by Jerry Alatalo
fter considering Sarah Palin’s speech in Iowa at a meeting of 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls over the weekend, it’s hard to determine just how to analyze it. One could come from a place of humor and ridicule, and generate a few laughs through witty remarks about the very real possibility, if in 2008 John McCain and Ms. Palin had won the presidential election, and that, if McCain had become incapable of continuing, she could have become the President of the United States.
Ms. Palin’s speech leaves one afterward in a state of mixed emotions, but perhaps the best description for how most people reacted was with feelings of not knowing exactly whether to laugh or cry. Being a person who refrains from ever kicking another person when they are down, the best emotion in response to Ms. Palin’s embarrassing oratory performance is probably compassion.
She may have consumed some alcohol before going on stage to speak, innocently loosening up with her friends whom she hadn’t seen in a while, but unfortunately placed too much faith in the problem-free operation of her teleprompter. As a person who has a history of alcohol abuse, it would be difficult to judge Sarah Palin harshly if that were the case.
There could be other explanations for her unusual reasoning during the talk, perhaps something to do with taking prescription medication, with incoherency being one of the side effects like those many at the end of every TV advertisement. Now, if Sarah Palin was actually stone-cold sober during this talk, then, well, this was a very, very sad moment for the United States of America.
For whatever reason, after watching Ms. Palin’s Iowa talk, the image of U.S. Attorney General nominee to replace Eric Holder – Loretta Lynch – came to mind after watching a good portion of her senate confirmation hearing today. Both Ms. Lynch’s opening statement and her answers to senators’ tough legal questions struck one as highly impressive, surely the result of law school and many years of experience as an attorney and prosecutor in New York.
What became crystal clear and felt absolutely astonishing was to become aware of the profound distance between these two women regarding their ability to “think on one’s feet”, as the cliché goes. Now, once again, in order not to kick another while they’re down, law school training is one of the most challenging of all academic disciplines, and it’s abundantly apparent that Sarah Palin’s extent of legal studies and experience amount to a small percentage of Loretta Lynch’s.
There is an important lesson to become learned from making a comparison between Sarah Palin in Iowa and Loretta Lynch during the Senate confirmation hearing. With a feeling of sadness for those young people in America who will watch Ms. Palin’s Iowa talk and end up confused because they’ll know she could have become both Vice President and President of the United States, as well as great compassion for a fellow human being/soul who will unfortunately experience kicks while she’s down, putting a finger on exactly what that lesson is leaves one almost as confused as the young ones.
It’s a bizarre lesson. Perhaps the lesson learned has to do with disallowing teleprompters for politicians altogether, guaranteeing elimination of any possibility in the future of less-than-ideal candidates’ winning elections. Or the lesson may relate to instances where human beings become so overwhelmed by what they perceive as problems in the world they are powerless to solve that the result is separation from that dark reality. And for that reason great compassion is the only response.
Whatever the lesson is, and there are many possible teachings, one thing is certain.
The lesson is greater than we know.
(The Young Turks – YouTube)