IF I were American, and that's a big IF considering that even though I reside in this great country, I see no reason to turn my back on my Canadian heritage, I would be confused right about now. In fact, I'm not American and I'm confused. And while the issue causing my head scratching is not new, the intensity of my confusion is, based on recent events, not the least of which is John McCain's choice for Veep, Sarah Palin.
Let me preface by saying that while I'm not a card-carrying feminist by any means, I would love to see a woman in the White House. After all, behind
every most great men is a great woman and I think this country would only benefit from a female perspective in this ole' Boys Club called the United States.
But it seems that Sarah Palin is just a man with a vagina.
After 9/11, my feeling in choosing a leader for the country was that it superseded party. Republican, democrat or environmental, whatever registration we chose seemed secondary to our feelings about George W.'s war. Should we stay? Get out? Fight their dirty fight or give everyone the "right to a fair trial?" (I say string 'em up by their balls in the heart of Times Square and sell tickets.) But all this aside, this year's race was exciting, at least until Hillary had to take a back seat to a guy who has a persistent shit-eating look about him. So this left McCain.
I thought there was something about him I trusted (not necessarily his politics, but I digress). Maybe it was his grand-fatherly appearance, his appealing demeanor, I can't put my finger on it. So when he chose virtually unknown Sarah Palin as his running mate, it was reason enough to hit the web.
In no particular order, here are a few basic facts I learned about the 44-year-old governor of Alaska:
- She's a former beauty queen. (no bearing on current status but amusing nonetheless.)
- She's got no foreign policy experience and her positions were unclear at the time she was picked as McCain's running mate.
- She chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for a year. As a side note, she also thinks polar bears should be taken off the endangered species list. Coincidence? Nope! Palin wants to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (it's currently Federally protected).
- She looooves guns. This one causes me to scratch my head till it bleeds but anyhow.
- She believes in marriage only between a man and a woman. WHAT.EVER.
But here's my real problem:
- Palin is, in her own words, "as pro-life any candidate can be."
Even in the case of incest and rape, Palin is anti-abortion. A member of the group, Feminists for Life, unless the mother's life is threatened, Palin does not believe in terminating any pregnancy. For me, there are two sides to this: a) are pro-life and pro-choice actually opposite? And b) while this group is so concerned with protecting a bunch of cells that may or may not be considered a "life", are they as concerned with this life after it is born to an unwed 17-year-old heroin-addicted "mother" who leaves it alone for days? Are they there to nurture an unwanted baby as the ambivalent "mother" does as she pleases? What about the baby born out of a violent act, is the Feminists for Life group around when it's time to explain who Daddy was?
I could go on and on. Essentially, while it is not my opinion that abortion be used as birth control and I do believe, in many instances, that there are alternatives, I do firmly believe in a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body ESPECIALLY where there is a life-altering decision to be made about it.
But seriously people, and this is where my dire confusion comes in: what do a woman's uterus and her politics have in common anyway?
Updated: I realized I didn't acknowledge Palin's personal family life and the way it might or might not interfere with her performance should she become this country's next VP. This woman had a baby FOUR freakin' months ago! Not just any baby, but a baby who is Down Syndrome and may need a little extra attention from his family in order to reach his full potential. K wait, and her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant too. I don't know about you, but in her shoes, I would be riddled with family obligations right about now and THIS WOULD BE MY #1 PRIORITY. Not one to hastily judge someone's character by her personal choices, unfortunately, this calls into question this woman's character so deeply, it's hard to ignore.
I'm done now.