"We have, I fear, confused power with greatness" - Stewart Udall

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.

Naive? Definitely.

Irresponsible? Absolutely.

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.


Alison said...

They say Palin's speech prompted a lot of people to send money to Obama. It prompted me to consider moving to Canada. Eastern Canada.

So are you going to vote this year?

mom said...

bottom line is we need someone who has read and understands and believes in our U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately that isn't any of the 2 major party candidates. Our constitution spells out very clearly what our employees (government) are allowed to do, and it certainly does not include corporate welfare like bailing out fannie and freddie. It does give them the authority to collect taxes needed to protect OUR country. Too many government public servants just don't get it...it is NOT their money to give away! If they would take just enough money from every tax payer to do the job that is laid down in the constitution we would all have plenty of $ to give to whatever cause we feel passionate about and deem important, whether it's supporting pregnant teens, saving the environment, bailing out freddie and fannie, or whatever. That is our "god" given right as stated in the constitution. As far as I know the only candidate who has read,studied, and believes in the constitution was Dr. Ron Paul. Try his web site. There is absolutely nothing to dislike about him and he is passionate about getting this country back on track.

Gibbarella said...

First you know me and you know I am always on the fence, but it hurts me that you gave a dime to either one of these crooks who dont need a penny. Second you shouldnt copy statements made about someone from their competitions website. I think maybe she meant what does our current VP do who ever hears of him and what he is doing? Third that person you mentioned walking by your cube was probably MR and followed by CC and MRL agreeing.

Jennifer said...

How sad....as you admit, you have never had any interest in politics, never really followed local or national politics and have never voted. However, now that you have checked out the website of Obama, you are now an expert on politics and those running for president and vice president??? You don't think that it might, just possibly, be geared toward encouraging the mass-hysteria type nonsense that you're sputtering about? If you had said that you were actually listening and watching the speeches of both candidates, you had done research on the backgrounds and experience of all candidates, had ever really taken a hard look at how they stand on all issues, I'd say your opinion was credible. However, simply taking a blind stand based on some website is what is naive and irresponsible. Talking about VP candidates, have you actually ever looked into Joe Biden's crooked connections and experience? I guess the scariest thing of all is how many people are so panicked about Palin and focusing all of their efforts on her while forgetting about the PRESIDENTIAL candidates, including Obama, an inexperienced, racist, socialist wanting to lead our country....now that should panic anyone.

I agree with your mom, however, unfortunately, he won't be elected this year....but perhaps we can use his wisdom in a positive way....

Oh, and Alison, if you'd check the stats, you are actually incorrect about donations to Obama after the speech. McCain's campaign actually set fundraising records after her speech.

Daniel said...

I was not going to comment...really, I wasn't..but surely condemning Obama for being a socialist right after the current administration nationalized Freddie and Fannie is meant to be a laugh line...right? More importantly we ARE a socialist nation and all but the most crazy out there want a socialist government. Do you like the idea of an FDA, OSHA, Health department, public education, government build roads, national defense? If you said yes to any of those (and you need help if you said no to any)congratulations, you are a socialist. It is not if we are socialist, it is how much.

Ok, now the party of rich old white men (a group I hope to be a part of soon)accusing someone of being a racist is laughable. By the way, most everyone has some racist in them....we just own it more in the south.

If you do not believe that Sarah Palin was picked because she is cute and has a vagina then you are exactly the kind of person the rich old white guys want because you are easy to dupe. There are plenty of other extreme right wing religious whack jobs out there with better resumes who are sadly burdened with a penis.

Where are we now...oh, experience. Only 4 men have experience being the most powerful man in the world and two of those are disqualified. Think about electing someone to represent us to the world who has ideas similar to yours.

Ok, here is the hard part. The president has only a small impact on the economy. If you think Reagan is responsible for the 80s or that Clinton was responsible for the 90s means you do not really understand the limits of fiscal or monetary policy (this is too complicated to go into here...if you really want to understand more then give me a call). I am an honest to god economist who does understand.

I am a big old liberal mostly because conservative courts and moving steadily toward a theocracy scare the hell out of me. We have so perverted the meaning of liberal and conservative that they no longer have the meaning they used to. I see most politicians as saying what they need to say to get elected and behaving in a way they have to to stay in office. I want Obama to win to get more liberals on the Surpreme Court and so the world knows we have more than old white guys in this country...plus I am not a big fan of war (70s liberal and all) but I seriously doubt he will do much to change how Washington works.

This is not a personal attack...as much as it might sound like one....I am a big fan of everyone on this blog.

mom said...

Voting for the lesser of 2 evils. That's what something like %84 of voting Americans do. We cannot take much more of either Obama's or McCain's economic policy's, they"re driving us into the ground. Dan, your right Obama is not going to change the way Washington works, but Ron Paul has been trying and will continue to fight for liberty in Congress.
Hope your foot is feeling better.

schroederjt said...

Who cares if you haven't followed politics much before - it's a good thing for our country that a strong and intelligent woman like you is now getting interested and involved.

That someone would seriously disparage your critical thinking ability and/or judgement because Sarah Palin scares the crap out of you is absurd.

cathryn said...

BTW - I actually have been following this presidential election from the beginning and DID NOT simply extract quotes from Obama's website. All of the information I quote was gained from various news sources.

Firas said...

Are you happy now? Little knowledge is a dangerous thing, little one. You just HAD to make an opinion. You should have remained undecided and uninvolved and let the grown men do the fact checking. You never know, if you're good they may pick you one day as a wife. If you're really good they may even pick you as a running mate for public office! Now go draw walls in your cube and stay there. Next time turn up the volume in your headphone so you don't get entangled in what is not your business. Oh and that Internet thing with "websites" and so-called "verifiable facts". We're take that away. You don't need it

Anonymous said...

GO CATHRYN ! better to have some opinions than none at all.

Terah Lynn said...

I'd have to say that I agree with you mom...the govt has gotten too big for it's britches and has done more damage than good. Regardless of party...I do feel like it's voting for the lesser evil...What's worse? Voting for the lesser of two evils or not voting at all?? I miss (even though i was not living at the time) the good ole' days of being a patriot and actually doing/believing what the constitution and ammendments state...doing the "right" thing for the country...not for selfish reasons!

boty said...


Anonymous said...

I CHEW FOIL? Oh my gawd, boty, now you fit right in with the other idiot politicians, hey maybe you could be someone's running mate !! you'd have my vote.

boty said...

I would rule you all with an IRON FIST!!! OBEY THE FIST!!!!