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In Defense of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is my homegirl.  No, really, she is, I got the t-shirt that says so.  So, obviously, to fit the narrative for liking Palin, I must be a born-again Christian hunter with at least three children and a penchant for saying “you betcha."
But actually, I’m an immigrant to this country, Jewish, raised in Brooklyn, never shot a gun in my life and reside in sin with my boyfriend on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  And, I only use the word “betcha” when I’m mocking someone.

So why do I love me some Sarah Palin?  While it’s true that I am a conservative, due to my support of lower taxes, smaller government and a badass foreign policy, I’ve never liked an elected official enough to wear them on my shirt, no matter how much they matched me on the issues.  In fact, this was the first time I had ever paid for any political merchandise, ever.

When John McCain first announced Palin as his VP choice, I had a bad feeling about it.  I had known about her for some time, and knew she was a rising star.  I also knew that she had whipped Alaska into shape, and cleaned up the Republican Party in that state as she balanced their budget and got them a surplus.  She was no-nonsense and the word “barracuda” described her perfectly. 

Still, I didn’t think she was ready.  And, in a way, I was right.  She was not ready for the national campaign in which she was thrust.  But not being ready for the spotlight and not being ready to lead are two completely different things.  She might not have been ready for the media’s gotcha questions and she might not know how to pretend she knows something when she doesn’t, but Sarah Palin has more experience doing what actually matters—running a government—than Barack Obama, Joe Biden and even her running mate John McCain.  These three men are senators, 1 of 100 voices who don’t balance budgets, run a huge staff, have responsibility for much at all.  They’re opinion voicers and not much more.  Palin is a doer, not a talker.  It’s the difference between solving a problem and thinking about maybe, someday, getting someone else to solve the problem.

The contention that Palin isn’t intelligent because she flubbed a couple of interview questions is ridiculous.  Newflash, stupid people generally don’t get to be hugely successful mayors and governors.  They don’t have massive success on a local and state-wide level.  Stupid are those that believed she banned books or made rape victims pay for their rape kits without questioning the validity of those rumors.  How is it that the same people who weren’t smart enough to run those rumors through before spereading them are the same ones calling Palin dumb? Sarah Palin as a schlemile??  Only a schlub could possibly think so about this accomplished, amazing woman.

The most disturbing and disgusting part of this campaign has been the treatment of Sarah Palin by so-called feminists.  Despite my “woman rah rah” personality, I stopped self-describing as a feminist some time ago.  I think women deserve equal pay for equal work and anything men could do we can do better.  But a feminist?  That’s come to mean a bitter, angry woman who believes all women should be exactly like her and hates seeing other women succeed.  Instead of seeing that feminism means women can be who they want, these feminists believe we must be who they say.  Writes Elaine Lafferty, former editor of Ms. Magazine, and a Democrat:

Last month a prominent feminist blogger, echoing that sensibility, declared that the media was wrongly buying into the false idea that Palin was a feminist. Why? Well, just because she said she was a feminist, because she supported women’s rights and opportunities, equal pay, Title IV—that was just “empty rhetoric,” they said. At least the blogger didn’t go as far as NOW’s Kim Gandy and declare that Palin was not a woman. Bottom line: you are not a feminist until we say you are. And there you have the formula for diminishing what was once a great and important mass social change movement to an exclusionary club that rejects women who sincerely want to join and, God forbid, grow to lead.

My liberal nemesis/best friend said it best: “no one hates women more than women.”  Sarah Palin is the ultimate feminist: successful both in her career and raising a family, she’s what women were supposed to aspire to be.  She’s what I aspire to be, minus the mooseheads on my Manhattan wall. 

Sarah Palin is the only reason I’ll be voting on Tuesday for the ticket with John McCain at the top.  I’m generally a third party voter and McCain was my last choice in the Republican primary (in fact, one of my first pieces for Jewcy was my prediction/fear that he would win the primary, something considered hilarious at the time) but with Palin as his VP my trust in him increases a thousand-fold.  Suddenly he’s not just a senator used to talking a lot but doing very little.  With her by his side, he won’t be able to help but get things done.

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