Tuesday, September 2, 2008

why sarah palin won't get my vote

i never would have imagined in a million years that i would write a political post eliciting so many comments! and i never would have imagined i'd have enough opinions about politics to write ANOTHER post on the topic...

i promise this isn't turning into a political blog. that's hilarious even saying it "aloud." i think my blog is like my style of decorating and dressing: random and eclectic. so sometimes i post about a scarf i just knitted (which, by the way, i'm working on another one in preparation for christmas!) sometimes i post about my kids. sometimes i post about my huge life and God questions. sometimes i post about yummy recipes. and then on occasion i venture into very murky waters and try to post about this crazy U.S. election.

ever since i heard mccain's pick for his vice presidential running mate, i have been paying close attention--mostly out of fascination. everyone in the media seems to be worked up into a frenzy over this lady, especially because she was a surprise pick. it's kind of fun to watch everyone (members of the media) scrambling to get to "know" her, to hear them fumbling over what to say about her.

it comes as no surprise to you i'm sure that i wasn't going to vote for mccain/palin anyway. i've made no bones about the fact that i'm in love with obama. :) but i've been thinking about why i wouldn't vote for her if i HAD planned on voting for mccain.

it's not because she's a woman.
it's not because she doesn't have much experience.
it's not because she's from alaska.
it's not because she is beautiful.
it's not because she is a beauty queen.
it's not because she is supposedly involved in a "scandal" over the firing of the trooper guy.
it's not because everyone thought yesterday that her new baby was her teenage daughter's.
it's not because her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.
it's not because no one knows who she is.

it's because SHE IS A MOTHER.

and not just any mother. she's the mother of a newborn. a newborn with Down's.

i'm a mother. of THREE (much less five, like palin). i just had a baby a year ago, so the ups and downs, highs and lows, ins and outs of what life is like with a newborn is still VERY fresh in my mind. all the sleepless nights. all the constant feedings. all the doctor check-ups. all the rocking, cuddling, carrying, crying, fussing, sleeping, eating, eating, eating (did i say eating?).

and i don't care who the woman is...if she has a newborn, she's not operating in full capacity mode mentally. unless...the unthinkable...she has a NANNY. in which case i wouldn't want to vote for her because then her family values everyone says are so strong would be a lie. at least to me.

i don't pretend to know anything about having a baby with Down's or any other special need for that matter, but i mentioned it earlier because i would imagine that her baby might need extra special care. more love. more attention. more everything.

so how does she plan to have enough time to fulfill her duties as vice president? what if something happened to mccain and suddenly she found herself filling the shoes of the most important office in the world? i'm just being honest: i wouldn't trust it to a mother of five, one of whom is a newborn. i think it would be wise for her to focus on her family (thanks Dobson for that phrase!) and follow her political ambitions when her children are older (read: almost grown).

what do you think?


Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction. When I first read about her, I thought, ok, the older three kids, she'll be busy, but that is doable. A seven-year old, ok, sketchy. But a 4 month old? No way. I'm looking at my 4 kids, the youngest one who's almost 2 months, thinking no way. Downs on top of that? No.

I am pretty confident that alsakan politics are very different from Washington's, especially in the time commitment part. That kind of a move will come with a sacrifice, and it will either be the nation or her family. As someone who is willing to sacrifice anything for my family, I can't vote for someone else to sacrifice theirs. Call me what you will, but it's not a move I can make.

Amelia Plum said...

Aside from the fact that I disagree with Palin's views on abortion, the environment, drilling in Alaska, taking polar bears off the endangered list?! ... well I pretty much disagree with her on everything. But the fact that she has a four month old with Down syndrome and an expectant 17 year old daughter would make me think that she might be better off focusing her family values on her own family than taking on the vice presidency.

I really appreciated the comments you and your husband wrote on the pro-life post. I think looking at all the innocent iraqis who didn't volunteer to die in this war is important. I also question how much someone 'volunteers' when they are poor and joining the armed forces might be the only way to better themselves/get a college education.

Ghandi said a nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members and the GOP seems like it couldn't care less about the poor, aside from exploiting them for the war. I had many pithy comments that I was going to post to jjisdynamite regarding his comments on my saying I'd leave the country if McCain won but really what's the point. I try to live by the golden rule. You want to pillory me for a comment that I tossed off half in jest because I'm so frustrated by our country's inanity go ahead. I don't find abortion and gay marriage the issues that this country's voters should be focusing on in deciding who to vote for as president. Health care, public education, the environment, the economy and the war are much more important issues in my opinion.

karin said...

I agree with both of you ladies.

I posted my thoughts about Sarah Palin on the latest link to a NYT article. You put it into words for me, amommystory, "As someone who is willing to sacrifice anything for my family, I can't vote for someone else to sacrifice theirs."

I also totally agree with you Amelia Plum that gay marriage and abortion are not things we should be basing our vote on.

Thanks for your willingness to keep the conversation going, Kristi.

Pixie said...

Argh. I worked so hard on my comment & it disappeared after publishing. This 2nd draft may not be so brilliant.

My reactions to Palin have been the same as those described above. Yet reading this post I felt a little sad. I know that pursuing one's dreams requires sacrifice yet I am saddened that for women that sacrifice still comes down to a choice between women and family. I have sacrificed dreams for family and I do not regret that choice. Yet it still saddens me that I had to make that choice. Strange, isn't it how Hillary made me feel so confident about women's roles and Palin has me all depressed.

kristi said...

pixie, thanks for pointing this out. i have wrestled with this too.

i think the unsettled part of me related to motherhood and sarah palin became clear last night when i watched her family come onstage after she finished speaking.

i almost started bawling, seeing her holding her 4-month-old in front of a screaming crowd. i felt like it was SO manipulative, so abusive of her role as mother. she seemed to be flaunting her family up there to get where she wants to be in life.

and her pregnant daughter's husband-to-be, 18, just a baby--he looked scared sh%&less.

and her oldest son, who is supposedly leaving for iraq on september 11 (why in God's name we would really send him when she's up for VP is beyond me), and the way she was so excited about this, knowing it was a war we shouldn't have been in to begin with--this made me want to throw up.

i think the difference between her and mothers like you & me is that she seems to be using her family to further her career. we are struggling to have a family and have a career, or we are putting our plans on hold for now for the SAKE of our family. we're not parading our family around, dangling them like carrots in front of cameras and saying "cheese" so people will give us a job we aren't qualified for and that will make us be completely absent from our family for the next FOUR years...

amber said...

I should preface this comment by saying Im not impressed with Palin, to say the least. I was disappointed with the Republican party when I heard the announcement about McCain's running mate, and I highly doubt I will cast my vote in that direction. I wanted to state that, so that you know my opinion here is completely separate from ANYthing political. However, I think it is unreasonable to pass judgement on Palin when we have limited knowledge of what kind of mother she is. It seems that the Palin's have made some decisions within their family to ensure that their children are cared for loved-probably as much as all of ours are. Sarah Palin's husband is a stay at home dad-a choice more and more families are making, and it seems to be something that works for them. The Obamas rely heavily on Michelle's mother to care for their children-I'm sure she must be with them quite a bit while the children attend school and the Obamas are on the campaign trail. How is this different?

What was Palin supposed to do after her speech? NOT have her family with her-or just leave the 4 month old out of the picture bc of his age? Didn't Michelle & Barack essentially do the same thing when she & their children came on stage at the Dem Convention?

I think it's difficult to be objective and easy to be judgemental when your mind is made up about who you're supporting-no matter who your choice is.

Rick said...


My only question regarding her husband is.. "how is he a stay at home dad?"

I hope he is. That could change things, but from all the bio stuff they keep throwing at us; he is a commercial fisherman. He is a supervisor for some oil operation (and union member). he is a champion snow mobile racer (probably not career).

Either he is not a stay at home dad... or he is and they trumpet him as having 2 jobs to make him sound less emasculated.

I agree. She can bring her family onstage. But, the fiance was wayyyy to much. That feels like pimping to me.

Plus, she is making her momdom a central key to her persona. If she makes that central (unlike Obama and his dadhood), she opens herself up to criticism as a mom, whether she is "using" her family and how she will do both jobs.

If she did not talk about momhood so much and put her family on display (see Hillary), she would not open herself up to this criticism.

but, this is why ALL politicians seeking higher office must sell their souls. And she just did.

kristi said...

amber! thank you so much for entering the fray...

ok, i have a few comments for you. first, if someone is running for president/veep, then they are asking to be judged. we have to judge whether we think they are suited for the most important office in the world. so yes, i'm being judgmental! i want to judge, critique, mull over, discuss, think about these people and figure out if i would trust my life and my country with them.

and you are right--it is next to impossible to be truly objective, but i think this is the case whether i've made up my mind or not. this is the case in every facet of our lives--our experiences color our judgment. add to that the fact that i'm moved by obama and that i really believe in his rhetoric of change, and this means i get more fired up than i normally would. :)

re: the comparison between palin and michelle, these are apples and oranges. michelle is the first lady--her job is to smile, have causes to promote, be a good support for obama while he's president. oh, and to wear cute outfits that everyone can rush out and buy (did you hear about that after her appearance on the view? crazy!)

and palin is running for vice president--which of course means she's running as a potential presidential candidate as well. and THAT'S what scares me. if i thought "oh well, nothing will happen to mccain," i probably wouldn't be as alarmed.

in addition, if her kids were older, i probably would have a different feeling/judgment about her. i think trying to do something like this when you have a baby and a pregnant teenager (whom maybe you will even end up supporting, in the veep house in DC, after they get married?) is not such great timing.

and it's not like her political clock is running out. she's got loads of time left.

the bottom line is that SHE and the MCCAIN CAMPAIGN made this a mom issue. i think if obama talked about his kids more (more than "they really miss me") it might be more of an issue for him (but less of one, because after all he is the dad and whether we like it or not dads do not play the same role in the house as the moms--and you know how nontraditional our household is!).

half of her speech last night seemed to be about moms this, and moms that, and hockey moms rule, and i was in the PTA, and my son's going to iraq, and my baby's so cute. but the thing is, she wants to be able to say all these things so she can manipulate voters, and then she doesn't want people to scrutinize her momhood after she's brought it up a thousand times.

one last thing: i'm all for stay-at-home dads, and if palin had been saying anything at all about this then i probably would rest a lot easier. do you have a link to any article that discusses this? i'd love to read it. if they are planning this, i think it would be wise for the campaign to make this more well known...

thanks again for taking time to comment. too bad we can't have these conversations in person! :)