to talk.

Long before the Palin selection, I wrote that I believed that the election was going to be a blowout in favor of McCain. It was not that I thought Obama couldn’t win, but I did believe the election was McCain’s to lose. If he avoided any catastrophic mistakes (like trying to run to the center, or selecting a pro-abort VP), then I believed (and still believe) that Obama was going to be dismantled and/or fall apart over the course of the election.

The selection of Palin has put the leftists back on their heels like nothing else could have. So as we continue to meditate on this, we should do so in the light of Scripture, and not in the light of opposition “research.” I know from personal experience that when their agenda is threatened, intoleristas can lie as fast as a dog can trot. And make no mistake, their agenda is threatened.

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Jared Myers
Jared Myers
3 months ago

A lot of people had high hopes for her. Too bad she ended up being a (mostly) empty suit.