Home > Politics > Sarah Palin Makes My Head Hurt

Sarah Palin Makes My Head Hurt


I can’t even think of how to explain what I’m feeling about John McCain’s running mate for Vice President. My head pounds whenever I try to figure out my thoughts about her.

I consider myself a Conservative Democrat. I believe that most of us have the wherewithal to make it through life on our own ingenuity, but I realize that there are exceptions, and for those people there need to be ways to survive in the world once they’re here.

Personal responsibility is such a loaded concept. Though it is tempting to engage in a Howard Roark-ian type of exclusive thinking that each of us is an island unto ourselves, we are faced daily with new twists on old themes that challenge the integrity of our beliefs, so unless we are inhumanly able to cut ourselves off from the needs of others, we must constantly adapt new circumstances to our old values. Religious institutions try to convince us that it is possible to follow the narrow way to heaven, but if everyone were actually capable of doing so, the road would have to be widened to accomodate the additional traffic, and that would require a government contract favoring a special interest group…a faith-based one, no doubt.

There’s a HUGE part of me that wishes that I could see the world the way Sarah Palin does. In some ways, if you don’t look at the specific nature of her views, she is the ultimate feminist. She is not meek in her opinions about the responsibilities of women in the world — that you can have it all, moose-hunting included. And strangely, on a gut level, I don’t really disagree with some of the very socially conservative views she holds. I DO think we should be more personally responsible; I wish that abortion wasn’t so rampant; we shouldn’t need to have the government take care of us. But I still can’t bring myself to support her.

I was brought up in a Christian household that valued gentle compassion, not this fire-and-brimstone stuff that says, “You screw it up, you fix it”. That is not to say that we didn’t value taking responsibility for our own actions, but we realized that there are times when gentle words are necessary before you really smack somebody back into reality. The personal responsibility was in learning from our mistakes and trying not to repeat them.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a perfect life. If there were, we’d all be living it as we walk arm-in-arm through the needle-eye that leads us toward salvation. But that’s not the way God made us humans to be. Whether through abortion, or capital murder (and its consequent death penalty), or war, lives are going to be sacrificed in the name of learning lessons. It is no more possible to legislate perfect behavior than it is to pick up all of the pieces when it isn’t achieved.

I admire Sarah Palin for who she tries to be and for who she would like the rest of us to strive to be. She and I are the same age, and I realize that if I were more like her I might be happier, because she seems to be at peace with all that she believes. But I don’t think that I will ever stop considering what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone whose life is not as clean and ordered as hers is. She seems to be able to put aside those thoughts with great ease.

So, whether it was the cheap wine I drank last night, or just the thinking about Mrs. Palin that is giving me the headache, I can at least accept responsibility and do something about one of them. The other will just have to work itself out in time…

Categories: Politics
  1. Cheryl
    September 9, 2008 at 12:35 am

    To be honest, I think she’s scary, Fenner! I see her as a good ‘ole boy just dressed up in different packaging. She’s no friend to women that I can see. I don’t think that everyone from a small town has a small mind (you are a perfect example of an expanded mind hailing from a small town), but in Sarah Palin’s case, well…..

  2. September 9, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Oh believe me, I DO find her scary — especially because she has the power to make me think that maybe pitbulls aren’t as scary if they’re wearing lipstick… Indeed, she is not a friend to women — or moose. Does that put us in the same category with moose?

  3. September 9, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve thought about this more overnight, about what the attraction is to Sarah Palin’s ideals for me.

    I also grew up in a small town with women who hunted and fished and helped out with the heavy work. I was one of them (except for the hunting part). These were not women who needed to call themselves feminists in order to be treated equally. They simply did what was necessary to survive.

    My life was not unlike Sarah Palin’s growing up. We had opportunities because of the “village” nature of our surroundings, and sometimes it’s hard to recognize that this isn’t always true everywhere.

    Just as I had to wrench myself out of the comfort of my world in the woods in order to understand the experiences of others, I think Sarah Palin needs to get out of Alaska for a while and see the recipients of so-called unnecessary programs. Maybe then she will understand that not all of us know what it is to live in a village where everyone knows you, cares about you, and is willing to do whatever they can to help. I would love it if that described America as a whole, but it doesn’t.

  4. betty
    September 11, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Was that the sound of finger nails on a chalk board no it is Sarah Palin. Errrrrrrrrrrr a female John McCain Wow!!!!

  5. September 11, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I’m disappointed that we will never get to meet the “REAL” Sara Palin. She had a bang up speech at the convention that someone wrote for her and she presented with aplomb. She repeats “canned” talking points and can’t be interviewed until she is “READY”.
    Her life in the tabloids is a soap opera I would never want to experience and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted my daughter to experience it either.
    She works hard …but so do most women no matter what your political proclivities.
    I don’t know that we really have any idea what her “IDEALS” are.
    I would have liked to have seen her interviewed by a journalist that knew how to pose pointed questions right after the convention. Unfortunately now I can only view her as a Cheerleader from this point on. We will never know who the “REAL” Sara Palin is.
    PS. Your sister sent me here.

  6. September 11, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    If nothing else, it’s thrilling to see that we, as a nation, are participating more than ever in the wonderful democratic process that is what makes our country special. I have had conversations with people I’d never have talked about politics with before and we are discovering that our views are not really all that different.

    At last, regardless of who the players are, we are beginning to engage our diversity and to recognize that all of us are heroes and all of us are fallible. Both Obama and McCain are encouraging a sense of personal responsibility, whether they think that about each other or not. And the very least of our responsibility as Americans is to be involved in the process of electing our leaders.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: