It's funny now that at 42, I see the world through my children's eyes and see how much progress we have made in terms of women being capable of being a part of most any profession. As a little girl in the 1970's, the idea of a "lady" doctor or "lady" policeman was still a rare thing, and a female soldier or firefighter, forget about it. When Geraldine Ferraro was nominated for Vice President on Walter Mondale's ticket it seemed like a gimick to get the attention of voters, not an effort to actually have a gender balanced alliance in the White House.
I marvel at the fact that my kids live in a culture that has women professionals of every kind, a female Secretary of State and a mixed race President-but I admit to having a sense of dread as the new presidential election looms ahead of our country. Not the,"Oh dear Lord, please not another campaign ad," dread, but rather the,"there are two female presidential candidates and both make me embarrassed to be a woman," kind of dread.
There really isn't much I could add to the discussion on Sarah Palin at this point-I think time has proven over and over again that she is all hat and no cattle. She is the Dr. Phil of presidential politics, full of folksy witticisms and "common sense talk" and her nonsense plays to the crowds she chooses to address. Mind you, that's all she's actually done since the last election, talk to people who want to drink from her Kool Aid stand. She has never been part of any substantive discussions on issues of importance to American voters where anyone present might disagree with her.
Michelle Bachmann on the other hand appears poised to steal Palin's thunder despite her persistant inability to pronounce common words or speak competently about American history. It's not about her being conservative. Honest to goodness. I would be more than happy to see a competent, articulate, conservative female run for President. I could listen to her debate our current President and be willing to acknowledge her strengths, despite my left leaning tendencies. But for the life of me, I cannot bear the thought that we are going to be forced to wade through the muck of another presidential race that involves the incessant correction of facts, mispronounciations, and disclaimers that will come with a Bachmann candidacy.
It is as if some part of the conservative nominating base has determined that the only way Americans will vote for a woman is if she looks like she fell out of a PTA meeting at the local Talbots. She is white, trim, always immaculately dressed, and her hair is a helmet of perfection. She is the Stepford wife candidate and what disheartens me most is that, she appears to get all of her political ideas spoonfed to her, and when she does pop off with some little gem of her own-it's usually factually incorrect.
In just the last month she has incorrectly named John Quincy Adams as one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, signed a pledge that glamourizes the family life of slavery, and announced her pride at being a part owner of her husband's Christian therapy clinic which espouses the concepts of "praying the Gay away" and converting homosexuals via prayer.
I do not like all of the decisions President Obama makes, I haven't liked all the decisions any president I did or did not vote for has made in my last 20 odd years of voting. I don't actually think I have to like Mr. Obama in order to respect his ability to govern our country. I respect President Obama because he has shown a healthy respect for the process he is part of, while acknowledging it's glaring deficiencies. He is intelligent, learned, compassionate, and articulate. He also readily acknoweldges that he is not an expert on every subject facing our country-but he will find the right people for the job.
I believe our country deserves to trust that the office of the President will be held by someone who believes in the importance of the office, but takes the reins with humility, a desire to serve, and the willingness to learn. We cannot afford to elect or even waste time listening to someone so arrogant that she would argue the validity of her Adams misstatement with the press or proclaim her pride in being a part of a "medical" clinic that accepts taxpayers dollars, while providing treatment that is grossly negligent.
I believe our country has moved far enough down the road of gender equality to have qualified candidates, both male and female, we don't need another Palin, and she may claim her individuality, but the fact is, Michele Bachmann is nothing new. She is ignorant, arrogant, and disposable and no President of the United States can afford those three character traits, no matter how good they look in a red dress and heels.