Thursday, September 04, 2008

My New Hero(ine)

I watched Sarah Palin's speech last night at the RNC. I usually abhor political speeches; they're generally badly delivered, cliche-ridden propaganda pieces, and I flatly don't trust any politician to tell the truth. Maybe Palin didn't tell the truth either, and her speech had its share of old jokes and awkward pauses, but I like her. She has strength of character.

Since she was named as the VP nominee, Palin and her family have undergone nothing short of persecution. The media made sure we knew about every possible flaw: pregnant daughter, violent ex-relatives, her husband's 22-year-old DUI, special needs son. Oh--she also goes to church and urges graduates to pray for the country's leaders! The audacity! When the media begins to comment on the candidate's dress, hairstyle, and "twangy" voice, you can be sure of one thing: they are afraid of her. Since they can't find any substantive failings, media pundits resort to personal attacks.

Through all of the attacks disguised as reporting, Palin stood tall. She treated the media barbs with all the respect they deserved: she ignored them. She upheld her family, including the pregnant daughter and her gutsy soon-to-be son-in-law, and then got down to the business of making her potential boss look good. She fulfilled the traditional attack dog role of VP with well-placed barbs, all the funnier because she pointed out the truth.

The sexist attacks on Sarah Palin anger me. I, too, came of age in an era where women's roles were changing. Growing up, I thought my life would be a stay-at-home mom, not because I wanted it, but because that's what women did. I am grateful that we can now have whatever career suits us, provided we are willing to make the sacrifices. I resent deeply the intimation that Palin cannot raise her children properly without being at home. No one asks whether or not Obama or Biden should seek office because it might take time away from the kids. Palen's husband seems to be supportive and ready for a role reversal. His opinion of her running is the only one that matters.

In the words of a famous book, "Go, Sarah, go. Run, Sarah, run. Win, win, Sarah."

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