I wasn't gonna go here...I really wasn't...
For the first time in my 32 years of being alive, I am deeply afraid for my country.
As most of you know, I have never voted in any election. I registered to vote less than a year ago. I have rarely followed national politics, much less local politics, and have generally taken on the cynical attitude that ALL politics are corrupt and ALL politicians, regardless of party, are basically the same. My view was one of disgust and disinterest because I genuinely believed that no matter who was in office, general ineffectiveness and bureaucratic business-as-usual would reign as it always has and things would remain status quo in our country.
But this presidential election has got me interested. It's gotten everyone interested. And while I have been following the election from the beginning, I always hesitate to voice my political opinions - I don't know why.
Last week at work, while I was in my own cube, minding my own business, drawing wall details at my desk, one of the partners of the firm walked by and said to one of my co-workers (loud enough for the benefit of all of us within a 30 foot radius to hear):
"Did you watch Obama's speech last night? I watched about 3 minutes of it and then had to turn it off it made me so mad...harumph harumph harumph...he's trying to incite a class war instead of fixing the problems in this country...harumph harumph...and did you hear who McCain picked for his VP candidate?...she's good..."
So, what did I do? I immediately logged on to the Barak Obama for President website and made a donation. Ha! That's right. The money you pay me is going to support Barak Obama.
I have never made a monetary donation to a political candidate before. Never. But I'm scared. I'm afraid of this arrogant, self-described 'pit bull with lipstick'. When I hear people on the radio, or on the television, or on the web, or in my own office supporting Sarah Palin as a viable candidate, I feel physically ill. No, seriously.
The hairs on the back of my neck stand up, my fingertips go numb and my stomach does nauseating flip flops in a primal response to fear.
The Republicans and conservatives reading this are now gleefully shouting, "Hell yeah you should be afraid! You ridiculous liberals thought you had this presidential election all tied up but now we have this pit bull in our corner!"
Yep, you're right. It scares the bejeezuz outta me that there are people who sincerely think that Sarah Palin as Vice President of the United States of America is a sane notion. First of all, unless you are a religious freak-job like she is, I don't understand your support for her. Sorry, I just don't.
Without even going into the hypocrisies that populate her personal life, there is so much substantiated evidence of her ineptitude, her inexperience and her self-righteous arrogance in her brief political career.
When I first caught wind of McCain's choice for his running mate, I felt deeply insulted as a woman and even kind of pitied Sarah Palin for being used. I can't imagine a more cloyingly transparent political maneuver. Many Clinton supporters feel displaced, so let's let them have their female in the form of Palin. After all, women are basically interchangeable, right? Who cares if her politics are the polar opposite of Clinton's...she has a vagina and that's all that matters to those angry Clinton supporters.
And I thought, "Oh that poor woman. Being dragged into this because she's the physical type of candidate they need right now. She's nothing but a desperate pawn."
Oh how wrong I was!!
Despite her appalling lack of experience (hey, wait a minute...isn't that what Obama has been accused of all along?), she has managed to do some serious damage. Let's put aside her stance on reproductive rights and family values and her questionable education, (after all we wouldn't want to personally attack the poor woman, would we?) and focus on the political facts surrounding her:
Does she even know what the hell she's talking about half the time?
She recently tried to explain that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers". But then she went on to say, the companies "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."
Even though, according to her, she has just oodles of experience, she has no clear notion of what the Vice President of the United States does. "As for the VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what it is exactly that the VP does every day? I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that the VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."
Apparently she has no idea that the VP presides over the Senate.
There have also been chilling rumors of Palin's interest in banning books (and, for the record, a bogus list of books she allegedly tried to have banned). This, above all, is enough to scare me to death. The Valley Frontiersman says: local librarian, Mary Ellin "Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak [sic] when Palin was requesting resignations from all the city's department heads as a way of expressing loyalty. 'This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy', Emmons stressed Saturday. 'She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library'".
Hmmm...let's see, Hitler banned books, Mussolini banned books, and oh! that's right, theocratic nations like Iran ban books. Nations that do not separate church and state.
We won't criticize Palin's personal beliefs when it comes to abortion (cuz that's not fair after all). We'll just note that she opposes programs that teach girls how not to get pregnant. She lobbies against their right to decide whether to have a child. And then kills social support programs to cushion the impact of those policies. A few months ago she used a line-item veto to cut funding for a transitional home for teen moms in Alaska. So, unless you have the support system of Bristol Palin, you're outta luck.
Even though Palin has openly admitted to not following the Iraq War closely (are you kidding me!?), she nevertheless thinks it's "a task that is from God". Yep, theocratic nations engage in Holy Wars as well.
In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both." Of course, she's referring to Christian creationism here, not any of the other of hundreds of creation belief systems. There's a difference between science and folk lore. Even John McCain believes in evolution when it comes to the origin of life.
To some, Palin is cute and vivacious and plucky. The qunitessential small-town girl, mother of five children, all with quirky names. She eats moose and trophy-hunts in the wilds of Alaska. Girls can do anything they want AND look good doing it. Girl Power!
The frightening reality is that Palin is a rightwing-Christian extremist who has used her limited political clout towards vindictive, self-serving ends. She tells blatant half-truths, refuses to address any kind of real issue, and makes juvenile, mean-spirited remarks about community organizers who not only shoulder responsibilities and make positive differences in people's lives, they do so without a political agenda. While she's throwing all of her energy at tearing down Obama, he is asking people to protect her privacy.
Frankly, I CAN. NOT. WAIT. until she has to engage in grown-up debate with Joe Biden.
One of my co-workers said the other day she fears that Obama, if elected, would institute a socialist state. Never mind the stupidity of that statement... I say, I fear if Palin gets any kind of real power, she will do her best to institute a theocratic state.