Sarah Palin’s All-American, Not-A-Campaign Bus Tour is winding down after she visited various historic sites in the Northeast. The purpose of her escapade wasn’t clear, but that didn’t stop the “lamestream” media from covering it like Rush Limbaugh looking for a fix.
Palin’s patriotic gallivant is giving some credence to those who think she’s going to run for president in 2012 – leaving even halfway intelligent Republicans in serious fear and Democrats crossing all their little fingers and toes, if only in hopes of comedic material.
But politics is not a joke – or at least it shouldn’t be. Palin’s entrance into the campaign would belittle America’s political process and its voters. She’s turned the public arena into nothing short of a carnival sideshow, a hall of mirrors, a whiplash-inducing roller coaster. She distracts from serious candidates and stifles serious debates. If there is anything this country needs right now, it’s a Republican candidate with a decent idea or two, but the media is focused on Palin.
Last Thursday, one of the serious Republican contenders, Mitt Romney, made the official announcement in New Hampshire that he was entering the 2012 presidential race. Just down the road, Palin’s whimsical, magical bus tour made a stop at a clambake. What a coincidence! The next day, The New Hampshire Ledger’s front page was plastered with Palin’s image and a story on her clambake appearance. Romney appeared in a smaller picture on the front page and was in a story on page three. Sorry about that, Mitt.
Only a couple days before that, the media were in a rage when Palin visited Paul Revere’s former residence in Boston and was asked her opinion on the famed American hero, whose Founding Father colleagues she often invokes.
She offered this scholarly interpretation: “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and making sure, as he’s riding his horse through town, to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”
Historians might point out that Revere was not warning the British, but rather the colonists, utilizing an alarm chain to warn those protecting the rebel arsenal in Concord of an attack. The media pounced on the mistake, giving Palin even more airtime in which to say as many patriotic-sounding words as she could in as short a time possible.
The media obsession with Palin is nothing short of ridiculous and it distracts from Republican candidates like Romney and Jon Huntsman, who are at least somewhat qualified to run for office. For the good of the country, Palin should go back to Alaska and stay quiet for a few years.
Vince DeFrancesco is a senior majoring in mass communications.