Copyright © 2008 Henrietta W. Hay
On Sarah Palin
September 12, 2008
I wonder why Candidate McCain didn't pick Phyllis Schafley for vice-president. She is a woman, has had lots of experience and has been a far right wing conservative anti-feminist a lot longer than Sarah Palin. In fact, Phyllis herself was scheduled to give Sarah a Pro-Life award at a Republican meeting in St. Paul, but Governor Palin's handlers wouldn't let her go.
Am I happy that we have a woman running for vice-president? Yes.
Will I vote for a woman who is, at long last, a candidate for the vice-presidency just because she is a woman? NO.
Am I getting kidded about it? YES. "How can you not support a woman after all your talk?" In this case it isn't hard.
I am appalled at seeing a woman being used as Sara Palin is being used for political purposes only. This is not a gender issue. It is a pure political power maneuver of the worst kind, and it is an insult to women.
Senator McCain is trying to get some of the 18 million Hillary votes.
The core of the 18 million supporters of Hillary Clinton will be as enthusiastic about Sarah Palin as they are about Phyllis Schafley.
I have been involved in the second women's movement since the seventies. (The first one got the vote for women in 1920.) We have made great progress, including an occasional CEO of a large corporation, many more U. S. Senators and Representatives, some governors, and a huge jump in women's athletics due to Title IX.
But all that does not mean that being female automatically qualifies a person for a major political office.
Actually, we do not know much about Sarah Palin's political objectives. She is an impassioned speaker, and energized millions. But she didn't really say anything. Of course, she couldn't. The speech, according to Time Magazine, was written by Bush's speech writer a month before she was chosen.
But we have learned a good deal about her personal issues.
Sarah Palin wants to ban all sex education from public schools.
She wants Creationism to be a required subject.
Censorship is not a no-no, since she tried to have the librarian in the Masilla library fired for refusing to censor some books she objected to.
She would deny women the right to control their own bodies, to make decisions about their own welfare
Governor Palin is opposed to abortion under any circumstance, including rape or incest or the life of the mother. She would forbid hospitals and clinics from giving rape or other victims inform about the morning after pill.
Senator McCain also needs the far right base, and Governor Palin is about as far right as he can get.
So, to run for the second highest office in the land, he gives us a young woman from Alaska with no national or international experience, no testing except in a state of roughly 670,000 people.
That is Senator McCain's demonstration of good judgment.
I have no doubt that Sarah Palin is a fine, intelligent woman. But she is no Hillary Clinton or Madeleine Albright or Condoleezza Rice, but I could never support a candidate for vice-presidency of the United States who opposes so much of what we have worked for so long.
She has won election as mayor of Wasilla, and as governor of Alaska. She is raising a family of five children. But those things alone are not qualifications for the job of president of the United States.
And in this job, becoming president is always a possibility, however tragic the circumstances.
President Palin. That thought is keeping me awake nights.