IEET > Vision > Directors > George Dvorsky > Futurism > Technoprogressivism
Republican calls for Palin in 2012 reveal a deep malaise
George Dvorsky   Nov 6, 2008   Sentient Developments  

A mere one day after the election, a number of Republicans are encouraging Sarah Palin to prepare for the 2012 presidential run. Rush Limbaugh has gone so far as to call her “The next Ronald Reagan.”

This is a clear indication that there are some deep and underlying problems within the party—something that’s particularly revealing considering what just transpired in the recently concluded election.

The party itself is a pale imitation of what it used to be. Modern Republicanism has regressed to petty populism—it’s now all about apple pie, Joe six-pack and anti-intellectual sentiment. Sure, it can be a great way to get elected, but as we’ve seen time and time again, it’s no way to run a country (actually, given the GOP defeat, it’s not even a good way to run an election any more—though it was disturbingly close).

Another problem is that the GOP keeps looking at the rear view mirror; post-election punditry from the Republicans have been filled with calls for a return to good ‘ol fashion Reaganism. Well, Reagan’s coalition was built on the issues of crime, welfare, taxes and the Cold War. These are now old battles and and old ways of thinking about how to mobilize the electorate.

A number of Republicans have clearly not learned from their defeat in this election about where the party needs to go (in terms of reform and modernization) and how they need to speak to the needs and pains of the American people; it’s quickly becoming the party of the previous century. The Democrats, meanwhile, are looking to become the first true administration of the 21st Century.

As an example, the GOP must catch up to Democrats in online organizing and fundraising - a shortcoming made clear in this election. “The Republican Party is teetering on the brink of irrelevancy,” argues Professor Lawrence R. Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “This is about as close to a repudiation as you can get.”

Negative reactions to recent dissent from within the party further reinforces the notion that the Republicans are uninterested in doing any soul searching; columnist Kathleen Parker has been drowning in hate mail on account of her criticisms of Sarah Palin, Chris Buckley, the son of the late William F. Buckley Jr., lost his position at the National Review, and Colin Powell is most certainly now persona non grata among the Republicans.

Mind you, not all Republicans feel this way, of course. There are already calls for reform in some quarters. At any rate, they’ve got lots of work to do. The only question is: in which direction will they take the party?

George P. Dvorsky serves as Chair of the IEET Board of Directors and also heads our Rights of Non-Human Persons program. He is a Canadian futurist, science writer, and bioethicist. He is a contributing editor at io9 — where he writes about science, culture, and futurism — and producer of the Sentient Developments blog and podcast. He served for two terms at Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association). George produces Sentient Developments blog and podcast.


What?  Palin is the next Reagan?  Not by a long shot.

Reagan knew that Africa was a continent.  Reagan knew which 3 countries belonged to NAFTA (US Canada Mexico).  Reagan could name a supreme court decision he disagreed with.  Reagan could complete a grammatically-correct sentence in ordinary conversation.  If Reagan were losing an election, he would never resort to calling his opponent a Muslim, a terrorist, a socialist, etc.  If Reagan was told to buy 6 suits worth $25,000, he would not respond by purchasing dozens of suits worth $175,000.  Reagan did not think that living in California made him a foreign policy expert on Mexico. 

Mrs Palin:  I knew Ronald Reagan and you are no Ronald Reagan.

by the time Obama leaves office (2016) a lot of conservative baby boomers will have died, and the US electorate will be more ethnically and culturally mixed. unless the Obama administration screws up in some major way (e.g. the relations they form or fail to form with russia) it is hard to see how republicans could recover their previous dominance. maybe the next turning point will be bioethics - at what point in the development of new biotechnologies do people decide that the liberal slope is getting too slippery; at what point do we start hearing unanimous calls to ban the liberal transhumanists? maybe it never gets to that point, but i sure wonder what Obama’s bioethics council will look like..

For the first time in my life, I agree with Rush Limbaugh.

Sarah Palin IS the next Ronald Reagan!

He was nothing but a puppet president, an actor fed lines every day of his administration.

The evidence was clear in his final days, when his alzeimers
was evident in public, but not in his “official announcements”, which came from the puppetmasters.

The abject failure of “trickle down economics” are exactly what led to today’s financial breakdown.

I do not miss Ronald Reagan, actor, and I will not miss Sarah Palin, beauty queen.

“by the time Obama leaves office (2016) a lot of conservative baby boomers will have died, and the US electorate will be more ethnically and culturally mixed.”

This is an astute observation.  As Rush Limbaugh cracked on election day about Black Panthers beating Philadelphians who try to cast their ballots against hope, I had the thought that life is short and that it won’t be long before even the remnants of Limbaugh’s ilk are dead and gone.  Sarah Palin is a gasp, clinging to a past when America was racially and ethnically segregated, largely rural, uneducated and generally lacking in worldliness.

The Republicans once stood for ideas, but short-sighted electoral pragmatism led them from an idea-based party to a culture-based party.  That culture is a dying culture.

Get you facts right Sarah Palin never said he was a Muslim however he used to be that’s a fact. Was Barack Obama ever a Muslim? He says no, but the Associated Press found records that showed Obama was in school as a Muslim living in Indonesia. Ok so now he’s a Christian. Did Sarah Palin say he was a terrorist? No, she said he associated with terroists which he did. He assocaited with Bill Ayers who was a domestic terrorist and is not in jail at this time because of a legal technicality. Ayers bombed government buildings just like Timothy McVey. Sarah Palin did say however that Obama is a socialist, which he is, and will soon prove that to eveyone including you.

Jerry Ulibarri,
No your wrong….nothing in nature or economics trickle up. Poor and working class people don’t provide jobs they work at jobs provided by someone else namely companies funded by investors.
It was the housing crisis that caused the economic meltdown not Reagan Economics. If you did your homework you would see it was a direct result of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying up loans from banks, packaging them and selling them trough Wall Street. The bubble burst and the market colapsed. The Republicans warned congress no less than 12 times from 2001 about what was a very risky practice. However, with the help of the Senate Banking Commitee Chaired by Chris Dodd (a democrat) and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank (a democrat) the practice continued as they protected Franklin Raines and the bad banking policies of Freddie and Fannie. So you’re wrong

The Messiah will be a one shot President and once everyone figures out they actually elected Jimmy Carter II, the party will be over.

As for Sarah: I will be one of the first to send her campaign money.  Socialists - eat your hearts out!!

Those who must lie about their opponents show that they are ashamed of their own beliefs.  No thinking human being can truly call Obama a socialist, but the unthinking ones can repeat that without understanding what it means.  Did you know that farm subsidies are socialist?  Yet there they are, a key part of America.  Subsidies to the auto industry?  Oil industry?  All socialism.  Food stamps?  Medicare?  A government managed retirement plan?  You see, the word ‘socialism’ has a meaning that you can look up rather than pretend to know by taking Rush Limbaugh’s word for it.  If you don’t know what the word means, admit it and learn from your mistakes.

To geedafotus,

There is nothing wrong with my facts.  If you bothered listening to commentators other than Limbaugh, Hannity & Savage, and if you didn’t worship at the altar of Fox News, then you too could be aware of the real facts.

Who are you to judge who is a Christian and who isn’t?  Each of us has a private relationship with God.  God did not put you in charge of determining what other people’s religious beliefs are.  Please find something else to do with your time than rate other people’s relationships with God.

You implied that, if Obama used to be a Muslim, that would somehow disqualify him from being a Christian today.  Your remarks imply that a person can only be a real Christian if they never believed in any other faith.  This is not what the Bible teaches us.  Any human can be saved if they believe in the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we humans can be forgiven.  That means that, no matter what a person’s prior religious beliefs were, if that person accepts Jesus, they are a Christian.  Period.  End of story.  And they are not a “second-class” Christian, behind other Christians… that person is equal in God’s eyes.  So, even though there is no proof that Obama was ever a Muslim, if he DID used to be a Muslim, that does not mean that he is not a Christian today. 

Since when does a school’s religious affiliation dictate the beliefs of its children?  I had friends in college who went to a Jesuit school , even though they were not Jesuits.  I had a Jewish friend who went to a Catholic shool, even though he was not Catholic.  And I have a Christian friend who went to a Jewish private school, even though she has never been Jewish.  All proof shows that Obama’s elementary school in Indonesia was non-religious, but even if it WAS a Muslim school, that does not mean that Obama was a Muslim.  Do you really believe that all the kids in Catholic school are really Catholic?  Yeah, right.

You and the conservative fringe of rabid radicals have to stop disparaging Obama on the basis that he had some associations with some bad people, unless you are willing to give the same verbal beating to your own GOP candidate.  You disparage Obama because he had an association with a terrorist and a felon and a crazy preacher.  Why don’t you disparage McCain because he had an association with a KKK member (Byrd)?  Why don’t you disparage McCain because he had an association with a guy who helped make Watergate happen and then gave people terrorsit-like instructions on how to shoot federal agents in the head (G Gordon Liddy)?  Why don’t you disparage McCain because he used his political power in DC to ask the govt regulators to look past his his friend’s nefarious activities, which caused millions of innocent Americans to lose their retirement savings in the S & L crisis and resulted inseveral felonies for his friend (Keating)?  The only reason the discipline committe gave McCain a “slap on the hand” instead of a formal conviction was because McCain was a war hero, so they went easy on him, citing him simply for “using bad judgement.”  Why don’t you disparage Palin for he association with her husband, who had joined a club that was founded on hatred of America (the AIP) and activist movement to get Alaska to secede from the America that they hated? 

You also need to get past this “socialist” thing.  Seriously.  The big bailout was a socialist-leaning act, because it makes the gvt owners of the banks.  And McCain signed it just as quickly as Obama did.  And in the 2nd debate McCain suggested that as president he would use taxpayer money to have the gvt buy up the bad mortgages, whic his also socialistic.  Our country has used a combination of socialism and capitalism for generations and Republicans have promoted it just as much as Democrats, so get off the “socialism” high horse.

Read your history, geedafotus.  Obama is certainly far from perfect, but so are you and I and so are all the candidates that you and I support.  You speak as if Obama is a demon who is going to eat babies and drown puppies when he gets into office and as if Obama’s opponents (McCain/Palin) are angels. 

My advice to you is to stop maligning people, go in a quiet corner somewhere, lick your wounds, then get over your bad attitude and come join the rest of humanity, and try to contribute to something positive in the world.


You demonstrate your own ignorance - unless Reagan was clairvoyant, he wouldn’t have know during his presidency that NAFTA was comprised on Mexico, the US, and Canada, since NAFTA wasn’t enacted until 1994.

Did Reagan really stand for liberty?  Or did he have enlightened fools like you assisting him in paving the way for George W?


If you would have actually *read* my post before sending your condescending reply post, you would have noticed the following:

(1) I never claimed Reagan knew about NAFTA *during* his presidency.  I only claimed that Reagan knew what NAFTA was.  Reagan announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimers in June 1994.  Clearly, Reagan was still mentally aware in January 1994 when NAFTA went into effect.

(2) I never claimed that Reagan stood for liberty.  Truth be told, I wasn’t even particularly fond of Reagan.  In the original article, someone stated that Palin was the new Reagan.  In my post I was simply dismissing that idea.  As much as Reagan had his problems, he was not nearly as misguided or clueless as Palin.

(3) I did nothing to pave the way for W.  I voted against him both times and was dismayed that so many Americans voted for such an obvious retard. 

If you are simply in a mood to pick fights with people, I can’t stop you, but I suggest that you actually *read* people’s posts before you reply to them. 

Best of luck to you…

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