Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jun 30, 2009 3:40 PM PDT
With due credit to more enlightened Alaskans, the enduring popularity of Sarah Palin here up north is remarkable. Young and old have told us of their love for “Sarah,” as they refer to the ever overreaching ex-vice presidential candidate. Alaska thus serves as an instructional case to illustrate the extent of the fall of conservatism from its once respectable position in American political thought.
There is no other way to understand how self-styled “conservatives” and independent ”mavericks” embrace the special brand of socialism that sustains the state economy. Alaska is indeed a land of contrasts, producing a candidate for the office that is a heartbeat away from the Presidency whose husband belonged to a separatist movement in this quirky state until a few years before her selection to run for the vice presidency.
One young Alaskan who was home from school in Oregon to work for the summer told us that one reason she loved Sarah was that she had made sure they got an extra $1500 dollars (actually, it was $1200, for a total of $3500) “because of the high price of gas.” One has to wonder if this is why Alaskans feel compelled to accept $1.80 from the despised federal government for every dollar that they pay in taxes to keep their own, presumably democratic government in business. We can only hope that they are not forced to experience the cold sting of reality now that Uncle Ted Stevens isn’t around to look out for their interests.
t has become very popular to grouse about having to pay taxes to support the legitimate functions of government, even to the point of denying the legitimacy of providing a basic social safety net for the losers in the game of unrestrained free market capitalism in a global economy. These so-called conservatives argue that government cannot do anything right, then go about electing leaders of like mind who go about busily proving their point. These same miscreants are the first to stick their fingers in the American pie when the opportunity presents itself.
For this, senators are almost invariably rewarded, as no state wants to give up their leaders’ positions of power obtained through seniority. This is how the government-military-industrial complex sustains itself, through the careful distribution of the gifts of jobs which produce nothing of value but votes for the senators who perpetuate the system.
We had the rare pleasure of watching them swim in a synchronized fashion, blowing bubbles to confuse the herring and trapping them in a “net” of bubbles from which they could see no escape. This learned behavior depends on a leader diving below the school of fish and calling when all are poised to spring the trap. It was a moving example of how individuals can work together and follow a leader with a plan. In short, these intelligent animals had discovered that hunting need not be a zero-sum game. Through working together, each can help increase the wealth of the herd and profit more than is possible by individual effort alone. How can Alaskans witness this and not be moved to similar acts of cooperative behavior?
Rick Staggenborg, MD
In international waters on the Gulf of Alaska
As another example of the hypocrisy of libertarians when they find they need more help than their family and friends can or are willing to give, here is a bit of history about Rand abandoning the philosophy when she needed help from the "gummint."