Sarah Palin: Storytelling, by Martha Thomases
John McCain, in what is assumed to be an attempt to woo feminist Hillary Clinton supporters, nominated an inexperienced first-term governor of Alaska as his running mate. In state-wide office less than two years, Sarah Palin includes in her resume a term as mayor of a small town, and a stint on her local PTA.
But wait, he says. When you hear her story, you’ll love her!
As an aspiring novelist and a voracious reader, I love stories. I love well-developed, idiosyncratic characters, and I enjoy imagining their lives. My favorite comics have great characters whose human foibles make their adventures more exciting.
The Creeper? A great character. Rorschach? A great character. Peter Parker? A great character. I’m not prepared to vote for any of them. Aside from being fictional, they do not display the qualities I look for in elected officials.
Hillary Clinton’s story is very much like my own. Not that I’ve done as much as she has, nor have I been as successful, but we are close in age. We were the women who were the “firsts” – the first to wear pants to a restaurant, the first to juggle family and career, the first to demand to be considered as our own selves, not as adjuncts to our husbands. I admire her career, but I didn’t vote for her. We did not agree on the issues most important to me.
John McCain, who once joked that the reason Chelsea Clinton was so ugly was that Janet Reno was her father, would have us believe that his nomination of Sarah Palin is a testament to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Hillary Clinton has spent 35 years in public life. She has championed the Children’s Defense League. She has worked for universal health care. She has run for the Senate in one of the largest states, and been elected twice. She has an excellent reputation in the Senate among her peers, and has worked on several projects with her colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Although she was not my candidate, I respect her, and would have voted for her if she was the Democratic nominee.
So what is her story? Sarah Palin is a wife, a mother of five, and an active participant in Republican politics in her hometown in Alaska. Her involvement seems to have begun with the PTA. As mayor of her town, she fired people with whom she disagreed, including a school librarian who would not ban books she didn’t like.
She is anti-choice, and has a baby with Down’s Syndrome. Her oldest daughter, Bristol, is 17, unmarried and pregnant. This would be a great premise for a novel. I would probably read it, especially in the hands of someone with the skills of an Alison Bechdel. In fiction, this situation would make the characters confront their assumptions, and maybe develop a little bit of compassion for others in their circumstances.
As governor, Palin has slashed funds for teenage mothers.
Palin is supposed to be a fiscal reformer, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, either. She may have opposed the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere” (after she supported it), but she kept the money for her state. According to someone who knows her, she increased the size of government in Wasilla when she was mayor by increasing the sales tax. When that wasn’t enough, she borrowed money, leaving a debt more than $22 million larger than when she took office. And she remodeled her office a few times.
Sarah Palin is not Hillary. Her resume is thin, and not what she claims. I’m insulted to be told that she should appeal to me because we share the same kind of genitalia. I’m pro-choice, pro-science and anti-war. She is not. I would no more vote for her than I would vote for Rick Santorum.
Her supporters say she has as much experience as Obama. However, Obama was elected to his slot on the ticket. Whatever his deficiencies, he gave voters a chance to evaluate him, and they chose him. Palin only had to audition for McCain and his handlers. This video, in which he can’t keep his eyes off her rack, suggests which of her talents was most important.
At best, this video shows that McCain has little self-control. At worst, it’s creepy. That’s not a continuum I want my president to occupy.
Life is too short to base our behavior on this crap. And government is too important.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess of ComicMix, expects people to look her in the eye when they talk to her.