Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ultrarunning...and Sarah Palin

I'm still trying to figure out the phenomenon that is Sarah Palin. Politics aside, I guess I simply cannot for the life of me how anyone could have regarded her as a suitable vice-presidential candidate. Or now regard her as a serious presidential candidate, in view of her fundamental lack of experience in world politics.

Digby at Hullabaloo had a great post on 12 July that gets to the heart of the matter (excerpt below, you should click over and read the whole thing):

Reality Entertainer of The Year

I find it very telling that the Villagers don't get what's going on here. She is not a serious politician. She is a political celebrity/entrepreneur, collecting money from her fans to fund herself and sell her brand. To the extent that she is working for anyone but herself, she's working for The Republican Party, bringing together some of the disparate strands of the conservative movement, striking the pose of the "outsider." But that is the extent of her serious commitment to politics.

Palin is a "reality" entertainer. Look on the covers of the celebrity magazines and you'll see lots of them. There's a lot of money to be made by someone like her in merchandising alone, much less personal appearances, books etc. I'm guessing she'll find herself on the personal growth/religious circuit too, along with her reality show on TV.  
Maybe some readers of Mister Tristan, or many readers, love Ms. Palin and are disinclined to agree with the observations made above by Digby (with whom I agree). That's OK, in a free country we must have room for differences of opinion and preferences for people who represent your interests.

However, when it comes to Ms. Palin, I must confess to a bias, and this relates to ultrarunning, in a way. Sarah Palin believes that it's OK to hunt wolves from helicopters.

Let me say that again, bold and blue and in italics: Sarah Palin believes that it's OK to hunt wolves from helicopters.

Anyone who believes that is an acceptable practice is a despicable human being, and therefore I absolutely and automatically distrust any other opinions espoused by that person.  It’s like I've figuratively put my fingers in my ears and loudly bleat "La-la-la-la-la" to avoid hearing anything else that Ms. Palin may say, on anything. I've simply lost all respect for any opinion she may hold. To place such an individual in charge of our nation's wilderness areas, land use policies, National Parks, trails, endangered species, energy policies, etc., is utter folly.

To bring this back to ultrarunning, if you love trails, you gotta go with a true environmentalist, someone who understands why wolves matter. And Sarah Palin is not that person.



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