Veronica Roberts

Satire, sort slightly funny side of serious

What would the U.S. look like if McCain/Palin had won the presidency in '08?

Christianity 101, drilled into me through 10 years of Catholic schools from elementary to high school: Heaven and Hell, respectively, are places to work towards entering joyously and avoiding at all costs. Purgatory was that ambiguous place where souls not quite pure as the driven snow yet not as dark as the devil's--went to "dry out." Think of it as rehab for the slightly sinful before they could be rehabilitated into Heaven.

Purgatory comes to mind envisioning a John McCain and Sarah Palin victory. The mental picture resurrects these old teachings that I have long abandoned, for I am too sinful for two of those places according to some on the religious right.

You see I believe in equal marriage rights for all; I believe in women's reproductive rights; I believe we all have a right to our religous or non-religious lives; I believe in separation of church and state; I believe every human being has a right to life therefore a right to medical care; I believe in equal wages for equal work regardless of sex; I believe that workers rights should be protected; I believe in fair taxation; I believe in true democracy where government is of the people, by the people for the people; I believe all the world's wealth concentrated in the hands of a few is obscene.

See, my lists of "sins" are endlessly long and qualify me for the deepest of damnations. The odd couple and their party who competed for the presidency almost four years ago do not believe in any of those things. What would Amercia--oops sorry--had a Romney moment. I mean what would America look like now if those two had been at the helm?

Scary movies and nightmares have never been my forte, so I shudder to think what the view of U.S. lanscape would have been. McCain, of the old school, "do as I order or else" would have sent an already tumultuous Middle East into an explosive powder keg. Could you imagine him dealing with Iran and encouraging Israel to do whatever it takes to protect its sovereignty, even if that meant outright war without negotiations explored further?

Which brings us to what Vice President Palin would have contributed to the office. Could you imagine her in a room with Russia's Putin? She might not be able to resist asking him if he could see her house from his backyard. Her foreign policy knowlege is sort of equal to a fifth-grader's (sorry fifth-graders), so forget embarrassing geographical moments: It might have been dowright dangerous to unleash her to any dealings on a global scale.

Our current VP, Biden, is a loose cannon sometimes but at least his gaffes are containable. Things like "the president has a big stick" elicits widespread laughter but will not incite an international incident.

Then again we do not know if the former governor who bailed on her duties in her Alaska to take up being an author/pundit and reality star, would have lasted for the required four years, for we now know that she has a penchant for quitting midstream. Furthermore, Palin was heard on her TLC reality show saying she loved the outdoors and would rather shoot a moose, fish or kayak, than be in "a stuffy Washington office."

Then there is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and America's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden. The Republicans can't bring themselves to genuinely give President Obama his props for nailing the most notorious terrorist, but they couldn't get him for seven years, and I doubt if McCain would have had any more success than befuddled George W. Bush.

McCain thinks we should still be actively fighting in Iraq so you already know what he would have done under his presidency. Wars and more wars fought on more and more credit which puts us into more and more debt yet he preaches fiscal responsibility. I guess fiscal conservatism only applies when it comes to programs that help the poor and elderly.

For all Palin's pandering on death panels for the elderly, the GOP's ideology would hurt the aging population more than anything President Obama has proposed in the Affordable Healthcare Act. Under a McCain-Palin leadership, budget cuts would have certainly affected those who needed assistence most for we see who there are targeting now. Medicare, Medicaid. programs that assist with college tuititons like Pell Grants, healthcare, housing, unemployment benefits and feeding the poor.

If you think things are bad today, what would it have looked like when the odd couple slashed all these programs? More homeless and hungry when the unemployed are told to fend for themselves with no safety measures; non-existent healthcare coverage means sickness and overflowing emergency rooms; programs that help feed the needy drastically reduced; less kids going to college means youth unemployment would continue to rise. I could go on and on for the ripple effect would have been enormous but I'm sure you get the picture.

Meanwhile, Wall Street and big banks would be enjoying their bailouts with not an iota of regulations. For all the loud cymbals clashing on the GOP side, they would have bailed out the banks just like Obama did but without pulling the reigns on that out-of-control "mob." After-all, free market is the cornerstone of their sermon and see this as unfettered "grazing" by the corporate world. Big oil, big banks, big private sector should be free to "police" themselves, trusted to be "good capitalists."

The Bush-era tax breaks are still in place under Obama so you know they would have been etched into the Constitution under McCain-Palin. Forget fightng to renew those cushy "welfare for the wealthy" tax breaks every two years. It would have had a permanent seal of approval by now and Grover Norquist's pledge would have been engraved in the Oval Office.

A permanent state of purgatory for the poor souls of the land. But hey, that's better than that socialist, communist, Muslim, Kenyan-born radical Barack Hussein Obama guy trying to preach that corny "hopey change" thing to the masses, right? As the VP Palin would say, "You betcha!"

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.