So I attended a Sarah Palin rally in my hometown. It was an interesting experience.
Honestly, there were points were I wanted to just throw things at the various speakers.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the things that pissed me off during the night.
1.) Morgan Griffith a Republican member of the VA house of Representatives gave the invocation prayer. Now I know this is the south and I don't so much have a problem with the fact there was a prayer as I do the content of that prayer. Griffith seemed to suggest in his prayer that God was on the side of McCain/Palin. I find that to be a strange comment. In fact I find it strange that God would be on anyone's side seeing as how God is all powerful and all knowing, shouldn't God be on ... well ... God's side?
2.) They then had some singer come up and he dedicated a song to Palin ... the song you ask? 'Oh, Pretty Woman' by Roy Orbison. Poor choice. The fact of the matter is that people associate that song with a movie about a prostitute (Though the song doesn't actually say that)! I couldn't believe it. I just kind of went ... "DOH!"
3.) Then they played God Bless America. Now, call me a bit crazy, and I say this as a non-religious person, but I've read the Bible and it seems to me that if you hold what the bible says to be true, or even just good moral teachings, God shouldn't want to bless America. We look more like Nineveh or Gomorrah than we do a "Christian" nation or at least a nation with many "Christian" people. Feel free to disagree, but that's just how I see it. If you're going to claim to be something or ask for that blessing, maybe it's time we started looking at whether we act like it. It's kind of like being a beef farmer and asking the Hindu god(s) to bless you.
4.) The Co-Chairman of the McCain/Palin campaign in VA got up to talk and this guy was actually kind of funny. Until he started railing against individuality, then I got pretty pissed.
"Put aside your individuality to build a better society."Oh ... that's right because self-interest is eeeevil. You self-righteous political drone. It is the entrepreneurs and the industrialists and the inventors, the capitalists, they are the ones who build a better society. NOT the politicians and their lackeys. Do I really need to point you to the 20th century as an example? We saw Government control and regulation expand over virtually EVERY aspect of our lives, has this made us better off? I doubt it. What made our lives better was the inventions. The refrigerator, the automobile, the telephone, the cell phone, the Internet (Not invented by Al Gore by the way), and other such things were not invented by the government. (I do concede that the ARPANET project was the predecessor to the Internet but it has been private companies that have expanded the usefulness of the network.)
5.) This was said about McCain: "He puts country first." Shouldn't he put the citizens and the US Constitution first? I'm just asking. If you don't think he should, that's fine. I'm just asking people to be honest about what they really think rather then use political buzz terms.
6.) "John McCain sponsored legislation in 2005 that could have prevented the Freddie Mac and Fannie May meltdown." Right so as a student of economics I have to call BULLSHIT! If you don't understand the roots of the mortgage and equity mess we are seeing right now I want you to go and read this post of mine. It's short and dirty and doesn't cover all of the nuances, but it does hit the major effects at work. The very short version is that the US government and the Federal Reserve Bank put us in this mess, why should we expect them to save us?
7.) US House of Rep. member Bob Goodlatte led the crowd in a rousing chorus of "Drill Baby Drill". This was kind of cool actually. Maybe people will figure out that the "Green" movement is largely a bunch of anti-capitalist, self-righteous, panicky morons. What pissed me off was all the talk of energy independence. We get 68% of our oil from Canada ... I'm just fine with free trade.
9.) Jim Gilmore, running for US Senate and he will lose in a landslide (My prediction), continued with national security fear mongering. We have Delta Force for a reason. They go in, they kill people, they get out. That's how you solve terrorist problems, not by bumbling around trying to build a state that shouldn't exist in the first place. Hell the reason Iraq has all those nice straight lines is because the British carved out the territory as part of their Empire.
10.) Jackasses with signs! I'm trying to see and/or take pictures! No one cares if "Hokies (heart) Palin" or if you think we ought to "Keep VA Red". I don't care and it just pisses off the people behind you, especially when it goes up every 30 seconds! I came to see people speak, not hear them speak and look at your dorm-room art work.
Now there were a few highlights.
1.) Mandi (would you spell that with a 'Y'?) and her friend (I really need to get better at names!). They had the right idea and were drinking Rum during the event, or maybe they just pregamed it. Still not sure. They were cool, cute, loud, opinionated, a bit ignorant on some issues (Aren't we all?), but still kind of cool (even if Mandi's screaming left me deaf in my right ear). The funny thing is that they struck me as the kind of people that would be hard to sway by libertarian reasoning. Mandi had some knee-jerk reactions to my thoughts on drug policy, but she kind of failed to address my arguments. *Shrugs* It would probably have been easier talking about this over a cup of coffee sober than one of us buzzed. Who knows, she might open up to the ideals of liberty if she did a little more reading and thinking.
N.B. I should have tried to get my flask in, scotch would have made the rally more tolerable.
2.) The nice lady and her husband on my left side I got to rub elbows with a bit during the waiting between speakers. She seemed very libertarian in her outlook on some issues, but I'm not sure if she, like so many others, is ready for the ultimate implications of libertarian philosophy. he seemed like a typical knee jerk republican. He kept shouting about Obama being a Marxist (which is true!) but if you asked him to look at the policies his party has put forward he would probably squirm or just say "Well that's not what I believe and better leaders can do better for us." Uh huh. That was the argument made during the Socialist Calculation Debate: If only socialist planners were more moral people, then the system would work better than Mao's, Stalin's, Lenin's, Tito's systems did. Mises and Hayek BOTH addressed this issue. They said, and I agree that the system is geared so that corrupt people rise to the top. In fact I believe that of ANY political system.
In conclusion. I'm glad I'm not voting. I'm convinced most of the people at the rally had no business voting. They DO NOT understand the implications of economic policies and they don't understand that what a politician promises and what happens once they get in office, can be very different things. If I had polled, and asked "What caused the mortgage meltdown?" I would have heard lots about corporate/ Wall Street greed, Fannie and Freddie, and The Democrats. I'm not sure if more than a dozen people would have told me "The Federal Reserve."
I'm very worried about the state of this country.
EDIT: I'll be posting pics of the rally inside this post tomorrow, I don't have the energy to crop and take care of them tonight.