Friday, October 10, 2008

Problematic Palin

When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, I, like many around the world, googled her and read the brimming news coverage featuring scattered details about her biography. I admit that even though she is a Republican, I couldn’t help but give kudos to John McCain for making such a “maverick” move. [How ridiculous is it that choosing a woman is seen as unusual given women make up more than half of the population, but regardless it was bold given that only one other woman has ever been nominated.]

And then her speech! I found myself enjoying her jabs at Barack Obama. Yeah, small town people are an awesome part of America Yeah, she probably does know a thing or two being governor so it’s fine that she is a heart beat away from the presidency. Yeah, come to think of it, pit bulls are like hockey moms.

But Sarah Palin, with all her charisma and rhetoric prowess is most definitely dangerous. And I believe that Americans will see beyond the superficiality and recognize that the prospect of a McCain-Palin presidency will not lead to a safer America, but a more perilous one. Their legacy could include unsafe abortions, an increase in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, continued environmental damage, a retraction of basic freedoms, a continuance of the health care crisis, and more failed foreign policy degrading the United States’ reputation as a world leader.

McCain, no matter how independent minded he was at some point, has recently switched his stance on a woman’s right to choose. He has always been “Pro Life” but until recently he was opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. If he is elected president, and pressured to appoint conservative judges, there is a real possibility that women’s lives will be in danger if forced to perform unsafe abortions.

You would think that the “Pro Life” crew would want women not to have unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Sarah Palin supports abstinence only sex education. Again, this is dangerous for our young people. Putting aside teen pregnancy, an abstinence only curriculum does not provide young people with the information that they need to prevent contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Besides STDs, expect more kids to develop asthma due to Republican disregard of environmental protections. Watch wildlife and sea creatures die if Republicans expand drilling.

Freedom will suffer from a terminal illness as the Patriot Act is renewed under a Republican presidency.

Horrible diseases will continue to kill as progress is stunted without federal funds for stem cell research.

And those who contract those diseases will not be able to afford health care because the Republicans are not committed to providing affordable health insurance to all Americans, just as they are not committed to improving public education (with vouchers reducing fund for schools).

With joblessness rising, the sub prime mortgage mess, instability in Georgia, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, the security of our country both domestically and abroad cannot be left to a senator who has compromised his values to appease the Republican Right and a governor who has the hubris to think that God supports her policies.

While both Palin and McCain are likable and even worth admiring, if elected their policies will make America a worse place four years from now.

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