Thank you Sarah Palin

It comes as no surprise to you, my readers, that I am a Democrat. I really wanted to listen to Gov. Sarah Palin's speech with an open mind, and I gave it a shot. I will have more to say on where she positions herself in another post, but for now I want to concentrate just on a few aspects of her Vice Presidential acceptance speech. I am upset that she is trying to encourage division among us, particularly after Obama's acceptance speech discussing finding common ground made so much sense to me. I hate that she is encouraging anti-intellectualism. I hate that she states that big city folk are elitist and don't understand about god and guns.

I might add that, in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. NYT

Well, I am from a town of 1800 people, and I understand both. Currently I reside in Washington D.C., where, I am lucky enough to have the occasional shooting in my backyard (which is not a yard but an ally that runs behind my rowhouse apartment). I also have family members that hunt each Thanksgiving. So I understand the 2nd amendment and what it means to different people.

I came to my political beliefs because I was raised in religious traditions that state we need to take care of others. This is a concept that seems to be lost on many people who claim to be both conservative and Christian.

It was this next section of her speech that really bothered me.

From today's New York Times:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,” Ms. Palin said, a slash of the sword at Senator Barack Obama’s job as a young man working on antipoverty programs in Chicago.

Palin equates being a mayor with having a level of experience that a community organizer could not possess. Well, I've not been a mayor, but I have been talking to and organizing people since I was in high school. I have worked with labor members and their families, I have talked to voters on the verge of homelessness and to voters with basketball courts in their basements. I have convinced people in about 30 states that being engaged in their community and in politics is a way that they can create the world they want to live in. I can easily say that organizing is the toughest job I have ever loved. Hearing Palin ridicule this was incredibly offensive to me. Her speech might connect to a lot of people, but I hope they realized she is not trying to inspire but to make people afraid.

Luckily, a good friend of mine has reminded me of why I should not sit back in anger, but should continue to take action. So thank you both to my good friend on the video, and thank you to Sarah Palin for inspiring me that we can do more.