One of Sarah Palin's biggest problems is that she tries too hard to be very libertarian on the issues, but she doesn't even accomplish that very well. Her recent two-part interview that she gave to ABC News' Charles Gibson last Thursday should be any indication to libertarians and even many conservatives about her neoconservative, Bush-esque stands on the issues. At first it seemed as though she was very libertarian on a number of issues, including her past support for the Alaskan Independence Party of which she was a member. Not only that, she stood by its advocacy of secession, which is now a matter of public record.
However, if you dig beneath the surface, you'll find that she's not as libertarian as many "libertarians" like Eric Dondero Rittberg and conservatives like Matt Drudge would like you to think she is. Let's be quite blunt about this. She's a social conservative. Her stands on social and some economic issues are hardly pro-freedom; in fact, they're more statist than ever. Her public opposition to abortion, especially in cases of rape and incest, epitomizes that record of hers and is hardly pro-freedom. Another anti-freedom position of hers is that she opposes gay marriage, simply parroting the typical "traditional marriage" conservative line. If she were truly libertarian on the issue, she would have called for government to get out of the marriage industry at the federal and state levels once and for all. But she doesn't do that; thus, that is where her social conservativism goes off the deep end.
When Gibson asked her whether she could tell the country whether she had "the experience" to not only be vice president but perhaps also be president, she bluntly said:
PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, and if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, we'll be ready. I'm ready.
This statement alone has raised a lot of eyebrows in the political establishment. The fact that she thinks she is "experienced" to do the job as the vice president is troubling on all accounts. No one is qualified to be president or vice president or even hold any political office for that matter. Her brief record as governor, while hailed by many conservatives and libertarians (because of her libertarianesque positions, although they're not as libertarian as they appear to be) and denounced by many liberals (because of her inexperience and her role as a mother of five children), is substandard and mostly bad. Her problem is not that she has too "little experience," but rather too much experience in government. As a newbie and a McCain acolyte, she's learning the political trappings of Washington and its cronies. Is that someone to look up to? Is that something that you would want to aspire to be?
And what is this "privileged" nonsense? What makes her think that John McCain and she "are so privileged" to rule the United States? There's nothing that is "privileged" about it. She is truly learning the political tricks of the trade here. When she talks about "being so privileged," what she really means is that McCain and she are politically adulated and deified to sit on the thrones of the state. In politics, the term "privilege" is a code word for government worship of the rulers by the ruled. There's nothing truly glorious and sacrosanct about this sentiment. She, along with McCain on the GOP, Barack Obama, and his running mate Biden are looking to be graciousy accepted and welcomed by the ruled via the political tools of campaigning. These candidates are nothing more than wanna-be rulers who are coercively ensuring that voters of all stripes partake in this governmental process of "electing their leaders." Moreover, this is especially when the "leaders" (the pluralized term rulers is more like it) are going to win by default, whether the voters get involved in the political process or not.
And this claptrap about "serving the country" needs to be debunked once and for all. Palin, along with McCain, isn't looking to "serve her country" if and when she's elected to the vice presidency. She's looking to have individual Americans "serve" her. This claim that she would be "serving" the nation is far from the truth. She's simply serving the interests of her special interests and buying votes, while putting on an act to make it look as though she cares about "serving" the people. She will impose her political and religious will on individual Americans and support McCain's neoconservative doctrine, especially when it's not even discernible from the Bush Doctrine. After all, she blatantly admitted that she was on board with Bush's insane intervention in Iraq and even a possible intervention in Iran, and she's on especially on board with McCain's plan for miring us in the Iraqi occupation for 100 years. Those actions are in direct contrast to a foreign policy of non-interventionism.
Her concession to not having met foreign heads of state is a double-edge sword, politically speaking. On one hand, it is good that she has never met them, because the less politicians get involved in matters of foreign affairs, the better. While diplomacy is better than war, the real libertarian position is scrap our current foreign policy of interventionism and replace it with one of non-interventionism. On the other hand, since she has never dealt with the foreign policy issue, it shows that her naivete is showing. If she pushes for a pro-war policy and carries out McCain's 100-year war, then the United States will be mired in it neck-deep for decades to come. Even her ignorance on the Bush Doctrine is unsurprising but inexcusable. There's no reason for her not to be aware of what that policy is and how deleterious it has been to our country.
Moreover, her support for the war in Iraq, while not a surprise, is unjustifiable. Her comments to her church's congregation that national leaders are sending our sons and daughters "on a task from God" to Iraq are heavily theocratic. This zealotry coming from her is indicative of the ideological influence coming from the Religious Right base of the GOP. She posits that she is borrowing from what Lincoln said in a similar fashion:
Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. -- Abraham Lincoln.
But Lincoln was talking about the country being on "God's side," not the other way around. He was merely speaking about the War Between the States in a ponderous fashion -- that is, whether the Union should be "on God's side." (Not that Lincoln was innocent, as he, with strong support from the Union, nationalized the railroads and shut down enterprises, including newspapers, that didn't agree with him on the War.) However, this entire talk about the "task from God" is seriously a distraction, because it focuses too much attention away from the real issue: government too much in our lives, in our economy, and in the Middle East and the entire world.
Besides, her fundamentalist religious views have no place in government as much as govenment has any place in the church. Such collusions seriously weaken and harm the separation of church and state. Doesn't she get that at all?
Even her opposition to marijuana, even for medicinal use, showcases her anti-libertarianism on a strong note. (Guess what? She tried and didn't like it, although she did inhale it.) While she was right on refusing to use state monies to complete the construction of the Bridge to Nowhere at a price tag of $398 million, she hypocritically supported the funding initially before Congress pushed for the funding and then came out against it. She didn't even try to "marketize" (truly privatize) the airport to which the bridge would have connected and the ferry boat system, which made access almost impossible. How are any of these stands libertarian at all? They are typical of a staunch social conservative Republican. She even supported taxing windfall profits of oil companies that were looking to do business in Alaska. That's hardly libertarian at all. Plus, the allegation that she fired a Wasilla librarian for removing books is a serious charge. (Even that controversy might not necessarily help McCain and the ticket, but it's a very strong possibility.) However, it shows that government should not be funding libraries, and they ought to be in the province of the free market, not bureaucrats and politicians.
It's obvious that Palin's true colors have been shining brightly. While it was a good political move for McCain to choose her in order to draw away attention from Obama, the Left, and their cronies from behind-the-scenes and in the media, it was a bad philosophical move, because Palin is not going to be against the establishment. Actually, she is the establishment now. Whatever hopes that "limited-government" conservatives might have had simply have gone up in smoke.