I really don’t want to be yet another in a chorus of people who disparage Sarah Palin. However, I think I ended up doing that, anyway, because it is just…so…easy. Here is what I’ve come to know about her in my couch-time this week:

a) She is probably qualified to be the governor of the state in which she has lived the bulk of her life. According to Wikipedia (which I am going to treat as a reliable source), that state is the largest BY AREA, but the 3rd SMALLEST by population. It is also (by proximity to any other place in the U.S.) very remote culturally. To me, this means that if Sarah Palin wanted a federal government position, she should have left Alaska to check out the political scene across the rest of America. However, she did not do that, probably because she did not anticipate needing any knowledge of oh, say, ANYTHING related to things outside Alaska’s borders.

(As an aside, did you see what her own mother-in-law said about her? She said, “I’m not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she’s a woman and a conservative.” (!!) Ouch!

b) She is patently unqualified to be the commander-in-chief. She did not get a passport until last year. She has not been to Russia, a country she claims to understand. She has not even been to Canada, a country she does not need a passport to visit! She could have at LEAST shot one of THEIR moose, right?

c) She is painfully, woefully, SCARILY inadequately prepared to deal diplomatically with any other nation. On CBS News, she disparaged Henry Kissinger’s notion of diplomacy – and Henry Kissinger is the master of diplomacy (I would strongly recommend this book for anyone interested further. Yes, the whole book. The whole thing is amazing.)

(I am more qualified than Sarah Palin in this arena. I had a double major in international relations and economics. I worked overseas in Asia. I’ve lived in multiple U.S. states, and I spent my formative years overseas in Europe.)

(But oh, wait, there is someone else in this election who has those credentials and a hell of a lot more – hey, it’s THIS GUY!!!)

d) She states that the reason she did not get a passport until last year was because she wasn’t part of “I guess, that culture. The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world.” But, see, if her understanding of the world was through books, she would have read Henry Kissinger’s book, which is a cornerstone of diplomatic (and military) theory. She would understand why Iraq was a poor choice for America politically and militarily. And if she REALLY cared about these issues in context of her professed spiritual beliefs, she would at least be peripherally aware of the concept of “Just War”.

However,

e) She does not know what she thinks any more. It was so painfully apparent throughout her interview with Couric that she basically had a few take-home messages she planned (or the McCain campaign planned) to fit neatly into whatever question Couric offered. There was one point (I tried to find it in the transcript, but couldn’t) where she was discussing the economy, rambling on, and on, and on, and then said something to the extent of – “oh! And JOBS! We need to make sure that we create jobs in our economy!” – and I swear I’ve heard McCain say those words at least 90 times in his little stump speeches on Job Creation in This Fundamentally Strong Economy (including on the day that it collapsed). I think the campaign told Sarah Palin – “make sure you mention the issue of Jobs so we can say to The Poor Stupid American People: John McCain cares about your job”.

Or, I could be wrong, but on one thing, I know I’m right: the way it came out was really weird.

So, to sum up, I think that Sarah Palin is probably an okay governor, or maybe she isn’t, but I don’t really care. I think she uses her children as political pawns, and for that, I am eternally sorry for them, because seriously, what 17-year old wants her sexual indiscretions showcased on national television? (And I do wonder what will happen around her daughter’s due date if she IS elected. Given Sarah Palin’s penchant for makingdecisionsandstickingtothemnomatterwhat (like oh, say, “Sure, I’ll run for veep! I’ll become qualified!”), I wonder – and this is TOTALLY JUST MY PERSONAL VERY UNGROUNDED OPINION – if she’d prefer that her daughter deliver early, to avoid the difficult decision between attending her daughter’s birth or attending the inauguration. Or maybe that is a nonissue. Or maybe she’d ask her daughter to follow in her footsteps once her daughter’s water broke, telling her daughter to fly FROM Alaska TO DC so that everything is more convenient. Yep, my totally groundless opinion.

Oh, and the issue of life. Oh, yes. That’s for another post. Let’s leave it at my belief that ALL life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of death. HOWEVER, in my personal hierarchy of life-protection, I believe we need to prioritize the rights of the living-and-able-to-survive (men, women, and children) over the rights of the unborn-and-unable-to-survive. And that is from years of thinking about this, praying about this, and doing a ton of research on this. Women will always seek abortions. Just because we ban them does not mean that they will not happen, and in fact, we are risking maternal life for political gain. I see absolutely no sense in that.

MOREOVER, and this is the part that seriously, keeps me up at night, I feel ill considering that what is actually at risk is a woman’s right to private communications with her physician. It is not the right to terminate a pregnancy. It is the right for a physician to say, “I recommend X, Y, or Z,” and having her patient, another female (or a male – but men are often cast aside in these discussions) have the option to accept, challenge, or reject that medical advice. I sure as hell do not want the government to tell me what I should do with my body, my fertility, or my future as a parent. If *I* do not know what the future holds, how the heck do *they* (the government) know?!?

So I have a lot more to say on that – I’ve done years of research on reproductive health and had to square public health realities with my spiritual beliefs – but I think it’s time to go outside 🙂

Thoughts?

P.S. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND watching the Sarah Palin/Couric interview. It is located HERE, and I tried desperately to embed the video, but it was miserable. So go watch! 🙂

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