Tuesday, September 02, 2008

In a rare moment of weakness, I blog about American politics

You know, the selection of Sarah Palin as a potential vice president should sound like a good thing for a feminist like me. But something stinks here, and I don’t think this is doing the women’s movement any good. Truthfully, I think Sarah Palin should have been smart enough to realize that she was not being selected for her brains or her leadership ability. Nope, she’s just a pawn in the big game. She was selected because she fit a bunch of vote-grabbing criteria.

Is she a woman and can she potentially steal some of Hillary’s voters? Check.

Is she young and potentially appealing to the younger voters who might not give McCain a second glance? Check.

Is she attractive and will she make McCain look good in campaign posters? Check.

Does she offer a little “diversity balance” next to McCain? Check.

Does she represent family values to the religious right who chafe at McCain’s stand on abortion? Check.

Will she appease the gun-totin’ NRA crowd? Check.

Does she sufficiently represent a “change agenda” that might sway those on the fringes of Barack’s campaign? Check.

Cringe. If I were her, I think I’d be more insulted than honoured to be selected. But then again, I suspect she’s letting her own ambitions cloud her judgment, because otherwise (and this I say reluctantly, as someone who has always been a “working-away-from-home” mom and supports other women’s rights to make those choices) why would she subject her family to the scrutiny they now have to undergo? Why would someone choose the high-pressure, high intensity, high scrutiny life of federal politics when you have a baby with Downs syndrome and a pregnant seventeen year old daughter who clearly will need lots of love and support (and TIME) in the coming year? (And, just so I don’t sound like I’m slipping from my feminist leanings, I would feel the same way if she were a man making those choices. Pregnant daughters and Downs babies need their fathers around too.)

Honestly, I don’t think the fact that she has a pregnant daughter will make or break her ability to be a good vice president. If she’s a good leader, let that stand on its own. But I do think that making a choice to place that pregnant daughter in a fish bowl for all the world to chew up and spit out when they’re done shows some poor judgment (not to mention questionable “family values”) on her part.

But what do I know? I’m just a Canadian.


andrea said...

As another Canadian, I'm with you. Apparently McCain only met her once before calliong her to be his running mate, but look how nicely she fits those criteria! I get a kick out of a 'family values' candidate placing herself in such a position, too. (Incidentally, I also read, via Michael Moore, that McCain, hero that he is, is saying that Palin's personal life should not be subject to scrutiny. Interesting, then, that he called Chelsea Clinton "ugly because her father is Janet Reno" when she was just a child!)

sarah said...

I agree.

I liked this post.

Pamela said...

I always wonder why anyone would subject themselves to the dirt that people sling for the sake of politics.

Linda said...

My thoughts exactly.

Karmyn R said...

Of course that is why he chose her. And I think we all know it.

I find it ironic that she, being someone who supports and believes in Abstinence Only Sex-Ed has a pregnant teen in her house.

Liz said...

Very good observations. I agree completely. It makes me feel icky all over that she subjected her 17 year old pregnant daughter to the media wolves.

Janet said...

Heather, I completely agree with you as well. Well said.

She's a pawn...and, in addition, the situation with her children is absolutely none of our business.