Several years ago, while discussing politics with family and friends, I promised to vote at every opportunity for any woman who ran for national office. I thought it made good sense to encourage the entry of women in national politics. I think women make capable leaders, on the average likely better natural social leaders than men. I'm going to renege on that promise this November.
It hasn't been an easy decision because I take promises seriously. I've monitored Sarah Palin's major public appearances since her debut acceptance speech at the RNC. I've studied her public history. From these, I now have an opinion on Sarah Palin. I realize too, that even though she isn't running for president, the possibility she could be one exists, so she must pass muster as though she was running for president.
From the public performances that I've seen, Sarah Palin is not an acceptable public speaker. She does well reading a script or reciting a memorized one, but I find her her adlib speaking performances lacking. On several occasions, she purposely uttered known untruths, for example, when she addressed the departing Alaskan National Guard, she implicated Iraq in the 911 terrorist attack. Her willingness to intentionally speak untruths in the public bothers me greatly. We've just endured 8 years of that. In office, Sarah would inspire no one with her rhetoric.
Contrary to what McCain and company say, Sarah is not an experienced leader. A couple of years as the mayor of a town of roughly 6000 people doesn't amount to much. Across America, we have many school superintendents with better credentials than that. She became Alaska's governor less than two years ago in December 2006. She's been absent from that job since August of this year. By my reckoning, this gives her about a year and a half of experience being governor of a state with a population of 683,478 people, slightly more people than Oklahoma City (547, 274), unless one counts the whole metropolitan area (1,192,989). I wouldn't consider the mayor of Oklahoma City experienced enough to be president, although I suspect he has good foreign credentials (he has visited Mexico). Add to that, the knowledge that she spent most of her time as governor on per diem at home in Wasilla rather than in Juneau, the capital city. Apparently, she fulfilled the duties of her office by email. She has been cited on several ethic issues: firing people, cheating on travel expenses, that aren't likely to go away, especially with an unsympathetic Democratic Congress. I remember another vice president, Nixon's, that ran into home state ethic problems. Agnew was impeached. The allegations make me uncomfortable; I wonder how many more problems lurk in Alaska. Contrast Palin's experience with that of Obama. He has successfully conducted a 2 year primary campaign against a formidable group of opponents and isn't doing too badly right now. Most political analysts agree he won all three presidential debates. He's inspired many to register, and hopefully to vote, for the first time. By election day, his campaign fund raising dollars will equal 1000 times the population of Alaska. Don't tell me he lacks experience.
Sarah Palin's disdain for the gay population was evident in her comments at the vice presidential debate and in her efforts to remove a book with a gay-family theme from the public library in Wasilla. I do not knowingly vote for bigots.
Sarah Palin thinks we should teach Creationism in our schools. I'm uncomfortable with teaching religion, even Christian religion, in public schools. There are over 30,000 kinds of protestant Christian religion groups in the States. Add to that all the other religions who would expect their precepts taught. Do we really want to open that bucket of worms? I think we should limit the science taught in public school to those that follow the time-tested scientific method.
Sarah Palin is Pro-Life and believes the only sex education that should be taught in the public schools is abstinence. By virtue of their stance, Pro-Lifers are willing to deny pre-natal care and support to many teenage mothers. While I'm against abortion, I would never support the Pro-Life stance. I believe that knowledgeable responsibility should be encouraged in churches, schools, and public forums. This should include sex education from age ten upwards. We are all responsible for the health of the future generation.
I could list more reasons, but I won't. I've written enough.
Sorry Sarah, but you and John won't be getting my vote this November.