Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin Makes Me Cringe

For some [unknown] reason, my initial thought with this blog was to avoid discussing politics. Ask anyone who knows me, that's odd and unlike me. I don't talk about politics all the time, but they are important to me. I am a firm believer that if you don't vote, then you have no right to bitch. And I really enjoy bitching, thus I must vote. I also detest ignorance, thus I needed to research the candidates so my vote will be an informed decision rather than the blind following of whatever my parents, co-workers, religious leader, etc. tell me. My leanings are liberal to say the least. But I do respect the opinions of others, provided they can back them up (if their beliefs are of the aforementioned blind following variety, then I don't want to hear it).

As stated in my most political blog to date(entitled "Hope," August 4), I am an Obama supporter. I do respect John McCain's military service and think he seems like a nice person, I just don't think he'd be the best president. I also understand that, whether I like it or not, he could be the next president. While I was less than thrilled with that concept, it didn't frighten me...until he added Sarah Palin to his ticket. Now I'm scared.

I just finished watching the Saturday Night Live sketch with Tina Fey portraying the Alaska governor. It is absolutely hilarious! And it touched on many of the reasons I have a problem with Sarah Palin. It's going to be hard to state these reasons without having to write a novel, but I'm going to try.

I'm sick and tired of hearing people call anyone who likes Hillary Clinton and doesn't like Sarah Palin a hypocrite. I don't like Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, just like I don't dislike (hate, abhor, loathe, detest) Sarah Palin because she is a woman. My feelings are based on my review of their personalities and character (a novel concept). I don't even understand why people keep comparing them; it's apples and oranges, people! They're both married women with children who are in politics--and the commonalities end there.

I saw a clever piece of flair on Facebook that said, "Just because Sarah Palin has a vagina doesn't mean she cares about your's!" I couldn't agree more. Most conservatives are pro-life (a term which irritates me in itself; I'm not anti-life, I'm anti-lack-of-options and anti-people-telling-me-what-I-can-and-cannot-do-with-my-body) but she takes it a step further. She doesn't agree with abortion in cases of rape and/or incest. That is intense. Rape is arguably the worst thing that can happen to a woman; to force her to carry a resulting child is a further violation of her rights.

I was attacked once, and lucky enough to get away. But not a day goes by that I don't think about what could have happened. Had I gotten pregnant, I don't think I could've gone through with it. While there are a few [unstable] women who use abortion as a form of birth control, I don't think it's a decision that most women make lightly. If someone makes that decision, I trust that they have thought through all their options, and I don't feel it's my place to question their judgement.

Sarah Palin also advocates abstinence-only sex education, a concept I find laughable. To explain only a portion of something is not a full education. In my high school health class, abstinence was barely touched on due to the assumption that "no one was going to do that anyway." I disagree with that, too. People should know all the facts, consequences of their decisions and options thereafter. It should be stressed to kids that abstinence is the only 100% guaranteed way to avoid diseases, pregnancies, etc. but that if they do decide to have sex it should be done safely. It's ignorant to think that teenagers aren't going to have sex just because you tell them not to (and we know how I feel about ignorance). The proof of abstinence-only education success rates can be found in Palin's daughter.

That's another thing, Palin is being commended for acknowledging her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy. "How brave of their family to deal with this situation...and it's OK because they're going to get married." Forcing children to get married is far from brave. It is, at best, archaic. Palin has stated that teenagers are going to do things you tell them not to. That is exactly the reason they should be fully educated.

One of the main criticisms of Barack Obama has been his lack of experience. What better way to drive home your point than pick someone with even less experience! But noooo, Sarah Palin is different because she's "governor of the biggest state in the country." Yes, Alaska is the biggest state geographically, however it ranks somewhere around 47th in population. I doubt it's hard to be governor of trees. Her total foreign policy experience is her states proximity to Russia. Well, Earth is right next to the moon and Mars, but that doesn't make me an expert astronomer.
I almost forgot to mention that Palin is under investigation for abusing her power as governor! She allegedly ordered the firing of the man who was about to be her ex-brother-in-law. Is it just me, or is the campaign commercial just writing itself?!

Palin also promised that the days of ear-marking funds for politicians are over! If you need examples of politicians who've requested said funds, look no further than Sarah Palin! She hired a lobbying firm to secure $27 million for Wasilla, Alaska (population 6700) when she was mayor. And who could forget the $223 million dollars she secured in 2005 for the infamous "bridge to nowhere"? She now claims to have said "thanks but no thanks on the bridge to nowhere." But only after supporting it long enough for the entire country to become so enraged that Congress revoked the funds. That's like me saying, "I 'just said no' to drugs after my 5th joint."

If you haven't guessed it by now, she also opposes things like gay rights. She also hates on Barack Obama for having been a community organizer. Why should we make fun of people who want to make a difference? I was unaware that was a bad thing. What a great message to send! But she was a beauty queen back in the day, so apparently that makes up for it.

Another great Sarah Palin tidbit is her hobby: aerial wolf hunting. I actually had to look up what this was. Aerial wolf hunting is where you get in a small plane and fly really low to the ground, chasing wolves. You can shoot them from the plane or you chase them until they're completely exhausted, land the plane, get out and shoot the wolf at point blank range. Despite the fact that Congress outlawed aerial hunting over 30 years ago, Alaska uses a loophole in federal law to hunt both wolves and bears. I believe the arguement is that wolves are overpopulated in Alaska, but there's no excuse for the inhumane nature of this act.

One of her biggest campaign platforms seems to be that she is a mother. Don't get me wrong, motherhood is a big deal. Being a mom is a full-time job, and being the mother of a special needs child is an even bigger job. But neither are qualifiers for running the country. She is the mother of 5 children, the youngest is only a few months old. That's a lot on her plate already. Before anyone says I'm sexist, allow me to elaborate. I can't help but think that her being a mother is different than Barack Obama being a father. Like it or not, children are instinctively drawn to their mothers; the bond is naturally stronger. I imagine it would be very hard for her children (especially the younger ones) to deal with her being gone a lot.

Sarah Palin is full of shit and has provided us with nothing more than smoke and mirrors. I shudder at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from leading this country...especially if it would come complete with lame jokes about hockey moms.

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