by Nan Rhyner
How DARE you stand on that stage, on the shoulders of generations of women who have struggled and sacrificed to allow a woman to achieve what you have, and spit in their faces the way you have done over the past few weeks? For a serious candidate for vice president to turn in such a poor performance in interview after interview that the fact that you managed not to pee on the stage meant that you exceeded many people’s expectations is a crying shame. In the month since you were named as candidate for VP, you have embodied every single negative stereotype ever put forward as a “reason” why women are not fit to lead a nation. You have been shallow, superficial, disorganized, and clearly uninformed on a wide range of issues that the president MUST understand. That is absolutely disgraceful. You are no longer Miss Wasilla – this is not a beauty contest that you can win by chirping “World peace!” into a microphone and waiting for someone to show up with your tiara and sash – it is deadly serious. How do you propose to take over the presidency, should that be necessary, when it takes you weeks of preparation and drilling and rehearsal in seclusion to get through a 90 minute debate? You are so afraid of the press after your three disastrous interviews that you have decided to avoid them completely – don’t think that we can’t see through your attempt to spin the situation to cast yourself as a victim of the evil, mean, press corps. Do you seriously believe that that would be an option for you, should you ever become president? What will you do then?
How DARE you stand up there and criticize other nations’ lack of women’s rights, when you have systematically worked to strip women of their rights since you have had power of any sort? Your city led the fight in Alaska to charge women for the rape kits used to gather forensic evidence after a woman has been sexually assaulted. Your state leads the nation in number of forcible rapes per capita, but you’ve done nothing to stem the tide. You speak out against socialized health care – you don’t want the government involved in what you believe are private decisions – but you’re more than happy to take away a woman’s right to choose whether to continue an unwanted pregnancy, even if that pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
How DARE you stand in front of us as a nation and claim that you are prepared to lead us in finding a way to improve education, when you have demonstrated over and over again your own lack of understanding of basic principles of science, history, and civics? Any high school freshman should be able to name at least one or two other Supreme Court cases. Finding ones you disagreed with might be a bit harder, although for me, Bush v. Gore, Plessy v. Ferguson, and District of Columbia v. Heller come to mind pretty quickly. One would hope that you would also disagree with the verdict of at least the second case in that list. How is it that you propose to lead our nation in its interactions with other countries, yet you can’t be bothered to do some studying to find out what the Bush Doctrine might be? You don’t seem to grasp the concept that if you do not understand what is causing climate change, you will not be able to do anything to stop it. Yes, the climate has warmed and cooled in the past without it being caused by human activity – but the difference is those climate changes happened over centuries and millennia — not decades. They also tended to be accompanied by mass extinctions. It seems to me that, even if you don’t believe that humans are to blame, it’s worth taking action to make absolutely sure that we’re not part of the problem. Your position in opposition to comprehensive sexual education is fatally flawed. As the gap between puberty and marriage widens for more and more young people, abstinence becomes more and more unlikely. Young people will have sex, and nothing that we say or do will ever stop that. Sex is a basic drive for humans. We can either accept this fact and make sure that these young people have comprehensive sex ed – including a thorough understanding of how to prevent pregnancy and disease – and access to condoms and other forms of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STIs, or we can continue to see young people’s options in life severely limited by disease and unplanned pregnancies. I have been unable to definitively substantiate reports that you are a young-earth creationist who believes that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, but if that is true, it is one more proof that you are unfit to lead this nation. Science and technology are the US’s only hope for maintaining its position in the global economy. We cannot move forward as a nation and maintain our position in the vanguard of science and technology behind a leader who rejects even the most basic scientific understanding in favor of myths and legends.
How DARE you claim to be part of a middle-class family? The AP reports that your family income is approximately $230,000 per year, with assets in excess of $1 million. That’s almost 4 times the average income in Alaska, and over 5 times the average income in the entire US. That’s approximately 3 times the net worth of Joe Biden. The folksy, aw-shucks routine is a calculated fake with which you hope to lie your way into national-level power – what other reason could there be for you refusing to release your financial information before the VP debate, other than your hope that no one would bother to fact-check your claim to be in the middle class? God help us if you actually succeed at this. You are nothing more than a conniving, grasping politician who favors style over substance. You talk of your status as an “outsider”, but your true colors showed tonight as you talked of your hopes of expanding the power you would wield as vice president, were the American people crazy enough to elect you. Dick Cheney has already had his crack at running the country into the ground by wielding powers to which he had absolutely no right, from a Constitutional standpoint. The LAST thing we want to do now is expand those powers further for the likes of you.
We’ve been lied to for eight years already. We’ve dealt with cronyism and abuse of power. We’ve watched the government stonewall inquiries into even its most blatantly illegal and unethical actions. (We’ve already seen evidence of how you’re more than happy to do these things as well, in your less than two years as Alaska governor. Why is it that you are no longer asking us to “hold you accountable” in your ethics inquiry? Why are your people now refusing to answer subpoenas so that the inquiry can proceed?) We’ve seen our homes and jobs and money stolen, and watched wealth concentrated in the hands of the rich while the poor and the middle class suffered. We’ve watched oil company profits shoot up, and no-bid contracts handed out unapologetically to companies with undeniable ties to the Bush/Cheney regime. We’ve watched scientists routinely manipulated or squelched if their findings were inconvenient to the administration’s political objectives. We’ve seen ally after ally throughout the world alienated. We’ve watched thousands of young men and women die in a preemptive war which the government lied to us to start, yet we’ve continued to fail to catch the people who were actually the ones that attacked us on 9/11. We’ve watched the economy tank, and the deficit skyrocket. You talk about “change”, but spout the same old policies we’ve seen over and over and over and over. You are nothing more than 4 more years of Bush.
And it’s time we said “Enough.”
As for you, the best thing you could do for the nation is to take your family, and go back to Wasilla. Spend time in that lovely house you own – the one by the lake. Or maybe in one of your vacation cottages. Relax. Maybe read a book. You can use your private plane to get there. But leave the rest of us alone. We’ve had enough of your type.
Nan Rhyner is an aspiring teacher, an animal lover, and a flaming liberal. Nan lives in the Midwest with far too many rescued dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, and an extremely tolerant roommate. She rants about politics in her spare time.