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Let’s be FOR Something

Posted on | September 17, 2008 |

I have long been “that person” who will reply all to a forwarded email — it’s not a requirement that I know everyone on the forward list — with fact check information or a disproving Snopes.com link. This one caught my radar because not only is it factually incorrect in places, it’s, well, ineffective.

Friends, compatriots, fellow-lamenters,

We are writing to you today because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce—on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate—that has a real possibility of becoming fact.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms.Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present and future daughters. To date, she is against a woman’s right to choose, environmental protection, alternative energy development, gun control, freedom of speech (as mayor she brought up the question of banning books and then attempted to fire the librarian who refused), the separation of church and state, community organizing, and polar bears.

We want to clarify that we are not against Sarah Palin as a woman, a mother, or, for that matter, a parent of a pregnant teenager, but solely as a rash, incompetent, and all together devastating choice for Vice President. Ms. Palin’s political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we’ve so demonstrably benefited from.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

Therefore, we hope that you will reply here with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation.

Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and city or town and state of residence.

We will post your responses on a blog called ‘Women Against Sarah Palin,’ which we intend to publicize as widely as possible. Please send us your reply at your earliest convenience—the greater the volume of responses we receive, the stronger our message will be.

Thank you for your time and action. And please pass this message on to the ladies in your life!

VIVA!

Sincerely,

Quinn L. and Lyra K.
New York, NY
womensaynopalin@gmail.com

Let’s dissect, shall we?

To date, she is against a woman’s right to choose, environmental protection, alternative energy development, gun control, freedom of speech (as mayor she brought up the question of banning books and then attempted to fire the librarian who refused), the separation of church and state, community organizing, and polar bears.

This excerpt is indicative of the entire tone of the letter. In many cases if you look up these issues, you’ll find that Palin is “for” something, but the authors of this letter decided to make the leap that she is automatically “against” a similar issue (e.g. She’s for drilling in ANWR, therefore she must be against alternative energy development). To the facts:

  • Against a woman’s right to choose — I guess this is another way to say she’s pro-life (which is true). It seems the writers of this letter resorted to the tried and true abortion debate method of using incongruous language — “pro-abortion” vs. “pro-life”, “pro-choice” vs. “against woman’s right to choose”. Both equally ridiculous.
  • Against environmental protection — It’s true that she’s fought against endangered species protections for certain species, but she has also recognized climate change and created a subcommittee to address climate change in Alaska. So this claim is half true if we’re being optimistic.
  • Against alternative energy development — I haven’t read anything to suggest she’s against alternative energy development. Palin does support the opening of ANWR, but one does not automatically beget the other.
  • Against gun control — It’s true that she’s a longtime NRA member and supports the constitutional right to bear arms. Again, I can not find a specific reference where she says she’s against gun control.
  • Against freedom of speech — I can only assume this refers to the oft-quoted Wasilla librarian debate. The real circumstances indicate she didn’t attempt to ban books, or at least not so explicitly, and especially not the book lists that have circulated in some places. In short, this statement is a leap at best.
  • Against separation of church and state — Apparently this conclusion is made from Palin’s various remarks that creationism could be taught alongside evolution. However, she also noted that school boards should not be pushed on the subject, but to leave it open for discussion.
  • Against community organizing — I can only assume this refers to her RNC speech comments about Obama’s time as a community organizer. I’ll allow that this was a stupid statement, and I’m a fan of Jon Stewart’s take.
  • Against polar bears — She also hates kittens and kicks dogs. But, I guess if fighting to keep polar bears off the endangered species list equates to a hate of polar bears, then this one is true.

Ms. Palin’s political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we’ve so demonstrably benefited from.

I hate, hate when someone presumes to speak for me as a woman. Neither side of the debate should attempt to, but especially not with such obviously biased and inflammatory language as this letter contains.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

The fact that this letter is addressed to “fellow lamenters” should be a quick indicator of the ineffectiveness of such a “women against Palin” campaign. I agree that Palin is a poor Vice Presidential choice. The chance of me voting for the McCain/Palin ticket is quite slim (get out the micrometer to measure this one), but yet I bristle at this email. One, don’t start a “movement” based on loose interpretations of the facts. Two, preaching to the Democratic choir is not likely to be effective. A movement to get women who wouldn’t have voted for McCain/Palin anyway to speak out against Palin? Wow, how revolutionary.

I was also pointed to this petition started by the same group. While the text of the petition at least showed an attempt to shore up the language (although, I’m not sure what’s up with the pic of Cheney), it remains a ridiculous petition. What does this accomplish? Why not put energy into campaigning for Obama? Why be negative when you could spend the same time and energy attempting to make a real difference?

I guess it’s just easier to be against something instead of for something.

Comments

2 Responses to “Let’s be FOR Something”

  1. Stacey
    September 18th, 2008 @ 7:28 am

    Once again…well said!

  2. Nicole
    September 18th, 2008 @ 8:36 am

    Thanks. The real kicker is that you don’t have to start a “movement” or a petition to be against Palin, you can just NOT VOTE FOR HER. Take a stand by voting FOR Obama, you know?

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