Sarah Palin’s best decision yet!

     Time for my favorite article written by LZ! Clearly from the more liberal perspective, his analysis of Sarah Palin’s decision not to run in the 2012 Presidential election is very well argued, and also sarcastic, comical, and quite persuasive. Starting the article he states that Palin is respected by the GOP for bringing both life and youthful spirit to the party and then dismissed by the Democrats as …. well, an idiot. Then, throughout the article he determines her decision is not idiotic at all, nor is it to put the Republican party above her own interests. Rather, it’s a strategic move to keep power and favorability in leu of grasping at the strings of power, themselves tied to a big, ole’ bag of responsibilities.

     The overall tone of this article is condescending masked by (pseudo) admiration. LZ states that, “Recent polls all show the majority in her party do not want her to run, but those surveys do not mean people, her people, do not love her.” This shows her mass support and broad appeal amongst Republican citizens and her ability to garner support as both Governor of Alaska and her position as McCain’s VP pick during the 2008 Presidential election. However, he clearly recognizes her status within the GOP, and he also provides examples of spoofs/parodies and political blunders (like the Katie Couric interview).

     When she announced her decision to not run in the 2012 election, LZ’s reaction was made very clear. He did not, like many others, think she realized her inability to win, but rather that this was a strategical move in order to position herself with more influence and power, without all the responsibility and criticism. He states rather eloquently, “She can continue to influence national politics without having to be responsible for actually making a decision. She can criticize with a broad brush without the burden of conceptualizing her statements with detailed, alternate solutions. She’s like a performance artist whose opinions are rarely second-guessed, whose tongue is rarely censored.” Fascinated by this assertion, I re-read that paragraph several times. Then it struck me, he’s absolutely right!

      The president, regardless of party affiliation, is constantly a scapegoat for all the political, economic, domestic, foreign, etc. problems that arise in our country. (This is not to say that they never givencredit for the things that go well, because many times there are). But why not continue to be a popular political figure, with both power and influence, without every decision/word/action under public scrutiny? Granted, many outstanding men (and hopefully in the near future, woman) handle this pressure with grace, dignity, and little complaint; but a “thankless, poorly paying job” is sometimes not the most attractive choice.

     Cracking sarcastic jokes about the likelihood of seeing a herd of unicorns over a “drama-free bipartisanship” in Congress and knowing how to raise book sales but not the delicate economic situation add LZ’s touch of sarcasm found in so many of his other articles. His overall opinion of Palin is that she’s more in touch with the people as a celebrity than a politician and would rather choose the easier road than one that requires constant deliberation and political competence. These opinions are very inherent in this analysis, but at some points I’ve almost been tricked by his complimentary rhetoric until I came around and realized he’s admiring her manipulative ability and strategy to keep power without responsibility.

     I mean, who can really argue with this sentiment: “When you’re loved by so many unconditionally, why risk being hated by everyone for no reason at all? It just doesn’t make sense.” Although logical, I’m sure no one, politician or average citizen, would like this to be the outlook of their decision to step down from any opportunity… weakness is weakness, and choosing the easy road is generally looked down upon.

     Overall, this is a VERY well written article and I urge the class to read it!


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