Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grrrrl Power??

I'm all for women, I think that's clear. I love being a part of history, and watching women change and shape the world. That's pretty awesome, considering that it hasn't been 100 years yet since we finally got our right to vote legislated.

But I just have to say it or I'm gonna explode. I didn't vote for Hillary automatically because she was a woman; so McCain choosing Palin as a running-mate is not automatically getting him my vote either. It's about the ISSUES, know, things like: the war in Iraq? Poverty? Crime? Constitutional rights? Health Care? Our economy? Our personal freedoms?

Yoo hoo, politicians. Pay attention now: I AM NOT STUPID. I can think about complexities. When I ask you for leadership of my COUNTRY, an influential and powerful Western nation, with big big problems that need solutions, do not give me a hockey mom who I can relate to. I don't want to relate to her. I don't want to relate to my president. I don't vote for someone who is "just like me." If I wanted that, I would be running a campaign for apagefromherbook! I want to know what the candidates, what Palin stands for. I want to see how she handles tough questions. I want to know her experience. And I don't mean the beauty pageant experience. I want her to be exposed to the media, the vultures, and the pundits, just as much as any man would be. But I don't want those questions to be about her parenting (unless you also ask McCain and Obama and Biden the same questions). I want questions about foreign policy, about budgets, about health care, about the war, about abortion, about the death penalty. I want to see her inconsistencies. I want to see her strengths. I want a clear view of her humanity. Then, at least I know I'll be able to make an informed decision.

By choosing Governor Palin, I believe McCain and his advisors are basically telling me there aren't ANY women out there more qualified to be VP than she. Which I find extremely hard to believe. And which tells me a few other things: they are pandering to women voters, they are playing politics instead of seriously considering what's best for this country, and they are insulting me. As a citizen, yes, but also as a woman.

Palin Rorshach Test, Cagle Cartoons

1 comment:

David said...

I think your values put you in the minority. American politics _is_ identity politics. Republicans discovered that a long time ago, and have been honing their brand to a clear and consistent narrative: if you vote for the democrats, the things that Sarah Palin represents will be taken away from you.

Here's an example. I'm not a Democrat or Republican. But there's no way in hell I'll vote for any party except the Democratic Party. That is because the Republicans have me scared shitless. Thought experiment: In 2000, Gore wins the whitehouse. After 9/11 happens, he does *exactly* the same things that Bush does. I know this sounds crazy, but roll with me for a moment.

2004 elections. GW Bush is running to unseat Gore. The Democrats have been saying the following: If Bush becomes president, he will have at least two appointments to the Supreme Court. That means Rowe V. Wade will be overturned. All gun control will be abolished. Coroporate tax will be abolished. Regulation of emissions will be abolished. Prayer will be introduced into the schools, and creationism taught as science.

Knowing that Al Gore started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and knowing that he has secretly siphoned billions of dollars off to Haliburton and his other industry cronies, and knowing that this practice will probably continue for another four years, who do I vote for?

Do I vote for the devil I know or the devil I don't? Al Gore may be a bastard (in this thought experiment), but he's MY bastard. With Al Gore, I'm not afraid that my country will be usurped by gun-totin jeezus freaks paving my world to make it safe for a Hummer in every driveway.

I consider myself an individual who is motivated by logic. I got a perfect 800 on my GRE logic exam, so I think I at least have the hardware up top to make theoretical decisions based on logic. I consider it one of my personal goals to daily improve my ability to employ logic in everyday situations. But what is the logic in my decision to vote for Al Gore, the man who (in this thought experiment) torpedoed my environment, my economy, and who was responsible for the loss of thousands of brave young men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to fight his completely insane war?

It is the logic of identity. The war is a temporary matter. What is the loss of a few thousand individuals (who I have never met) in the name of the longer-term fight against the Republican's campaign to obliterate my way of life?

For Republicans, the identity is the issue. McCain's move was brilliant. He was polling badly among his base, who considered him too much of a liberal for their own comfort. Choosing Palin gave his base the key to identifying with McCain's ticket. Her experience is a non-issue. Her personal failings are non-issues. It is the lifestyle that she represents which stroked the appropriate heartstrings of the voters McCain needed.

So when the media talks endlessly about Sarah Palin's motherhood and apple pie-ism, they are pegging the issue perfectly for McCain. Her identity is a banner for all the things that the Republican constituency fears they will lose to the Democrats.