The Palin effect scares the daylights out of me

I’m a news buff ‘par excellence’; I can not fall asleep without the first listening to the broadcast from Bush House, London.

I’m a news buff ‘par excellence’; I can not fall asleep without the first listening to the broadcast from Bush House, London.

If you didn’t know it-Bush House is not, as some will think, the summer home of the current American president but, rather, the home of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

I have to have my daily dose of news if I want a good night’s sleep. If you listen to the news as much as I do, then you’ll know that the biggest news story is, along with the shenanigans of the global finance, the American presidential election.

I’ll be quick to admit that I’m rooting for the Democrat ticket; I mean, what is there not to admire? Sen. Joseph Biden looks like he can talk about foreign policy all day and Sen. Obama is an absolute political phenomenon, who ranks favourably with another Democrat icon, not JFK, but rather Bill Clinton.

I’m not a natural Democrat but I’ve been swept under the Katrina-like flood of ‘YES WE CAN’. But the Republicans haven’t given much reason to wish them well.

Sen. McCain is alright; I’ve liked him for years, but his running mate? Wow. Mrs. Palin looks like an advert for subtle (and, therefore, proper) use of makeup but she doesn’t give me a ‘Vice Presidential vibe’.

I’m sure she’s done a lot of things right-she IS a Governor, but I somehow feel like I know more about US foreign and internal policy than she does.

But the scary thing is, it doesn’t seem like a problem to the Republicans; the fact that Sunny in Kigali knows more about the Bush Doctrine than someone of the American presidential ticket.

But her ignorance isn’t the scariest thing about Mrs. Palin; the scariest thing is that the American electorate hasn’t laughed her all the way back to Anchorage, Alaska.

It’s that millions of voters feel like she’s their heaven-sent saviour. I believe in miracles as much as the next person; but if Sarah Palin is a miracle then I’ll eat my shoe.

I’ve heard people, when asked to explain their love for the ‘Pit Bull in Lipstick’, saying things like, ‘I feel like I know her”, “she reminds me of my cousin” and “she looks real”.

Now if that’s not the biggest load of trash I’ve heard all year.

If you are going to elect someone to a post of real power, its common sense, that you look for the most qualified not someone who, ‘looks like your uncle’.

It’s sad but it seems as if many people will ignore real substance and vote basing on things that don’t make sense.

The ‘Palin Effect’ (as I’ve decided to call it) is this-if you appear to be like the most common segment of the population, they’ll identify with you and vote for you in droves.

Luckily for America, and the rest of us, there aren’t enough ‘Palin-people’ to give her, and her running mate, a win. That’s what I’m praying for anyway.

Do you know what scares me so much about the Palin Effect? It’s the fact that people will not act necessarily in their best interests when the emotional part of the brain in engaged by a wily politician.

So, here in Rwanda we’ll have a charlatan pretending to be the saviour of one part of the population ‘a la Twagiramungu’, and because he-or she, appeals to the electorates baser instincts, they’ll be given the keys to our State House by an electorate that doesn’t know better.

Democracy is all well and good but I, personally, don’t want to be led by someone who is the mirror image of a peasant in Gikongoro.

Sure a leader is meant to understand and be sympathetic to the plight of the smallest member of the electorate but he-or she shouldn’t be a member of that small, illiterate group.

A leader is someone who’s exemplary, and therefore not anything like me. If I want a friend I’ll pick a drinking buddy…if I want a president I’ll pick the smartest fellow I know. Someone who’s far, far smarter than I.


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