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Going back in time


Fri, Sep 26th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Sarah Palin? Really? I get a regular side dish of news from Colbert Report and Jon Stewart because a little bit of humor makes the nonsense go down so I thought this idea was perhaps a new South Park pilot or something but it seems the GOP means it. A Hockey Mom from a one horse town in an oil rich state. Déjà vu, wait a minute- small towns, oil rich states- hmm. Never mind, I make odd connections sometimes.

Gender should not be her greatest qualification. I am an aging Feminist. I marched in the streets to "Take Back the Night". Imagine, we had to rally to let the nation know that rape and assault were not ok. I never burned a bra because it would have been a tiny tribute to a huge cause. Women are not a minority but had to make a great deal of noise to be heard. It allowed for Palin, four decades later to be taken seriously and for me to disagree with her and that is what was hoped for. She has the opportunity for a free ride on the wagon that she would undo for all of us.

Can we hope to see one of our nations many brilliant and capable women at the helm before those of us who opened the doors all die? I hope so. Palin is not that woman.

The list of qualified women is long and impressive. We have many of those in positions of power and moving the world ahead all around us. She is not on that list.

She is said to appeal to the female voter because "we" can relate to her. She is a mom. A few times more than most but then she doesn't believe in science so could hardly believe in birth control. Now those kids are here, God bless them, and she will soon enough have a grandchild to raise. That's family values for you, thinking that 17 year olds ought to get married advances the national dialogue on cultural stability immensely. Can we speak of white privilege? If Barack Obama stood on a stage with five children and a pregnant teen, plenty would be said, all of it racist.

Her little tiff with the local librarian? To her credit, it is said she did not actually ban any books but asked the librarian if she would, if asked. Then she fired her for being disloyal because the librarian was rather taken aback at the suggestion. She hired her back shortly thereafter. Draw what you will from that little power play.

To watch her, hands in the air, bidding her fellow evangelicals to pray for a natural gas pipeline through Alaska (the video clip is readily available on line) is beyond frightening. If our energy policy is to be handed off to prayer (My God is laughing at the suggestion) then I fear we have lost the battle of intellect and creativity. If we are to allow fundamentalist religion to lead us for another term, we ought to pack up and move to Saudi Arabia. They have all that worked out. They also have oil. They would never allow a woman to run for public office but Sarah Palin can conveniently ignore that.

From here in this lovely corner of Minnesota, where good folks live their religion quietly, donate to worthy causes for the right reasons, pray privately or among friends in local churches, can we choose leaders driven by ignorance and nostalgia for "simpler times" that will never return? Sarah Palin is an appeal to the June Cleaver days of femininity with a dark side of ignorance and intolerance that no longer applies to a world we all know. Sarah and all of her like minded evangelicals have every right to their beliefs in a world that was created in six days and hope for a rapture that will take up the righteous and burn the rest in some firey hell, but we cannot allow this orthodoxy to govern our land. When God enters the policy decisions, rational thinking leaves the room. My God has a great deal of work to do and Alaska's economy is low on the list. There are displaced families all over Iraq taking up a lot of attention just now.

If you want to vote for her because she has great hair and those Walmart clips hold it up so well, it is your privilege as an American citizen. If you see any other reason, well, that is your privilege too. Just remember, if your ideas don't mesh with her view, she thinks God is on her side. You want to argue with that?

We fought too hard for women to be heard to listen to this one.

Beadrin Youngdahl lives in Peterson. She can be reached at beadrin@aol.com

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