Monday, November 3, 2008

Guest Post

The candidacy of Sarah Palin has turned into such a hot-button issue that Starr Ann and I thought it might be a good idea to reach beyond the Posse to a writer who's passionate about women's suffrage and has written extensively about the history of claiming our right to vote. Quite generously, Virginia Harris agreed to take the time to give us her thoughts on this election and Sarah Palin's candidacy. Thank you, Virginia, for the following essay, and Happy Election Day Eve to everybody!

Thank You, Governor Palin
Politics is best defined as a popularity contest and Governor Palin is certainly very popular. With certain people.
Why? She's a powerful, never before seen combination of pugnacious, pious and pro-life in a petite and pretty package, and she came out swinging.
Her convention speech was carefully honed into a sharp stick of conservative intolerance (also known as the Republican party platform).
She jabbed it into the eyes of her opponents, while tossing a wink and a big beautiful smile to her constituents.
She espouses nothing different than male candidates of the same party. But unlike her male colleagues, Sarah Palin scares the common sense out of many of her opponents, you betcha, because it's clear that she's about a hundred times savvier than most.
Many, including too many women, loudly declaim her as unqualified, even though she's certainly as intelligent as the vast majority of politicians, and has a respectable resume for a 44 year old woman.
She has been a mixed blessing to Senator what's his name, oh yeah, McCain. It is unlikely that Candidate McCain foresaw that the result of his 'game-changing' attempt to upstage Candidate Obama would be to upstage himself.
Governor Palin has taken ALL the heat off of Senator McCain, for it is she who bears the brunt of criticism of her party's platform, but he has become entirely irrelevant. His candidacy is now nothing more than a referendum on her.
And her strategy, much to the delight of her intolerant conservative constituency is to make the election a referendum on Candidate Obama.
In response, Candidate Obama who initially rather naively positioned himself as a 'uniter' rather than a divider, has detoured off that 'road less traveled' in his quest for the White House.
What he has learned from pugnacious Sarah Barracuda Palin is that people who are passionate about politics prefer to 'oppose' someone or something.
Candidate Obama sharpened his own stick, and rechristened his ship. Wisely, he has steered clear of fighting with Governor Palin. He is the captain of the battleship 'Anti-Bush' and is now on a course that is much more likely to land him in the White House.
Thank you, Governor Palin.
P.S. You don't have to be smart or pretty or rich or nice or of a particular gender or ideology to be popular. There are examples of popular people with and without these attributes. But without variation, everyone who is popular is also unpopular. The more a person is loved, the more the same person is hated. That is a balancing law of the universe. And it's okay.
Virginia Ann Harris is the author of the popular, historical e-mail series about the personal and public lives of the suffragettes, The Privilege of Voting.

Read this e-mail series on your coffeebreaks and fall in love with these amazing women!

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