Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Reasons and non-reasons

Reasons not to support Sarah Palin's VP candidacy, which are sound reasons or at least consistent:

  • You disagree with her policies on issues that are important to you.
  • You think she's way too inexperienced to perform the job of American VP effectively.
  • You have some criterion, personal to yourself, that is important to you and that you apply consistently to all candidates for high political offices (for example, "I don't vote for any candidate of any party who has small kids at home. People with small kids should be available to be at home for their families, and the VP job is too much for someone to be a good VP and a good parent.")

Reasons not to support Sarah Palin's VP candidacy, which are unsound reasons:

You think she should be home with her small kids, and you don't apply that criterion evenly. Can you imagine this article being written about a male candidate? The fact is, being a successful politician requires a high level of ambition, and people who are ambitious and powerful and hold high political offices such as a governorship do things like go to work three days after their baby is born and entrust the care of their children to others -- usually to some combination of the children's other parent, nannies, or both. How many of the fathers in governor's seats or in Washington spend much time with their kids? Not too many, I'd wager. If normally that isn't an issue for you, when the candidate is man, it shouldn't be an issue for you when it concerns Sarah Palin.

Her unmarried, teenage daughter is pregnant. Perhaps you think this proves she's an inattentive mom who should be home (see above). Or perhaps it gets you thinking that her abstinence-education-only policy isn't really so effective (duh! You needed Bristol Palin to prove that?). Or perhaps you think it just goes to show that Sarah Palin isn't as religious as she claims, or doesn't have a firm hand at home, or or or . . . to which I respond: there are thousands -- hundreds of thousands -- of loving, firm, attentive, rule-laying, warm, inspiring parents all over America whose 17-year-old kids do stupid, life-altering (or endangering) things. Bristol is not the first 17-year-old child of (we hope) stable, loving people to get pregant, and she won't be the last.

Look, I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. I disagree with most of her policies and her skimpy resume makes me really nervous. But let's stick to the issues, folks. There's no reason to dump on the woman, just because she's a . . . woman.

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