Mixed Emotions over Palin-mania

When I first learned of John McCain's choice for his running mate, I was surprisingly pleased with his pick. He chose a woman! That made me happy. Even if Obama loses the election in November, at least the U.S. will break one glass ceiling come the fall.

I perused a couple of articles of Palin on the internet and I was surprsingly pleased too at what I read. A mother of five. A working parent. A woman who was brave enough to stand against the corruption in her own party. Even if I disagreed with Palin's positions on nearly everything from abortion to gay marriage to drilling in ANWR, I had to admit I admired this woman. In a way, she is the epitome of what I strive to become---strong, articulate, and a woman who somehow strikes a balance between work and family.

But now a week has passed since the Palin announcement and I find myself scratching my head over McCain's choice for his VP slot and I find myself scratching my scalp even harder over the heated culture wars this decision has elicited. *Sigh* I really wish the Olympics had never ended. I had a much better time watching swimming, basketball, and even equestrian dressage rather than this 2008 political circus.

First of all, I was turned off by Palin's address during the Republican National Convention. I understand politics is a dirty business and I understand criticizing your opponent is part of the game, but Palin's remarks on Obama went from firebrand criticisms of his policies to downright petty attacks on his community service. If Palin wanted to go after Obama, then she should have focused on his lack of executive experience or his sweeping speeches or his "liberal agenda." Instead, Pallin decided to mock Obama's work as a community organizer where he helped blue-collar Chicagoans find better job training and adequate housing. Huh? It just seems silly to me to attack Obama for this portion of his life when there's so much other stuff (ie Tony Rezko) she could have used for fodder. No gold star for you, Sarah.

Secondly, I am upset by the double standard the press and our society at large has placed upon Palin's working-mom status. If I had five children---one pregnant at 17 and a baby with special needs---I would probably go loopy, but Sarah Palin has found a way to balance her career and her family. Even better, her husband has quit his job to become a stay-at-home father so kudos to them. So why, why, why does the press keep questioning Palin if she's capable for the VP slot with so many kids in tow? Why doesn't anybody talk about Obama's two young daughters and how he plans to juggle his family and work life if he becomes elected? Or Joe Biden taking on a busy Senate seat as a single father? Or John McCain's parenting techniques in which his family lived in Arizona while he worked for most of the week in Washington? I spy a double standard here.

And lastly, I'm a little scared of Sarah Palin and the crazed uber-conservative Christian right wing of the Republican Party. Actually, I'm really scared of them. Now, I consider myself a Democrat---and a pretty liberal one at that---but I also agree with a few economic platforms traditionally tied to the GOP. But Palin's brand of evangelical politics just makes me shake my head and say, "Are you serious?" No abortions under any circumstances, abstinence-only education, creationism taught in schools, and God wants us stay in Iraq? I just don't get it---and I just don't understand why this crazy population of the U.S. has so much power in our country.

Oh and one more point---Sarah Palin is no friend of mine if she wanted to censor certain books in her hometown library! As a book lover extradinaire, I believe the act of banning books is akin to shooting me in the heart. Plus, censorship never works. It just makes these books more appealing to kids.