Thursday, September 04, 2008

Library-Gate: What Does It Mean?

So now it's all over the internet. Yep, back when she first took office as the mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin used her position to try and get the city librarian to remove certain books from the shelves.

It will be talked about. We will hear pundits spouting off about what happened and why it does or does not matter. And lots of their opinions will be valid and important.

But you know what? None of it matters to me.

Why? Because one thing is clear. Whether or not she was successful, or just curious, or just interested in pursuing an agenda on behalf of her constituents... Saah Palin inquired about what it would take to ban books.

And we are not talking about Mein Kampf or the latest issue of Hustler.

One of the most intense changes brought about by the American experiment was that every publication did not have to pretend to support the government or it's moral positions.

We tend to forget this. That men like Thomas Paine were risking a rope around their neck and a short drop with a sudden stop when they talked about freedom. Sure, there is a difference because no one is talking about hanging Maya Angelou. But the basic principle is the same. No one should fear to speak their mind.

But the librarian in Wasilla took on Sarah Palin. And she is not the librarian there any more. She weathered the first storm. And maybe the second or third. But eventually, she quit fighting. Now, she isn't returning phone calls to the New York Times or the Boston Herald or Time Magazine. Official word is that she is on vacation. What is that? People don't often give up their fifteen minutes of fame. At least, not without a damn good reason.

Sorry, folks. An apology to those of you who want to see this woman Palin as a change, as a chance to move forward. I'm sorry because the more I hear about her past, the more I think that she is a step back rather than a step forward.

I don't want some token in the VP slot. I don't care if she has breasts.

I want someone who is truly progressive. And Sarah Palin is looking like a throwback right now, not a step forward.

I reserve the right to say I was wrong. But I don't think I am.

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