Who’s afraid of Sarah Palin?

I’m trying to understand it. I’m trying to understand why people are so frightened by Sarah Palin. Because I can only think that fear is driving otherwise rational people to write and speak in ways they themselves never would have dreamed they would.

I remember when Barry Goldwater was running for president. All of the people I knew were convinced that if he won, we would have a nuclear war. No one trashed him, mocked him, or denigrated him the way they are doing it to Sarah Palin. I don’t get it.

I don’t get that if she made a personal decision to continue a pregnancy with a child with disabilities that that means she would force others to make the same choice. She never said that. She never tried to impose her will on others. In fact, in good feminist tradition, she took control of her own body and decided what she wanted to do. Isn’t that “choice?”

But that isn’t the only thing people are angry at. They have hundreds of justifications for why she is unfit. I remember a long time ago one of my professors taught us that one reason is sufficient– and if there are a large number of reasons, then we call that rationalization.

What do *I* think? I am not sure it matters at all, except when I vote. I can tell you this: I am not afraid of Sarah Palin. I actually think that she is refreshingly real. And she surely is not what those who fear her make her out to be. If I were going to rant, she wouldn’t be the one I would rant about.

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  1. The problem with Sarah Palin is that she wants her “choice” to be the choice of us all. So if I chose to abort an unwanted pregnancy (even in the case of rape or incest) I would not be allowed to. If parents chose to have sex education taught to their children in our schools that would not be HER choice because she thinks that abstinence is the only choice to give teens. Obviously this did not work for her daughter, but she will be supported by her parents. For those who make the same “choice” but do not have sufficient health insurance, resources or support services – where do they fit into Sarah Palin’s plan?

    The fact that she chose to give birth to her own child with Down Syndrome is admirable but her goal to eliminate the choices of others is not.

    That (among many other things about Sarah Palin) is what scares me…

  2. Assuming everything you say is true, a vice president, or even a president, is not the arbiter of laws on abortion. Those laws are set by the individual states and tested by appeals to the Supreme Court. The executive branch is not involved in those decisions except indirectly through the appointment of Supreme Court justices who themselves must be ratified by the congress.

  3. You are right. The members of the Supreme Court which will be elected during the next 4 years ARE chosen by the President and the executive committee and that does scare me. However, the states have continued to introduce laws which weaken Roe v. Wade and if the Supreme Court is not in favor of choice (by the vote of 5 justices) it will become a thing of the past. There are several justices who are close to retirement – they will be replaced by the next administration. That does scare me.

  4. I actually admire her for having a DS baby.

    However, I am appalled that she is ok with book banning and she is against granting any rights to same sex couples.

    I also am concerned that she is for teaching or discussing creationism in schools. If she were just another male Republican candidate, I would still be against her.

  5. Dear Dr. Savta,

    Thank you for bringing a rationale voice to this madness.

    It would have to come from half way around the world. Back here in the States, it’s pretty crazy.

    The only thing I can figure out is that people are still just scared silly of a woman in the White House. As soon as Hilary was out of the picture, the media jumped on Sarah.

    Is the most important point in feminism abortion?

    And, Gail, while the Executive branch will pick the judges, history has shown that once a judge is on the Supreme Court, the purity of the law is greater than partisan politics. That’s what the US Supreme Court is all about.

    It is definitely an interesting election.


  6. DocGrumbles,

    My understanding is that none of the 5 books were banned and that a couple were from a time before she took office.

    As to other points that I may or may not disagree with, I am more concerned with character than I am with specific preferences she may have.

    It give you an example: in my practice as a marriage and family therapist, people have come to me contemplating actions that I would not advise, if asked (not illegal, by the way). However, taking my job very seriously, I would encourage the person to consider their course of action as fully as possible, helping them look at as many sides of the issue as possible, and enable them to make their own decision, even if it were not the decision that I would recommend. That is what ethical practice requires.

    If Sarah Palin has the type of character that I believe I see in her from my limited exposure to her background, I have no doubt that when she is making decisions that affect others, she will take into account not only her personal preferences, but the greater good of the country.

  7. Dr Savta,
    I like the analogy between therapy and politics.

    I just watch the elections from the sidelines and I think it is great that there is a woman out there who is being her real self and staying strong.

    I dont in any way believe that she is trying to impose her beliefs or values. Are people just scared because she is not playing a spin game and just saying things as she sees it?

    I definitely dont feel she is playing any games as in “Whose afraid of Virginia Woolf”. She is not saying things to try to impress or to persuade others.

    Maybe I am naive but I thought she was refreshingly authentic and it is hard to think that this can be a game.