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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Question of Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin is, no doubt, a nice lady. She also has the beginnings of a good political career. Despite these attributes, I have two serious issues with her readiness to be Vice President of the United States and a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

The first issue is her lack of experience. I won’t dwell long on this because so much is already being said about it. She was the part-time mayor of a town of 7,000. Her largest achievement was instituting a two percent sales tax so the town could finally have its own police force – probably two officers, I’m guessing.

Next, she was elected Governor of Alaska which has a population equivalent to the city of Memphis. Yes, she did some good things in Alaska. On the other hand, she’s being investigated on ethics charges related to the firing of a state trooper who was once married to her sister. She has no national experience and not a whit of international experience.

Enough on that front.

Before I discuss my second issue with her appointment to the Republican ticket, I want to be clear that my comments are not anti-feminist, so don’t go there. I was a working, single mom for many years. I would have the same reaction to the following issue whether a man or woman is involved.

My second point of serious disagreement is based on Gov. Palin’s being put forth as the Republican Party’s poster child for traditional family values.

The Governor gave birth in April of this year to a baby boy diagnosed with Down Syndrome (DS), a serious, challenging condition. My heart goes out to the Palin family and the obstacles they face. Readings on Down Syndrome indicate that experts recommend, for the best outcomes, enrolling DS kids in early-intervention programs from birth to age three. After age three, children are guaranteed educational services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

There’s much to do for these very special kids who face developmental and health complications. It must be emotionally and physically draining for a family that redirects its focus to fulfilling the DS baby’s needs.

I have known men and women who clearly stated in job or promotion interviews: “I can do this job. I want this job, but I must be honest and say that at all times my family comes first.”

Sarah didn’t. She agreed to take on the enormous task of helping John McCain run for President. And, if he’s elected, she would face the 24/7 responsibilities of the Vice Presidency.

Next: Gov. Palin’s lovely t7-year-old daughter, a high school senior, is five months pregnant and unmarried. She’s going to face many difficult obstacles, but there’s one that she didn’t have to face.

The Alaska governor majored in journalism in college. She worked for some period of time as a sports reporter. Even with limited journalistic experience, she had to know that every aspect of a national candidate’s life is open to extreme scrutiny by the media and the public.

By accepting this nomination, the Governor put her daughter in the embarrassing position of being the object of criticism and sometimes ridicule from thousands of people. Just last night two late-night talk show hosts made unnecessary jokes about the girl.

I can’t imagine a parent putting self-gain ahead of the needs of his/her children. Another time, another election. But to be an example of family values, wouldn’t one say: “Thank you, but not this time. My family needs me now.”

Mike has a different theory about Gov. Palin’s selection. He suggests that Sen. McCain has simply decided in his heart that he no longer wants to be President so, unable to back out now, he just chose a running mate who is unelectable and on whom he can blame losing the election. At least on this criteria, Gov. Palin fits the bill.


Willow Goldentree said...

You make a very good point - a couple of good points actually.

Marcy said...

Bravo Auntie Dee! I agree 200%. I'm waiting for your press conference exposing McCain & Palin, once and for all, for who they really are...hypocrits.

Scarlett said...

Thank you dear talented Willow for your support.

And for my bright and beautiful niece Marcy -- here are a couple of links about Sarah Palin that you might find interesting.
One goes to the today edition of her hometown newspaper which states that she stretched the truth in her speech last night. The other lists the various colleges she attended while seeking her bachelor's degree.

Tomorrow I'll go back to being non-political and telling some good tales on the blog. I have an amusing discovery planned to share with you.

Willow Goldentree said...

I just found out that she went to University of Idaho. I'm not sure how I feel about that... :P

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Senators Obamba and Biden. I am a Christian woman who has worked hard to be supportive to my family, earn a living trying to help those who cannot help themselves (children with special needs and their families) and volunteer in the community.

I believe that we need to strengthen the social system because we in America are so affluent that it is a shame that health care and excellent education are not offered to all. (“To whom much is given, much is expected”).

My father fought in wars and suffered as have many who have chosen to serve and he was distressed at the violence in this country and access to weapons. The wars at home are worse than those abroad. Certainly veterans deserve honor and support. They get that but we should not be fighting wars we cannot win nor where we are not needed. Put these troops in places where they can help – catastrophic disaster relief, inner city rebuilding, etc. Reduce the war infrastructure of manufacturing military materials and spend the money on schools and providing health care. Political lobbies are too strong (Obama does not take PAC money).

Senator McCain and Governor Palin certainly are fine people and I respect them but not for President and Vice President. Mr. McCain can be volatile, does not always play well with others, and would not be a internationally admired leader in my opinion and while Ms. Palin is feisty, her ability to run the USA is questionable should she be in that role. There are questions about how she handled issues in Alaska, which if you have been there and we have, is definitely not like the lower 48 in terms of numbers of citizens, diversity of cultures, size of cities and size of budgets.

Alaska has benefited from the wealth of oil (each resident of 1 plus years receives an annual stipend from the oil profits generated there) and therefore, she has not had the challenges of financial management that both Obama and Biden have, nor the foreign relations experience