As reported by a September 4, 2008 Associated Press article titled, “Environmentalists say Palin’s record on wildlife as harsh as Alaska itself,” Sarah Palin’s policies and record clearly illustrate little regard for wildlife and the environment. Beginning with her time at the National Governors Association conference spent primarily making her case to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne against classifying the polar bear as a threatened species, Sarah Palin has continually maintained troublingly dismissive environmental and wildlife policies. Some months later, she once again confronted Dirk Kempthorne, arguing against even the Bush administration that they, “didn’t use the best science in concluding that without further protection, the polar bear faces eventual extinction because of disappearing sea ice as the result of global warming.”
During her 20 months of governor of Alaska has opposed federal marine scientists who concluded that the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale needs protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Most appallingly, Palin has defended the right of Alaska to shoot wolves from the air for the benefit of boostering the populations of moose and caribou herds – not for the sake of the moose and caribou, but for the sole purpose of leaving more live moose and caribou for the human sport hunters to kill! Interestingly, this is a view that is contrary to that of her running mate John McCain. Finally, Palin remains skeptical that human created greenhouse emissions are responsible for the dramatic acceleration of global warming in this century.
As a result of her harsh environmental and wildlife policies, environmentalists have nicknamed Palin the “Killa from Wasilla,” and John Toppenberg, the director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, has said that, “Her philosophy from our perspective is cut, kill, dig and drill,” and that she is “in the Stone Age of wildlife management and is very opposed to utilizing accepted science.”
It is the attempt of people like Sarah Palin to hijack the republican party, that have encouraged me through the years to move from a consistent republican voter to an independent that would now give strong consideration to a candidate possessing a democratic ideology over a republican of Sarah Palin’s ilk. The party of small government and fiscal conservatism that I was inspired by as a young man, I am saddened to see has gradually and progressively become embraced by those who value relentlessly pushing their agendas, even at the expense of compassion, tolerance, justice, and even science.
With another running mate at his side, I may have considered voting for John McCain as president, a man who has throughout most of his career embraced the core, fundamental values of the conservative movement, without sacrificing compassionate and progressive environmental policy, tolerance, justice, and science. However, when he chose consolidating his base by choosing as his running mate, someone who embodies what has gone wrong with both the republican party and our country in general, he instantly lost my vote.
Choosing to run with Sarach Palin, John McCain is telling the nation that he would put the “Killa from Wasilla” a heartbeat a way from leading our country. This not only makes me question John McCain’s judgement, but it also leads me to believe that the compassionate, impassioned, and justice seeking maverick I supported in 2000 may be truly gone.