Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Palin illusion

Preface: With a great deal of restraint, I have managed to keep my political rantings of this election cycle off my blog. I will now proceed with caving to my desires. As a result, I issue the following disclaimer ... I am a self-described left-wing liberal; I have always been and will always be a registered Democrat; I am an American; I am a feminist; and I am a mother. That said, should you not wish to continue reading, please click your mouse NOW.

I hold a bachelor's degree from Indiana University's School of Journalism. Presented the opportunity to interview Sarah Palin I would pose two questions.

  1. When was the last time you cooked dinner for your children?
  2. What is an average grocery bill for the Palin household?

As straightforward as my questions might be, I'd be willing to bet my stash of saved Mother's Day cards she couldn't answer either (well, accurately). This is where my problem with the GOP's vice presidential candidate lies.

Palin's dubbing herself a soccer/hockey mom and her references to the Joe Sixpacks of America don't fly with me.

Most American moms I know work blue/white collar jobs to help their families make ends meet, then come home facing the "what's for dinner?" dilemma. They worry about how much it's going to cost to fill the tanks of their minivans. They lose sleep over how they're going to send their kids to college. They clip coupons to shave dollars off their ever-rising grocery bills.

They don't jet around the country on private planes. They don't go on $150,000 shopping sprees (that would be a great college fund for any Sixpack family I know). They don't make appearances on Saturday Night Live. They don't use their families to get ahead on the American political circuit at the expense of their children.

An all-American, average mom you are not Ms. Palin. As such, please don't project a completely fictitious persona upon yourself and expect me to bite. I won't. In fact, it insults my intelligence.

And at the risk of sounding completely anti-feminist I'll go one step further. Will someone please garner the balls to tell her to get home and take care of her family? Her special-needs baby? (who has conveniently been used for some extra mileage in "shoring up" the vote of special needs parents).

I fault no mother for working. Unfortunately most homes in this great country require a double income to survive. I get that ... I'm a TYPICAL American mom. However, working a typical American job and running for vice president of the United States are not one in the same.

It seems to me the very women crying out for John Edwards' to leave the race when his wife's cancer recurrence was discovered are the same ones embracing Palin. Hello. Elizabeth Edwards is capable for caring for herself, cancer or not. Palin's infant is not. While emerging from the party who has always touted family values, Palin drags an infant along as she crisscrosses the country in a quest for a spot in the White House. Let's now assess our definition of family values, shall we?

You betcha my vote won't go the McCain/Palin way on November 4 for a multitude of ideological reasons (healthcare reform, taxes, the war in Iraq, the economy ... just to hit the highpoints); however, Sarah Palin's presence on the ticket has forced me to evaluate my stance on feminist vs. family, children vs. country and truth vs. illusion.

1 comment:

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Great post! I'm glad to see more and more political postings in the blogosphere. It's now or never!