Saturday, August 30, 2008

Be Very Afraid

If you plan to vote for John McCain this election year, you'd better hope he doesn't die. I think it's a legitimate concern - he's 73 years old. He's had a few bouts with cancer. He lived in dire conditions in a prison for 6 years (as he reminds us daily). He's an old 73.

I feel that if John McCain wants us to vote for him and overlook the very legitimate concern that he may die in office, he's obligated to give us a VP choice who is ready to immediately step in his shoes if he kicks the bucket. Sarah Palin is so out of her element, it makes me sad for her because she doesn't have a real chance. There were so many qualified women he could have picked - he chose one who is probably easy to control but doesn't have a lot to offer our country except her ovaries and pro-life background.

I'm all about seeing more women in elected office. I'm concerned because this is a misogynic ticket - don't be fooled because there's a woman on it. McCain's policies are not pro-woman - and if you look at Palin's limited experience, her policies aren't pro-woman either.

I also think it's insulting that McCain's advisers think Hillary supporters wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two. Hillary was an experienced, accomplished politician. She championed women's and family's rights. She fought for average Americans. That's why people love her. Sarah Palin does not support reproductive choice. She believes in consumer-driven health care, which means you'd pay more out of pocket and companies wouldn't get tax breaks for providing insurance. She's never said whether she thinks women should get equal pay for equal work (can you believe in 2008, that's still something that hasn't happened?) - but John McCain voted against it so I'd guess Palin isn't too big of a supporter. (Does that mean Palin would be paid less than her male VP counterparts?)

Why Barack Obama is Different

When I've talked to people about McCain's choice, a few have said that Barack Obama doesn't have any experience either. Personally, I think experience is overrated- Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, served 8 years in the Illinois House of Representatives and served one term in the U.S House of Representatives and was arguably one of our best presidents. (Strangely, Barack Obama was a constitutional law lawyer, served 8 years in the Illinois Senate and one term in the U.S. Senate. He also was a professor of law at one of the country's most prestigious universities.) George W. Bush was a governor with "executive experience" and a background in business - and is arguably one of our worst presidents.

One of the smartest things Barack Obama did was pick a vice president with loads of experience, to balance the experience concerns.

Also, Barack Obama is proven leader who can play with the big boys on an international level. He worked on trying to round up those pesky nuclear weapons Russia lost track of. He's interacted with multiple foreign leaders and his judgment on foreign policy has proven to be sound time after time. After George Bush and John McCain saying how horrible and risky Obama's ideas were, it seems odd that Dubya has started to adopt some of those policies like a timetable with withdrawal from Iraq

Obama served a complex state with the fifth largest population in the country. He fought for health care for the uninsured, ethics reform and veteran's rights. As a community organizer, he knows how to bring diverse people together. He also can balance a budget and manage a staff, as proven by his expertly run presidential campaign. His stint as a constitutional lawyer would help him appoint Supreme Court judges. He may not have the traditional experience most candidates, but what he's accomplished is extraordinary.

Sarah Palin on the other hand has been governor of the 47th largest state in the U.S. for two years. Before that, she served as mayor of a city with a population of 8,000. Before that, she was on City Council. And before that, she was a fisherwoman and television sports reporter.

How do they even compare? Sarah Palin has no foreign policy experience at all (and unlike Fox News said, being physically close to Russia doesn't count as foreign policy experience!) We are in two wars right now - with the potential for two additional wars if things keep heating up. Do we really want to take a chance at having this woman lead our country? What would she do with Putin or the leader of Iran or that crazy North Korean leader? She is untested, inexperienced and would be eaten alive by her international counterparts.

I'm sure there are plenty of women who will vote for her because she's a woman. I would support her whole-heartedly as governor or legislator. I just don't think she's ready to be president and I don't think we should gamble our country's future on the hopes that John McCain doesn't die.

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