Up on my soap box

Usually I try to stay away from blogging about things that I don't know that much about. I try to stick with the simple things--things about myself, my kids--nothing too controversial. But with all of the fascinating political events of the week, I just can't keep my mouth shut.

Hang on a second while I get up on my soap box...

It's no secret that I am a democrat. Last night, I proudly watched my party make a historic choice in presidential candidates and I teared up when Barack officially accepted the nomination. I was inspired by his speech and moved by everything that he had to say. To see a young, black family up there on stage was fantastic and amazing and made me very proud to be an American.

Here's the thing...I am voting for Barack Obama not just because he is a democrat, not because he is a black man, not because he is a father with young children, but because he believes in the same things that I believe in and wants to move the country forward in a way that I agree with. I've read his website, I've listened to his speeches, and tried my best to educate myself about his policies. Barack gets its.

Today, McCain announced his choice in running mates, Governor Sarah Palin. Like the rest of the country, I was totally surprised. After her speech, I sat as I listened to the news magazine commentators talk about some of the positives of McCain's choice.

Oh, he's going to win over the young woman vote. Women will really take a look at McCain now.

Oh, McCain just won over the soccer moms because of Palin.

Oh, mothers will want to vote for her because she has 5 kids, one a newborn with Downs Syndrome.


I am a young woman, I am a soccer mom, and I have young kids. I think it's great that there are more and more women in politics who are braking the barriers down of the "good ol' boys club." I respect mothers who can balance a time-consuming job and a family.

But...

Just because someone is like me doesn't make me automatically want to vote for her.

Give us soccer moms a little more credit, will ya?

Just because I am a soccer mom doesn't mean that I don't care about the issues. I wasn't going to vote for Hillary just because she was a woman and I'm not going to suddenly be swayed toward McCain because he chose a woman who's a mom for a running mate.

Who is this woman? I have no idea. I don't have a clue. And apparently, neither does anyone else in the country. So what that says to me is this...McCain chose her just to try and make a splash, to try and say, "See? I can make a choice that's about change too." In his introduction of her, he said, "She is exactly who I need." Yeah, exactly who you need to help you get elected and nothing more.

But is she prepared? If this 72-year-old man is elected and goes down in the next four years, will she be an effective president? I suddenly have a picture of all of the good ol' boy republicans saying, "It's okay. We'll tell her what to do." That thought scares me.

I could probably go on, but I won't. I'll only say this. I can't help but thinking about her little baby. I said before, you'll never hear me say that mothers shouldn't work. I believe that mothers have the right to do and have it all. Just because you have children doesn't mean that you have to give up following your own dreams. I certainly admire Palin for getting this far while managing a family.

But this mom has a new baby with a disability. Children require a lot of time and attention, but children with disabilities require even more. I heard that the dad, Palin's husband, is a commercial fisherman. So what about that baby? Where does he fit into all of this?

I'm not saying that mothers who have children with disabilities shouldn't work. All I'm saying is that I know how hard it is to balance everything--work, marriage, family, home, and your children's needs. I just wonder if she can meet all of her family's needs and the needs of the entire country as well.

And that's all I've got to say about that...

4 comments :

Dawn said...

Great - you get to hear from a good ol' republican! LOL

Yes, I'm republican and yes I will vote for McCain because he aligns more with my beliefs than Obama. McCain was not, however, who I wanted to be running for president. But after seeing him in the debate with Obama I LOVED him and his answers.

I was quite shocked at his choice for VP. I hope in the next few days to learn more about her and why he chose her. I do know she has a 67% approval in the state of Alaska which is primarily democrat. She is completely against political corruption.

I think it will be sad to see the democratics critize her for being a mother to small kids. Lots of moms work outside the home and their kids turn out just fine.

My husband has been listening to talk radio all day and so far the democrats can come up with absolutely nothing bad on her - only good. I guess she has done some pretty amazing things. I hope to learn more in the coming days.

Jenn said...

You knew you'd get some serious feedback on this one, didn't you?

I have a hard time with Obama (and his camp) pulling the "no experience" card on Palin when HE has no experience whatsoever in any sort of executive role.

Also, the only "negative" (if you would even call it that) that I've heard is that she is a mom of a young infant. I find it HIGHLY HYPOCRITICAL that the democratic base-- who is ALL FOR WOMEN, you know-- would seek to undercut the ONLY WOMAN left in the ring after Hilary was knocked out.

McCain isn't my favorite by a long shot, but I am highly encouraged by his choice of VP.

I guess my vote for McCain will really be a vote for Palin.

Anonymous said...

I watched and listened with surprise and interest all morning yesterday as Palin was announced as McCain's running mate. I also find it insulting that the GOP thinks they can sway women voters and the "Clinton democrats" just because they picked a woman.

Some of Clinton's camp was comprised of the PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass)---because of her gender, I'm sure. Others chose her because of her feminist ideals, others because of her platform. Does the GOP think that those "feminist" Clinton voters really would vote for a woman who represents very little of the "feminist platform?" She's an extreme conservative who doesn't even believe in abortion in cases of rape and incest.

Sure she has a down's baby, but at least she could make the "choice" that worked for her family. I am a soccer mom of four, and I can barely get the laundry done in my household. (I can't imagine running the country and pumping my breasts at the same time.)

Ok, that was cheap. I digress... I've read some troubling things about her environmental policies in Alaska. She doesn't sound very inventive there. How about new renewable sources of energy?

Sure she has made incredible strides for women in politics, congrats! To sum it up, the GOP has made a grave error in judgment to think that soccer moms are all brainless voters who don't look at the issues at stake. She might have a future in Washington someday; but unfortunately, her credentials don't bring me a lot of comfort right now -- as the potential heartbeat away from the presidency. But then, I guess she'll be surrounded by the good old boy network who strategically selected her for this POLITICAL STUNT in the first place.

Anonymous said...

This is not about being a working mother. Being the Vice-President of the United States of America is way beyond that. She has a newborn with Down's Syndrome and a teenage daughter who is pregnant. Maybe her family needs her alot more right now than the country needs her. Maybe she should wait 4 or 8 years to run for major political office. She is certainly young enough to have more chances.