The case of the pitbull, gender politics and sexual education

She was chosen due to her gender. The Republicans believed that the best way to capitalise on Hillary Clinton’s disillusioned, female supporters (23%) would be to equal the campaign for equality by doing what Obama failed to do: nominate a woman as a running mate. In her acceptance speech, Palin referred to the revolutionary, Democratic feminists Geraldine Ferraro (the first woman nominated by a major political power as its candidate for Vice President of the United States), and Hilary Clinton. She called to all women that it was time for them to “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all”. The Republicans seem to have ignored basic, human intelligence which can see through this extravagant, propaganda campaign, and understand that Palin is detrimental for women. Her nomination is, quite frankly ‘my dear’, patronising.

‘You can’t just swap one vagina for another’ was the crude, but apt, summary pronounced by Joy Behar, co-host of American chat-show ABC’s ‘The View’. Women supported Hillary because she was an experienced and qualified woman who deserved her place in government; women are not fickle enough to become enchanted with Palin just because she is another woman. Anybody will vote for the candidate with the best principles and a democratic Hillary supporter is likely to have appositional views to Palin.

Palin is an inflexible, pro-life campaigner who is opposed to abortion even in the cases of rape or incest. The mother of five, if elected, would try to see Roe v Wade reversed. Ignoring the impracticalities of this action, her belief is disturbing. Firstly, a reversal would cause back-alley tragedies for vulnerable, desperate and shamed women who cannot gain a safe abortion in public. So much for female pride! Secondly, the happily married ‘hockey mom’ is content to decide that her own personal, pro-life choice, yes choice, is so inviolable that she can make that decision for all American women. Lastly, coping with a son who suffers from Down’s syndrome and four other children on a basic income, is manageable for Palin, but it is not a decision one should make for all: a private, pro-life is not contradictory with a public, pro-choice vote. A glass ceiling is being double-glazed by the dogmatic Palin.

Whilst mentioning her belief system the media and politicians argue that ‘family are off limits’. In both her introductory and acceptance speech she gave the audience a biography of her family members which feature a young, disabled baby and a son in Iraq (coincidentally McCain refuses to mention his). Yet, despite exploiting her family for public empathy on stage, we are not allowed to comment on them in the media. Her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant; Palin believes sex education should not be taught. It is easy to derive that Palin’s political views can be explained using her family: If a daughter is not told about contraception she may nonetheless not follow Palin’s suggestion of abstinence. Interestingly, 5 month pregnant Bristol is now engaged to her boyfriend Levi; it is fair to suggest that without a staunchly pro-life, Christian mother she would be finishing high school and would not be used as a political weapon. Palin’s response was to say that ‘we are a normal family’; Miss Vice-President, politicians are meant to be moral examples and not average; if they were then what qualifies them to govern us?

Palin does not shy away from partisan politics; in her speech at the Republican convention she criticised Obama’s inexperience and refusal to call the Iraq war a ‘victory’. On the first criticism, elected governor less than two years ago, Palin was mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, Pop. 7,000. In perspective, Obama has served for three and a half years as Senator of Illinois, Pop. 12,831,970 (Alaska, Palin’s state has a population of 670,053). Palin, who is also embroiled in accusations of unethical sackings of prominent, Alaskan public figures, can hardly attack perceived inexperience. A lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, her further accusation of Obama’s lack of support for the war is actually a backward compliment.

McCain has had three melanomas removed since 2000 and at 72, one never knows whether he may be able to guarantee his health for a Presidential term. Any liberal, Democrat should not be swayed by a ‘pitbull with lipstick’.

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