Saturday, November 22, 2008

Election Wrap-Up - Part II

I've had a hard time gathering my thoughts on the Presidential election this year. There are many, and they continue to evolve as the post-election dust settles, so it's hard to distill them into something succint and meaningful, but I'll try. Here goes.

Sarah Palin. To begin with, I am amazed that the mere mention of her name can send some people into an immediate rage. For someone who's been in the national psyche for only about 120 days now, it's fascinating to me that she can evoke that sort of reaction. Half the country's been in the grip of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) for the last five years; suddenly they've switched gears into PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome), and it only took her about 30 days to accomplish that. Definite proof that she is a force to contend with. Well done, I say.

Let's see.....Sarah Palin. First of all, regardless of how badly the press wants us to believe it, this is not a stupid woman. She couldn't possibly be. This is a woman who has raised/is raising 5 children (a daunting feat in itself), including a special needs child. And while doing that, she's managed to become the governor of the largest state in the union, all on her own. She did not ride the coattails of any man to get there -- not a husband, not a father, nobody. She also did not come from money, power, celebrity or any other form of societal influence. Her rise is an amazing feat, and (one would think) especially in Alaska -- likely not the most progressive of thinkers in terms of the role of a woman in society, so it was probably even harder to crash through the glass ceiling there. Imagine how many men she had to outsmart, outthink, outplay to get where she is today. Well done again, I say. And no, regardless of what you may think of her, this is NOT a stupid woman. As a career woman, climbing my way through a man's world, I recognize this and can fully appreciate it.

I understand the media's crusade to paint her as incompetent -- they wouldn't do that if they didn't fear her so much. They understand that she is a force, and one that threatens the hard Left, so she must be destroyed. Got it. But what I don't understand is the hate, the absolutely vile and shameless reaction -- from the so-called 'feminists' -- to her very presence. Why so much anger and hate? Why the vulgar reaction? Why aren't they able to respect her accomplishments but respectfully disagree with her views? As women, they should have respect for what she's done, the climb she's achieved, yet be able to state calm disagreement with her views. Instead, they go back to Junior High behavior and resort to the lowest of attacks -- on her looks, her clothes, her accent, her family. I've never seen so many 'adults' instantaneously melt into such childish, playground behavior with the name-calling and rumor-mongering and attempts at personal destruction, all because they don't agree with her views. Wow. And all this from the "party of tolerance", as they would have us believe. Yes, tolerant, but only as long as you don't disagree with them. Hypocrites, all, and this has 'outed' them on it.

I've never been both so proud and so embarrassed by the behavior of women, all at once. Proud that a more traditional woman like Sarah Palin can legitimately rise to the top, and embarrassed at the behavior of women who spat on her and threw the equivalent of temper tantrums over it. In my opinion, these so-called "progressive" woman have set women in general back by twenty years with that reaction and behavior. Can we really be taken seriously now? Debatable. Despite all contention to the contrary, women aren't really "for women". Apparently, we're only "for women" who think like we do. Find one that doesn't, and she's matter what she's accomplished. Or so it goes with the hard Left women's constituency in this country. If you're not hard and you're not Left, you're not legitimate.

As for Sarah Palin as a candidate -- I admire her. I actually agree with many of her views. Oh go ahead, denigrate me for it. Let me apologize if I've offended you with my values and convictions. But I do believe in smaller government, personal accountability, low taxes, free markets, strong national security and the value of life. Yes, the value of life. And isn't that last item really the crux of it all? Isn't that where all the hate came from? Her views on life? Oh sure, they'll say they don't like Sarah Palin because she's stupid, she tried to ban books, she's a religious zealot, she's practiced witchcraft, she speaks in tongues and on and on (none of which is true, by the way), but isn't their real issue with her that she wouldn't abort her Downs Syndrome baby, and that she values the sanctity of life? Let's just get it out there -- the real elephant in the room. And ooh -- how awful -- someone who believes that each life is precious and that each child has something to offer to the world. What a horrid woman! Well, sorry folks, but I admire her views on that and her willingness to stand up and say that. I feel very, very strongly that someone has to be for the babies, for the innocent lives. We can call it a 'choice'; we can call it 'reproductive rights' or whatever other label people want to put on it to spare themselves the ugliness. But it doesn't change what it is -- one of the most horrible and vile actions ever concocted by the human race, and I cannot support it. Like I said, go ahead, call me names, attack my intelligence, my looks, my family, whatever. But the truth is that I am a modern woman, successful, educated, intelligent and energetic -- and I believe in life. So go ahead, shun me, call me stupid, eject me from the 'feminist' club. I can deal with it. But guess what -- I don't think I'm the only one out here. The ugly little secret is that there are quite a few educated, intelligent, successful women who do believe in the value of life. But they want to keep a lid on us....which is why they hated Sarah Palin so much, because she represented their biggest threat -- a woman who made it without giving up her values and convictions. Yes, ladies, it can be done.

Do I think Sarah Palin was ready to be President? No. But she might have been ready to be Vice President, basically a nothing job unless #1 goes down. It actually would have been a great learning experience for her, to watch the Presidential sausage-making from the front lines, assuming John McCain had a healthy 4-8 years in office. Palin has proven to be a fast study. I don't think it'd be long before she'd picked up enough savvy in the VP position to be competent in the top job, should it come to that. And I don't think we've seen that last of her. She'll be back. In her final days of the campaign, she was giving a speech and raising $1M a stop. $1M a stop! There's some power associated with that, ladies and gentleman. This is not a woman who will simply disappear.

For me, Sarah Palin is the first female political figure on a national level that I can really relate to. Good or bad, she looks the most like me. Most of the others have been so far Left or just so angry and bitter, I couldn't relate to them, especially not as women. But something about her struck a chord -- and not just with me, but apparently with 55 million other people -- because of her authenticity and her sense of 'normalness'. It was one of those rare cases when "one of us" rose above it all. And let's face it -- she's the person the founding fathers had in mind when they put a representative government in place over 200 years ago. Their intention was for regular people to govern us, not monarchs, career politicians or elitists. As William F. Buckley said, he would rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the entire staff of academicians at Harvard. Well, Sarah Palin is one of those people, one of us, and in these tumultuous times full of career politicians, that seems like a refreshing change. I mean, look at the state of things -- how much worse could she do, really?

I do know this -- the media, the hard Left, feminists, Hollywood and half the country had a knee jerk reaction to Sarah Palin. She's a lightning rod. There's almost no one who doesn't have a strong opinion about her (and after only 120 days, which is fascinating). And I also realize this -- if they don't like Sarah Palin....they wouldn't like me either. It's an odd feeling to think that at least half the country would hate your guts if you were to ever be put in a national spotlight like that. On the other hand, I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it. Being liked is highly overrated.

And there will have to be a Part III on Mr. Obama...yet to come.

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