September 9, 2008 by Judith Liebaert
The Republican Party plucked Sarah Palin from obscurity and served her up on a platter as super woman-mom-politico. Her meteoric rise over the national landscape is far less due to any political acumen than it is to her own blind ambition.
Her supporters like to say that she is “Every Woman”, meaning (I think) that she represents the common every day mother and working woman. I am a mother, grandmother and working woman. Sarah Palin does not represent me in any of those aspects. She does not represent my best interests in areas of the economy, education or family values.
Really? What kind of values is a mother teaching when she delivers almost her entire acceptance speech, in front of her children, from a bully – or lipsticked pit bull’s pulpit? Our schools are enacting zero tolerance on bullying – why isn’t Sarah Palin demonstrating that family value?
She certainly does not represent the advancement of women’s concerns in America. I fear that what she does represent for women is the worst of gender-biased, stereotypical character traits that have kept women from breaking that glass ceiling for so long. Sarah Palin is not every woman, but every woman has known someone like her. If you are her friend, you are golden. Just don’t oppose her or stand in the way of her ambition unless you want to feel that proverbial knife in your back
It seems an astute blogger has discovered the facts in the book banning, librarian firing myth. “Turns out Sarah requested the librarians — who was a big supporter of Sarah’s political opponent — resignation before she ever broached the subject of a potential book boycott.”
I have two thoughts about that. First, as an elected government official, Palin is sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America – including all amendments in place. A move on her part to ban or otherwise remove books from a public library is a direct freedom of speech violation. Private citizens can question and take proper channels to remove materials that may be deemed objectionable – but Sarah Palin is no longer a private citizen.
Second, her effort to fire the librarian who didn’t support her during her campaign and/or in areas of ethics (and when she became Governor – a cop who wouldn’t cooperate with her very private, family agenda), is abuse of power. If that’s not bad enough, it is divisive and reminiscent of the high-school-girl-drama antics most adult women have long since abandoned.
Sarah Palin has used her power to repeatedly advance her own agendas, often times in opposition to her ticket’s slogan – County (substitute neighborhood, town or state) First. She won her mayoral election with the promise to rebuild her town’s crumbling infrastructure. Instead, the self described “hockey mom” pushed through the building of a multi-use sports complex (big ice arena) that one citizen describes as a “huge money pit”. When she took office in Wasilla, Alaska “she inherited a city with zero debt.” Despite raising the amount of city collected taxes by 38%, “she left it with an indebtedness of over $22 million.”
Her new battle cry is for drilling in the Alaskan Wilderness. Whether this is a wise move or not, remains to be determined. It has the potential to provide short-term relief from the burden of rising energy costs in America. It also carries the threat of allowing us to become overly complacent in our continuing dependence of oil, thus pushing the advancement of new energy technologies to the back burner once again. It also contributes to the growing concern of greenhouse gasses and global warming, all of which is not the future I want for my grandchildren – even if it would make my tank of gas more affordable now.
Also, consider her motives for drilling in light of the fact that their family income has never come from her husband’s commercial fishing business. He works a high-paying union job on the North Slope for BP which allows him the flexibility to take a few months each summer for fishing.
In a move straight out of Pygmalion, Sarah Palin is being packaged as something she is not, nor ever has been – a common woman driven to public service. She might know how to talk the talk, but it seems she is barely beyond baby steps in learning to walk the walk.