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September 8, 2008


Saying that Sarah Palin would be more of the same divisive, right-wing, religion-based politics would be a gross understatement.

I originally intended to post a single, in-depth piece on Palin's politics, beliefs and record of outrageous comments. However, in doing research right from the very first day she was announced as McCain's VP pick, I found so much material that I quickly realized a simple, single article couldn't do this subject justice.

I feel that this is such an important topic because Palin could very conceivably become President so I've decided that I will post at least one Sarah Palin article every week, on Monday, from now on. And judging from the sheer volume of information I've found so far and the fact that new things are popping up everyday, this will probably run right up to the election.

I"ll start with her first run for a public office - Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

Palin's self-centered, religion-based aggressiveness quickly turned what was once a quiet, peaceful, nonpartisan town of less than 7,000 into divided political encampments. This was a place widely known for its wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race. Where everyone knew everyone else and the most important political discussions centered around paving over dirt roads, putting in sewers and which candidate was your hunting buddy?

Palin closely studied republican ideology and proceeded to use tactics right out of the Karl Rove playbook. She immediately introduced the subjects of abortion, gun rights and term limits and frequently made it known that she was a born-again Christian. She knew that a sizable portion of the population were followers of her own Pentacostal religion and that she could use that base to her advantage.

The three-term incumbent mayor, John C. Stein wasn't a church-going man and believed that religion should not be a part of political discussions. This was never a problem for his friends, neighbors and constituents and most people seemed to agree with him. Abortion was always considered a private issue, term limits were never considered necessary and gun rights were never threatened.

Shortly after the campaign began, anti-abortion fliers started showing up everywhere. At the same time, Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. As a result of the controversy Palin created, the state Republican Party, which was never involved in city elections before because they were always nonpartisan, started running advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.

Well, with the inexperience of the incumbent Mayor in dealing with politics of this nature and the money that the local republican party poured into this tiny, little town, Palin won the Mayor's office. Unfortunately, she left in her wake a severely fractured and divided community. All of the sudden friends and neighbors stood against each other rather than side-by-side. Almost gone was the overriding pioneer spirit of "we can do this together" - now being rapidly replaced with "who's side are you on?"

My source for most of the above information was an excellent piece in the New York Times. It's a little more in-depth and if you would like to read it, go to: New York Times