N.O.P.E. 2

By Jim Selman | Bio

Well, I’m never too old to be surprised. For you that are not familiar with the acronym N.O.P.E, it is short for National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders. Our purpose is to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and goodwill into society. The last time I spoke from this perspective I was expressing my disgust at the cynical depths that the Bush gang would go to convince a gullible public that their policies weren’t selling us out to the greedy bunch.

Now, the same folks that brought you ‘Wag the Dog’, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, ‘alternative-interrogation-isn’t-really-torture’, ‘climate change isn’t real’ and the pharmacy industry’s plan to’ help Medicare recipients have the drugs they need…’ are behind Senator McCain’s scheme to convince us that Sarah Palin is more experienced than Obama? GIVE ME A BREAK!

First, I have nothing against Mrs. Palin. In the context of Alaska politics, I am sure she is very effective and, from what we read, very popular. I am not biased against her age or her gender. While I don’t agree with her politics, I am not even begrudging the Senator’s right to select whomever he wants for a running mate. But I am someplace between shocked and angry that he or his strategists would attempt to justify his decision as anything more than political expediency and probably desperation.

How can any thinking person compare a small town mayor and governor of a small state with less than two years in office to someone who has mobilized millions, built and led a huge organization for the last two years, has been working at the level of national and global issues, and has earned the respect of hundreds, if not thousands, of mature and seasoned leaders across the social, economic and political spectrum? Moreover, to suggest that this is the answer to attracting Hillary supporters and religious conservatives is insulting to them.

I am reminded of a movie called “When Elvis Met Nixon”. It is supposedly true and involves a lot of very funny scenes, but revolves around the idea that Nixon wanted to ‘connect’ with the ‘kids’ and so met with Elvis. The joke was that by the late ’60s and early ’70s, Elvis was way past his heyday and most of the ‘flower children’ didn’t even know who he was. The point was that Nixon was so far out of touch that he thought ‘Hound Dog’ was still at the top of the charts and that Elvis would be the Pied Piper that brought all the children back into line with his idea of America.

Does McCain actually believe that should he die or become disabled (again) that we should entrust the fate of this nation and the world to someone who is not prepared? Is he trying to demonstrate what mature, good judgment looks like? Is this some kind of sick joke to highlight Barack’s lack of executive experience or to elicit sympathy for an underdog? Are we to accept that conservatives in America are so shallow that they will rally around anyone who shoulders a machine gun, opposes abortion and doesn’t believe that our environment is in trouble is automatically worthy of governing one of the most complex and powerful nations in the world at one of the most dangerous times in history? I hope not.

What saddens me is that this decision will again polarize the conversation and reinforce the cancer of partisan politics that has undermined civil discourse and eroded the American dream and what it used to mean to be an American. At best, it is poor judgment and at worst, another example of the cynical disregard for the people who make up this democracy.

© 2008 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.