If you’re one of those women or otherwise exclusively affirmative-action-minded individuals who plans on voting in this election in favor of the gender underdog, I bid you a strong beware. You see, voting for a certain candidate just to see a woman in the White House is just as ridiculous as voting for a certain candidate just to see a black man in the White House.
The only difference, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that voting for the former will screw you over — big time.
It’s not a big stretch to say that this very notion of women wanting to vote for women is exactly why McCain did the “savvy thing” by pulling in Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Wait a minute — savvy?
Saying McCain was savvy by choosing Palin solely to bait women voters is giving him far too much credit. By McCain presenting Palin as his VP to try and reel in and satisfy the women who wanted to see Hillary Clinton is office, he is basically saying that Palin and Clinton both being women is enough common ground to make Clinton supporters automatically support Palin.
That’s right. Disregard the fact that their views on women’s rights, war, and taxes completely differ, but instead realize that since they’re both women, Sarah Palin may as well be Hillary Clinton! Really? Savvy?
Also, consider a second motive for McCain choosing Palin. During the primaries, the big focus was on notable demographics of each of the candidates. We had race with Obama, gender with Clinton, and to not be unfair to McCain, threw in his age, even though it’s arguable that age played the smallest role in the possibility of discrimination.
Once the election came down to McCain and Obama, McCain’s age took even more of a backseat and it became clear that this is a “race race.” (Heaven forbid it actually be an issues race).
However, it is what it is, and no one knows that more than the candidates, and since McCain voted against the Martin Luther King holiday back in 1983, race being such a factor must have alarmed him. Of course in April of this year, McCain backpedaled and said he was wrong to have done so, but really, did he have any other choice?
So, now he pulls Sarah Palin in as his running mate to bring gender back into the election, but this time in his favor. It was the easiest way to do so aside from the man sprouting a uterus himself. Again, savvy? The only savvy thing about all of it is that the voters who choose to vote on the demographics rather than the issues are actually going to buy into it.
But enough about the genius formerly known as McCain. Let’s focus on Palin. Oh, where to even begin? Analogy time.
Has everyone seen the movie “Legally Blonde”? Well, if you haven’t, let me catch you up. (And you totally should see it, by the way. I have the DVD). The protagonist, Elle Woods, a blonde sorority girl from California whose major is fashion merchandising and signature color is pink, follows her lawyer-bound ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School after he breaks up with her for not being serious enough.
Yes. In the spring of her senior year, Elle, with her degree in fashion, applies and is accepted to one of the most prestigious and elitist colleges in the country.
As movie-goers, we suspend our disbelief to accept a world in which this could actually happen, and even with that in mind, it’s a bit hard to believe. The plot takes a slightly more realistic turn when Elle gets rebuffed in just about every way when she arrives at Harvard.
She’s kicked out of classes for being unprepared, mocked by the other students, and even her former boyfriend of several years still doesn’t buy her as a serious scholar.
At one point, one of her professors turns to someone and asks, “Do you think she woke up one morning and said, ‘I think I’ll go to law school today.’?”
That same sentiment, minus the law school, applies to Sarah Palin.
Let’s see: Palin thinks man-made global warming is a sham. She’s under investigation in Alaska for abusing her power. And as reflected by her attempt to ban books from local libraries, she has little respect or understanding for the Constitution. When did she decide politics is the path for her? Seriously.
On ABC news, Charlie Gibson asked her if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine. Her response was, “In what respect, Charlie?” That’d be like asking someone if they like pizza, and them answering “In what respect?”
Did she get into politics because she thought it would be fun? Was she bored? Hell, even Elle Woods went to Harvard for love, that’s at least somewhat of a reason!
Oh, right, back to Elle. So, despite the hardships, Elle decides she’s going to prove herself and turn things around. She starts kicking ass in school and even gets an illusive internship spot on a high-profile murder trial.
She faces some more bumps in the road, but ultimately becomes the hero and single-handedly proves her client’s innocence by incorporating information that only she, as a “Cosmo Girl” would know. It’s a classic Hollywood ending.
But this is a far cry from a Hollywood movie. Usually in real life, when an out of place, non-qualified person attempts to take on something when they’re in way over their heads, there is no triumph over adversity, no joyful soundtrack playing. This is a nation we’re talking about, and there’s a lot hanging in the balance.
If you’ve been a McCain supporter from the beginning, then you’re certainly entitled. Given, I don’t agree with you, but I respect your right to an opinion and that you’ve seen to it that you’re informed about what’s going on. If you’re not informed, get informed and vote.
Don’t vote because Obama is black. Definitely don’t vote because Palin is a woman (or you’re pissed off that Hillary didn’t get the nomination and this is your idea of being vindictive).
And remember — this isn’t American Idol. You can only vote one time, so make it count!
— Laura Olson