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Guest Post: My Thoughts on Sarah Palin

by Kelly Ann L.

My sister and I share many of the same political opinions but she identifies herself as Republican (voted for Bush) while I have become a “liberal Californian.”
Don’t get me wrong – I identify myself as a Conservative Democrat or a Moderate Republican – one who is dis-satisfied with both political parties.  I am actually technically registered as a Republican (because that is what a good Mormon with no political opinions at 18, does).  However, I like to joke that “I am in the  closet” because for the truly liberal, it is unthinkable (you know, worse than being Gay if you are conservative).
Anyhow, my sister and I discuss a lot of issues – I have developed some fairly strong political opinions while she generally goes with the Mormon Republican Norm.  So when she told me she was PSYCHED for John McCain’s announcement of Sarah Palin, I wrote up the following response …
No, No, No.
You want my opinion …. (be warned it’s pretty strong)
She is better than Huckabee and that is about it!
Truth be told, I was a little excited when I saw McCain picked a woman – I thought oh wow. I actually first read about it on a friend’s blog.  My routine is to check my email, to check Google Reader, and then to skim the headlines from several news sites (sfgate, cnn, bbc, and occasionally ksl or deseret).  So I was intrigued to see a really positive opinion although it was from a friend who lives in a tiny rural town in Alaska.
So, I decided to see what Sarah Palin is about.  You know, it is historic, to have a woman on the ballot.  I read several articles and I am floored – absolutely floored – but in the worst possible way!
She’s likeable enough – she’s pretty, has a working class background, a strong family, is not a traditional politician, has experience with large oil companies and tackling bureaucracy, as well as some other interesting qualities BUT she has limited experience, no international experience, has been controversial, is accused of corruption, and is oh so conservative.  She believes in arctic drilling, thinks global warming is a crock, doesn’t want to protect the polar bear as an endangered species, supports aerial hunting of wolves, is totally anti-gay (and not just anti-gay marriage but anti-gay rights), and is so pro-life that she believes abortion should not be allowed for cases of RAPE and INCEST.   And she is maybe even a little bit more nuts, because after her water broke prematurely at a governor’s convention in Texas, she was crazy enough to get on a plane back to Alaska, so that her child wouldn’t be a Texan (rather than go to the hospital).
So while she contributes a new voice to the current debate – and would be an asset to McCain for some domestic issues and would make an ok Vice President, because what do they really do (her own words a few months ago), my biggest concern is that with NO international experience, she is not qualified to be only a heart beat away from President (particularly with the age and health of John McCain).  As I have long since stated, while I am concerned for a number of domestic issues, my biggest concern for President lies within International Policy issues (and not just the war in Iraq).
I have to give John McCain credit for thinking outside the box – but when it comes down to it he is pandering to the ultra-conservative Republican base but tried to flower it by the fact that he chose a woman.  He is trying something new but he could have done so much better.
Susan Collins, Senator of Maine
Olympia Snow, Senator of Maine
Lisa Murkowski, Senator of Alaska
Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator of Texas
Shiela Frahm, Senator of Kansas
Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii
Jane Dee Hull, former Governor of Arizona
Cristine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey, former EPA to Bush
Judy Martz, former Governor of Montana
even Elizabeth Dole, Senator of North Carolina
or M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut
All of the above are female Republican who I think would have been better suited.  My favorite are the Senators from Maine – moderates! (who are pro-life but don’t want to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and support stem cell research, for example) with a wealth of legislative experience in a variety of areas.  But why didn’t McCain pick them – because they have been criticized as “Republican in name only”.   However, some of the above are more conservative and I think would have accomplished McCain’s objectives, but weren’t interested …
I read up on these female politicians and what they have accomplished and many of them have amazing power as Senators and Governors – such that a vice presidency (to someone not likely to win) is not worth their time.  Like Kay Bailey Hutchinson, from Texas, flatly declined saying McCain had other good options.
So, if you haven’t caught on, I don’t like Palin as a VP pick. McCain could have done so much better (female or male).  It has cemented that I will be voting for Obama-Biden.
Not that any of the candidates will accomplish what I want. I keep saying we need another Ross Perot to stir things up some more.  Not that I agree with his politics either, we just need some more debate.

I really just want to know why so many Mormons are so quick to support such conservative Republicans whose philosophies clearly don’t fit with our theology. And I would like to know what the Mormon feminist community thinks of the current VP pick. Are there others that think McCain has done a disservice to women to pick someone so under-qualified? And what do they think of the impact that Hilary Clinton has brought to the floor?

Kelly Ann is a self-proclaimed nerd, doing research at a biotech company in CA. Having gone to grad school, bought a house, realizing she is fairly stubborn and opinionated, and ever more a feminist, she intimidates most Mormon men (although in someways is the very typical returned missionary, temple worker, and YSA – not quite 30).

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49 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings. On the one hand, I really like the fact that a mom of young children – a nursing mom at that – has been chosen for such a presigious position. I also like how she presents a model of parenting that is different from our typical mom at home, dad at work thing that we’ve got going on in the LDS church. The more models we have of different successful ways to parent, the better IMO.

    I also like the fact that she seems to be somewhat reform-minded. But as for her socially conservative views…. yikes. Those frighten me. Particularly no abortion under any circumstance. I had heard somewhere that she is concerned with global warming, but does favor drilling in Alaska. Go figure.

    I’m not quite as bothered by her lack of experience on an international scale. I suppose that’s because I realize that same charge can be thrown at Obama, but I’m more than happy to cast my vote for him.

    She certainly was a fascinating pick. It will energize McCain’s evangelical base, but I doubt she’ll get too many Clinton supporters.

    I’ve rather liked Olympia Snow too. Too bad she wasn’t the pick – I imagine McCain wanted a governor rather than a senator.

  2. Azucar says:

    I agree with you 100%, on each of your arguments.

    My other issue, and I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but I can’t help but wonder…The whole Sarah Palin’s daughter is knocked up thing. The Republicans want everyone to back off, or to say it’s not a big deal, or let’s focus on the candidate, and this isn’t a reflection on their moral values.

    Which is ALL fine, I agree with all of those stipulations.

    However, a big part of me wonders if it had been the Democratic candidate with the pregnant daughter…wouldn’t it be considered a total moral failure and indicative of how this country is going on the wrong track, etc, etc? I can’t help but think that there is a huge double standard in the way it would have been handled if the shoe was on the other foot.

    But yes, I was happy on the outset that a woman was nominated and entirely annoyed that she is so unqualified and obviously a pander to me. I WANT to vote for a woman, but this whole thing smacks of Harriet Myers II to me.

  3. madhousewife says:

    He could have done better…from a “liberal Californian” point of view.

    There’s no reason to vote for McCain or Palin if you don’t lean conservative. It’s a conservative ticket. It’s a conservative party. There’s no reason a non-conservative should be excited about it.

    Conservatives, however, ARE excited. Probably for the same reason liberals are excited about Barack Obama. McCain needed to pick a conservative running mate to stoke enthusiasm among the conservatives who make up the Republican base, and he needed to pick someone who was a Washington outsider, who was younger, who could connect with people, in order to win over independents (the rightward-leaning and apolitical kind, not Hillary supporters). Republicans who were only tepidly supporting his campaign before–or who weren’t sure they were going to vote for him at all–are now not only enthusiastically supporting the ticket but are donating money to the campaign. McCain’s fundraising has skyrocketed since the announcement. Clearly, it was a brilliant move on his part. People are beginning to think he can actually win.

  4. Jessawhy says:

    I agree with you that there would be a double standard if this was a Democratic candidate. (Imagine if Chelsea Clinton had become pregnant while her dad was President?)
    Honestly, I am hoping so badly that Obama wins this race, that I’m not looking at Palin too seriously. Perhaps this will be a fortunate mistake for McCain, and it will teach future Presidential candidates how to better choose a VP.
    If I’m wrong, and they’re in the White House, well,
    can it really be worse than now?
    I seriously doubt it.

  5. Tom says:

    It’s news to me that conservative Republicans’ philosophies, taken as a whole, “clearly” are contrary to our theology. You could say that they are arguably contrary to our theology, but that would be a long argument. Then if you win that argument you have to argue that Democratic philosophy is more harmonious with the Gospel than Republican philosophy, which is another long argument.

    Basically, my point is that the reason conservative Mormons support conservative Republicans is that conservative Mormons probably don’t see conservative political philosophy as contrary to the Gospel; or at least they don’t see it as worse than the alternatives.

    BTW, I don’t think you can pick on Sarah Palin’s inexperience without implicitly conceding that Barack Obama has experience problems; their resumes are comparably thin. I don’t think either of them is qualified for the presidency. That’s more of a problem for the Democrats, who have the unqualified person at the top of the ticket. But the Palin pick also does call into question McCain’s judgment.

    I hate both parties but I’ll probably go McCain. I like conservative justices.

  6. gladtobeamom says:

    Can someone please show me where the Obama/Biden ticket have anything that fits in with our theology?

    I wont vote for them based on issues. They don’t value life. They want more control over the American people which means less freedoms. I don’t want to live in a socialist society.

    And before I am based by anyone. I read and decide for myself I don’t follow because other Mormons do or because I feel like that is what I have to do as a good Mormon.

    Palin has a lot more experience then Obama and he is running as President. Biden is part of what is wrong in Washington and won’t bring any of good change.

    I don’t think he has done women a disservice. I think she is to be applauded. I understand most feminist have different views about the environment and abortion etc. I don’t understand how this is a disservice to women.

    I guess this election comes down to the kind of change you want. For me Obama/Biden will bring about lots of change that is bad for my family and for the nation. More Government, more taxes, ect, etc.

  7. Caroline says:

    Well, gladtobeamom, I imagine most liberal LDS would argue that Obama/Biden does reflect LDS or Christian values and theology, since Obama would focus on helping the poor, the sick, the underinsured, the oppressed – all those groups of people that we see Jesus trying to help in the New Testament.

    Regarding abortion, Mormon leaders take a nuanced view on it. They discourage it in most cases, but are ok with it when it comes to rape, incest, or endangerment to mom’s health. So Palin’s extreme views on that subject wouldn’t jive with LDS policy.

    Obama would also be friendlier to the environment. Liberal LDS would say that is in keeping with God’s command to be responsible stewards of the earth. Not to mention the fact that paying attention to environmental issues could help preserve and protect future human life. So that’s a place where we could argue that Obama is on the side of life.

    I’m sure there are lots more that can be said, but it’s clear to me that one can make extremely valid arguments that a democratic ticket represents their Christiam values more than a republican ticket.

  8. Kli says:

    Thank you- Kelly L for this post. How nice to hear your views. I just finished watching the Republican convention and
    I can’t get the horrible ranting of “drill, drill, drill” out of my head (it’s what everyone in the crowd started cheering after Palin talked about off shore drilling). I believe that when we were commanded to “Mulitpy, and Replenish the earth” that includes taking care of this earth. This earth is NOT just for American’s….it’s for everyone. The Democratic party seems to care more about the entire world, and is interested in taking care of the environment and ALL of our brother’s and sisters- that includes homosexuals, immigrants, and people who are poor…NOT just Americans.

    As for Palin… her speech was so divisive, but hey- it’s written by the same guy who writes for Bush, so that’s no surprise.

    I will choose to vote for Obama and Biden BECAUSE my Mormon, Christian conscience demands it.

  9. Britta says:

    I agree – to me it’s an insulting choice! Not that the woman herself is awful enough to be an insult, but that McCain would try to attract female voters with someone so horribly unprepared for the job. It’s almost like he’s waving her at us saying “look, she has boobs and two x chromosomes, too! Isn’t that what you care about?” There are many more women who have more experience, are better educated, and actually know what the job entails – but, like people have mentioned, they didn’t have the image he wanted or catch the key demographics he was looking for.

    I thought Obama’s acceptance speech was brilliant, civil, and genuine, and I’ll definitely be voting for him.

  10. gladtobeamom says:

    Thank you Caroline for your explanation. I think there are valid arguments on both sides. I have to respectfully disagree that they take care of the poor etc. The government just creates more programs and more entitlements that should be done by other people other then the government. The don’t help the poor. They pay people to be poor. I know many struggling poor that don’t get help because they are trying and make just above what the government considers poor but because they are trying and dont make less just to live off the government help.

    My brother in law was told by a government worker while on unemployment to try for job he couldn’t get that way he could stay on unemployment but meet the requirements to stay on while he went to school. He stopped taking money that day found a job as quick as possible. He was shocked and had no desire so take advantage. It is one thing to need help it is another to just live off of it without trying to get off.

    I too want to help the poor etc. I just don’t think the government can do it. I dont believe the federal governments role was to manage everything. They only mess it up and do it wrong. The system is all messed up and their way of fixing it is to tax us more to pay for more. I don’t know that my family can take more taxes we are struggling as it is. I really think we are suppose to take care of the poor as churches communities and people and not rely on the government to do it because the do such a bang up job of it.

    An example of this broken system: We were recently in Target and a teenager was standing next to us talking to her father and brother about was Wii game she was going to buy once she got SS check. She was wearing very exspensive clothing and seemed able to me. So did her family. I struggle and count every penny. We don’t take vacations and have to watch the sales. So I get a little frustrated when they want to raise taxes for more programs and more money to just dole out without any responsibility. It is one thing to take care of peoples basic need and another to give them money that they can spend frivolously on unnecessary items.

    If there is a candidate that did some real change they would fix SS and our well fair system and stop creating more feel good entitlements.

    I don’t think anyone is going to overturn Roe vs Wade for one it has to be done by the Supreme Court and they have to have a reason to do it. The political heat anyone would get I believe would prevent that. Everyone worried about that with Bush and well it still stands. I don’t want it overturned either but I would like some more controls on late term abortions I just think they are sick.
    Unfortunately I think both parties are the problem. they all do what is best for their party or themselves. Not what is best for the nation, or the poor etc. No one is going to change the statis quo to much.

    If I have to pick between the two Obama is by far the worse of the two. We have no real idea what he will do and to me that is scary.

  11. gladtobeamom says:

    I also wanted to add that we drill more responsible and with the least impact compared to any nation in the world. China, Russia don’t care they use old rigs and the environment be damed. They are going to drill and do all sorts of damage and right off our shores.

    I don’t see what is wrong with taking advantage of what I believe we have been blessed with and using it while we come up with an alternative.

    I am all for protecting the environment and finding an alternative but we haven’t found it yet so just cutting off what currently works in the hope of forcing another seems like a bad plan. Doing nothing seems to be the plan. We are going to struggle this winter because the cost of heating oil. I only see this as getting worse. There is no other option uless I put in a fireplace and burn wood which I don’t believe is real great for the air either so until someone comes up with a alternative that is viable we need to take care of family’s now by using the resources we have been blessed with. We just need to do it responsibly.

    And before someone talks about how wasteful we all are which I know there are some me and many of the people I know on heating oil keep our thermostats at 62 and where our coats around the house etc. And some here in my community burn wood and coal and even use space heaters because they cant afford to heat their homes. the Dems plan is another program. Tax the people to pay for others oil. Again not a good plan.

  12. because after her water broke prematurely … that isn’t exactly what happened, and that you’ve repeated this tells me you’ve missed the truth.

    That said, is the fact that you’ve basically repeated talking points proof that you are wrong? No. Not at all.

    But it does blunt your opinion’s persuasiveness.

    As for those who complain that the daughter’s story would have gotten the same amount of air time if she had been a democrat, I’m certain you all remember the intense airplay Gore’s son got for his arrests and issues.

    Or the attention the Clinton family got for their daughter’s plastic surgery.


  13. RKG says:

    I found this website while searching for helps with a Relief Society lesson. I really do enjoy that aspect of this site. However, almost every other article you post makes me wonder where you are coming from. This article especially. As a site that is so pro-women and feminist, why can’t you cheer for a woman who has worked hard to raise a family, make a difference in her community, and now has the chance to run for such a high office even if you don’t agree with her opinions and politics? I entirely disagree with most of Obama’s views and yet I applaud that we as a country are finally in a place where a minority candidate has the chance to win the White House.

    And now on the idea that Mormon theology doesn’t jive with conservative philosophy—in my mind it’s just the opposite. Liberal philosophy doesn’t jive with the gospel. One main idea of conservative thought is that of personal responsibility. The government is not there to make sure that everyone has health insurance, a well-paying job, a nice home, etc. In the Church, we also believe in personal responsibility. A person must try to make it on their own. If they need help, they first turn to their family and then to the church, not to the government. When you take this away and make it the government’s responsibility to take care of everyone, people lose their desire to work and gain a sense of entitlement. I believe that we do need to take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and help those who can’t help themselves. However, that is not the role of the government—it is the role of families, friends, neighbors, and the church.

    And in regards to abortion, 95% of abortions are performed because the mother chooses not to have a baby at that time, not because of rape/incest or maternal/fetal health. In those cases, the church and Sarah Palin agree. Obama believes in abortion on demand at all points. So the church and Obama agree on only those 5% of cases where it is due to rape/incest or maternal/fetal health. Obama even voted against a bill defining a baby born alive as a result of an abortion to be a human being deserving legal protection. How do you reconcile that with gospel principles?

  14. Caroline says:

    RKG, I think it would be fair to say that in some ways some politically conservative ideology is not in keeping with Mormon theology. And it would be also fair to argue that in some ways some politically liberal ideology is not in keeping with Mormon theology. I suppose in the end it comes down to which party values what you personally value the most. I personally put a heavy value upon the environment and upon social justice issues (all rooted in my Christianity), so I vote democratic.

  15. Caroline says:

    RKG, I think it would be fair to say that in some ways some politically conservative ideology is not in keeping with Mormon theology. And it would be also fair to argue that in some ways some politically liberal ideology is not in keeping with Mormon theology. I suppose in the end it comes down to which party values what you personally value the most. I personally put a heavy value upon the environment and upon social justice issues (all rooted in my Christianity), so I vote democratic.

  16. Caroline says:

    oops, sorry for the repeat comment. And by the way, Stephen, what have you heard about the water breaking story? I had never heard it before it was mentioned here.

  17. Saral says:

    RKG and others,

    I respect your views and your rights to see things from a conservative point of view, but as someone who has served as a social worker in a variety of settings, I cringe whenever I hear the argument about how we all have to take responsibility for ourselves and take care of our own needs, the government’s role is not to step in and help, etc. The biggest flaw in that argument for me is that we simply do not come to this world on an equal playing field. Some people are born into poverty, to parents who have to work all day just to stay afloat and who do not have the resources to provide them with the training they need to make it economically in the world today. Others suffer by coming into homes where parents are neglectful, abusive or drug-addicted, often in a generational cycle. They simply do not have the resources that most who are born into middle class homes in suburbia do, especially given the dilapidated, sorry excuse for educational systems found in many of our inner cities. They also do not have access to the family or church resources that could help them. Many of my former clients want to work. I have seen how hard they try to get permanent jobs, but with lack of education and training and support at home, many times the only thing that keeps them afloat are certain government programs.

    That being said, I do not think that the government should provide never-ending funds to people who are in the situations mentioned above. You are right to say that fosters dependence and abuse of the system. I have seen government programs work, though, especially when they are well funded, organized and when they seek to prevent problems or to give people education and training to help get to a place where they can help themselves. To sit by and give people who were born into circumstances beyond their control NOTHING, however, is immoral in my opinion. You can say that it’s not government’s role to do so, but if you rely only on private entities to help people, you are relying on help that is going to be inconsistent and not reach everyone who needs it. I think it’s very consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to support the government stepping into help others in a responsible way.

    As for why I can’t get excited about Sarah Palin– I’m sorry, but it’s not that simple for me as being happy for a woman who has done so much for the community. I just don’t like the woman’s style. I can respect that she has managed to accomplish some good things in Alaska, but I thought her speech last night was one of the more obnoxious and sarcastic, not to mention divisive ones I’ve heard in a long time. I feel she spent most of her time attacking people and giving broad statements about her ideals rather than saying substantive things she would do for the country policy-wise. She seemed to be speaking in one dimensional terms designed to divide, not to inspire or give solid ideas of how she would govern. Female or not, I just cannot support someone who is so attacking and divisive. I was for Obama before last night, and my choice was absolutely solidified by that speech.

    I of course respect other viewpoints and I am glad that there are forums such as this site where LDS women can discuss important issues. I’m glad for the discussion here and for the diverse viewpoints presented. Keep it coming.

  18. gladtobeamom says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to saral for her comments. Though I dont agree on everything I am thankful there are people who can be respectful of other peoples view even though we don’t agree.

    Obviously we all come from different places and have seen different things. I think that many who experienced what she has seen often don’t get the help because it is going to some who don’t need it. This is what I would like fixed. I am fine with some government help it just needs to be done better.

  19. Saral says:

    Thanks gladtobeamom! I’ve been a long time “lurker” here, but never a poster, so I appreciate you making me feel welcome in my first attempt. : )

  20. Stacy says:

    I love what Paline has done in Alaska. She has
    gone in and made changes for the better. All I
    have heard from O. is what he is going to do, what
    has he done? I would think that Kelly L. would like
    McCain, since she sounds like a moderate!

    As far as the daughter getting knocked up thing.
    You can teach your kids all you can about having
    good morals, but they still have their free will.
    I would like to judge you on all of the bad choices
    your kids have made. The point being, the daughter
    is being responsible for that behavior! I can only
    assume the reason why Chelsea wasn’t pregnant
    during her father’s presidency is birth control!

    Do Liberals like getting taxed. How much more do
    you want to pay? I am all for helping out the
    poor, but come on, there really isn’t a need to
    be poor in this country!

    I believe that both parties have philosophies that
    don’t fit Mormon theology. But if you have two to
    choose from, I find that Republicanism is the one
    that suits my views the best!

  21. Kli says:

    SaraL- perfect! I love your comments and agree totally.

    In regards to the Palin’s water breaking- (and in response to Stephen K) Palin HAS said she was leaking amniotic fluid, prior to giving her speech in Texas, and her baby WAS born one month premature. In addition, she knew her baby had down syndrome.
    Here is an article- with actual facts….


    In regards to Bristol’s pregnant daughter… Palin is opposed to teaching explicit information on birth control in high schools and is in favor of teaching ‘abstinence’ as the only form of contraception. SO, the fact that Palin’s underage daughter is about to become a teenage mother, does actually have some reflection NOT simply on Palin, but on the ineffectiveness of policies she supports.

    I also think it’s a little lame that Palin does not want the media to report on her pregnant unmarried daughter but she happily points the spotlight on her son, who will be deployed to Iraq next week, and then uses her 4-month old, special-needs son to get the Republican crowd to applaud.

    As for Stacy’s comment about Chelsea Clinton not getting pregnant because she used birth control, due to her father’s example. I would be more inclined to “assume” that Chelsea was turned off from men after seeing the pain her mother went through by having an unfaithful husband. Either way, I think Chelsea Clinton was a superb example of a well-raised presidential daughter. We didn’t see photos/stories of her underage drinking-unlike Bristol and Jenna Bush. So, Stacy, I’m not quite sure what argument you were trying to make there…

  22. Jana says:

    I’m really curious about your comment:
    “I am all for helping out the
    poor, but come on, there really isn’t a need to
    be poor in this country!”

    Are you suggesting that poverty is the fault of the impoverished?

    If so, some day I would like you to accompany me to a job interview. To see how someone with a disability can interview for job after job (for which they are completely qualified) and be turned down every time in favor of someone who is “able-bodied.” IMO there are hugely important reasons for social programs to help the disadvantaged gain employment. I’ve experienced it firsthand and I’ve also benefited from some small amounts of government funds to help pay for my undergrad education (yes, it is pretty difficult to pay for college when no one will _employ_ you).

    Of course I’m biased. But I can speak from the authority of my experience on this one.

  23. kalanier says:

    Wow, it is great to see so many thoughtful responses. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this first contribution on such a politically divisive issue. I apologize that I have had some computer issues and haven’t been able to respond sooner.

    But before I make a few comments, I want to say that really appreciate this forum – I found it in a search engine a couple weeks ago… The perspectives on everything from experiences of individuals, to experiences of sister missionaries, to part-member relationships, to Prop8 have made a huge difference to me at a time when I am re-evaluating what it means for me to be a member of the church. And generally people are respectful, which is really really nice.

    It is hard to know where to begin in terms of this discussion but my gut reactions are as follows.

    To madhousewife – not everybody is super-conservative or super-liberal. They are moderates on both sides. I do not agree that McCain needed to appeal to the conservative section of his party. I am not shocked that he did so – but part of me hoped that the middle-ground would be recognized. Because that is where I stand and there are plenty of politicians who represent it. And there are elements of McCain that I like (always thought he would have made a better president than Bush) – just over-shadowed by a good many things. Because I am only a liberal in a LDS crowd, everybody else thinks I am pretty darn conservative.

    To Tom – In regards, to what I think is “clearly” against our theology are the ultra conservatisms that scare me. I had a friend in high school (LDS member) who was raped and impregnated when she was 14 – and that has forever impacted the way I viewed abortion (not to mention the church’s fairly liberal stance allowing it in cases of rape, incest, and even when the mother’s life is in danger). And like Kli, I have always seen the phrase “multiply and replenish the earth” more about stewardship than reproduction, and there take issue with environmental policies. I really wonder what Heavenly Father thinks for example, when he looks at what we have done to his beautiful planet.

    I am not trying to argue which politics are right and which politics are wrong. I am not saying that all of Obama-Biden’s policies fit with our theology but I am saying that given the alternative, I think they’ll address some issues and screw up the country LESS. Because really more government and more taxes come from both sides. What we really need is to focus on how to fix the complex system that we have – which is mostly necessary.

    I brought this issue up here because I want to know the LDS feminists perspective about Sarah Palin and the politics at hand. I really think a great dis-service has been done and I cannot support her as vice-president. Yes, there are qualifications issues on both sides but I don’t understand why McCain choose her. But then again maybe it just represents the problems with our political system.

    Kelly Ann

    P.S – And Kli, thank you for the link to the Palin baby article. To Stephen M, I’ll admit I don’t know all the facts but I did read quite a lot (including conservative sites) before crafting my thoughts on Sarah Palin. I am always amazed when conservative articles state so casually, things that are so foreign to the other side. “In true Sarah fashion, her amniotic fluid leaked in Texas, she gave a speech at a Republican Governors Association convention as scheduled anyway, and then returned to Alaska to deliver.” It reminds me of the Mitt Romney family article about his dog that riled quite a few people I know up.

  24. Jana says:

    One more tidbit from my experience about social programs like governmentally-subsidized healthcare…

    I am a cancer survivor (yay me!). This means that NO insurance company will touch me with a 100 ft pole. Private insurance will never be an option for me. Which means that I am dependent on employer-provided insurance. Oh, but I am disabled, which means that I have GREAT difficulty getting a job (see my previous comment).

    So what am I to do if I can’t get a job or insurance? Ask my family to shell out the 50K per year that it costs for my ongoing healthcare? Ask the church for these monies?

    What do you think?

  25. Business Woman says:

    This election has essentially completely turned my stomach.

    Niether Obama or Palin have enough experience to even successfully operate a small business, yet they are nominees for some of the most powerful positions in the world.

    Biden had to withdraw from his own race for the presidency decades ago because of his plagiarizing (you know – lying and cheating)and if you remember that far back, when he was in law school he actually failed several classes because of his plagiarism.

    The overall apathy of the American people about what a leader should be able to do is chilling

  26. JohnW says:

    Stephen M wrote:

    Or the attention the Clinton family got for their daughter’s plastic surgery.

    Er…. What plastic surgery? I know that’s a minor point in all this, but it stuck out. I can’t find any sources at all that report it.

  27. Caroline says:

    I’ve also been enjoying all the comments and appreciate how civil everyone is being. Gladtobeamom, I love it when you chime in with your perspective. Saral, thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comment. And Kelly Ann, thank you for sending this post to us!

    JohnW, I’m with you. I never heard anything about Chelsea’s plastic surgery.

  28. Kate says:

    You’re a superstar. Thank for saying what so many moderate Mormon women are thinking.

  29. gladtobeamom says:

    I just found an interesting argument about voting for Macain. It was that if we would like Hillary to ever have a chance since the dems picked the wrong candidate we should vote for Macain so in four years she can run against Palin or Macain. She would more then likely have a land slide win.

    I don’t understand why they didn’t pick her this time she would have won by a large majority. I don’t agree with her politically either but she won’t have a shot again if Obama takes office.

  30. Britta says:

    As for Mormon theology fitting in with one party’s beliefs more than another, I think something we overlook SO often in the church is that there is a STARK difference between a sin and a crime. Voting to make/keep something legal doesn’t mean you condone the action, it means you believe it should be legal. If one party proposed a law that would make premarital sex illegal, would you vote for it? I would see such a proposition as contrary to doctrine, since a) we should never use the government to impose our beliefs on others (D&C), and b) few things are more sacred than agency – it’s the option God chose over enforced moreality. We want people to make good choices, but because they choose to, not because they are forced to. We’re so blessed to live in a democracy, but I think we mistake that privilege as a call to spread our sense of morality rather than grant others the right to find their own.

    When we ponder whether a political movement coincides with the gospel, let us first think about the purpose of government according to the gospel. To me, it’s ensuring protection and freedom. We shouldn’t judge the government or politicians by how well they fit a secular model of the church, but by how well they allow us and every other person to do what we think is right without hurting others.

    Not that that makes it easier to say which party (and I’m thinking of more than two) fits best with the gospel, but I think it’s important to look at politics through those glasses, and not to see people with different personal beliefs as an affront to the church.

  31. Caroline says:

    Great points, Britta.

  32. Eve says:

    Sarah palin’s lack of experience and ideology scares me. I think it’s EXTREMELY patronizing for McCain to pick Palin simply because she’s a woman and (MIGHT) get Hillary’s disgruntled girls to convert to the GOP. What a HUGE step backwards for women!!

  33. Douglas Hunter says:

    For any consideration of political ideology and theology the starting point must be the structural impossibility of any synthesis of the two.

    Granted our Church suffers from a widespread conflation of reactionary political ideology with supposed theological principles, a fact that reminds me of Levinas when he wrote: ” A particular being can take itself for a totality only if it is unthinking.”

    He was writing about a related but different topic with those words but the critical energy is apt, to the extent that the conflation of theology and political beliefs is without doubt an attempt to create an ideological totality, or, better put, to maintain consistency in the perception of an individual totality.

  34. Stephanie says:

    I am with those who think that Sarah Palin is unprepared and that McCain picked a woman to pander to the Hillary supporters and someone who the extreme right would like. Many others have already discussed these issues…but I have one additional point.

    Does it bug anyone else that she looks like Tina Fey, and? If so, do you wish he’d picked Tina instead so the speeches would be funnier? I’ve been thinking that since last week and am happy to have finally typed it outloud.

  35. Kli says:

    Funny about Tina Fey…I thought the exact same thing. Apparently so does Jon Stewart.

    Sorry to share another link, maybe it’s not appropriate on here- but I thought this was so funny…and worth it to see Sara Palin ask what the VP does everyday…

    The humor has also helped me relax about all this and not feel so ‘riled up’.

  36. Janna says:

    I find it unlikely that McCain chose Palin to pander to Hillary fans. While I’m not a McCain supporter, I don’t think he thinks women are stupid. The only similarity between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin is that they both have breasts and a va-jay-jay.

    The choice of Palin has done exactly what the McCain campaign wants – distraction from a) Obama and b) the issues. Let’s focus, people.

    I also think that many “soccer moms” (a term a despise, but will use here for purposes of ease) are seeking someone to champion and represent them. They see Hillary and Michele O. as high-powered lawyers at heart. I wonder if many fence-sitting “soccer moms” want a woman who they think is a mom at heart. Sarah Palin foots that bill to a T. Palin IS what they could be, want to be, only if…

  37. Stacy says:


    Try going to an interview where one of you doesn’t
    know how to sign!
    My only point being, the government should not have to
    take up the slack for everything!

  38. Jana says:

    I’m not sure what you mean about “one of us not knowing how to sign”? Do you mean sign language? If so, that can be a huge barrier to employment and I do know that governmental programs like the Department of Rehabilitation can be very helpful. Is that your experience, too? If not, what are your thoughts on governmental programs for helping disadvantaged populations–specifically those with disabilities and ongoing/chronic medical issues like cancer treatment?

  39. Laura says:

    Thanks to all for a respectful discussion – I read the thread on Palin over at Feminist MOrmon Housewives – it got really ugly and the thread was actually closed which is something I haven’t seen in a while. So agian thanks for a respectful exchange on an event that may very well have importatant implications for women no matter what your political persuassion.
    Anyways, here’s my random thoughts to add to this discussion. THanks for hearing me out.

    First, I like what Elder Oaks once said about there being aspects of the gospel in both political parties.

    Another random thought, I heard that in Palin’s intro as VP speech it was she (not the speech writer) who added the shout out to GF and HC – break the glass celling stuff trying to appeal to this block of voters. I don’t think she had a clue how many of them would be offended by that. She identifies her self as a feminist for life. I think she really sees herself as a feminist in the non-stereotypical sense but a feminist none-the-less and she’s certainly done things outside the traditional female box to claim that element. But agian cross out a strong commitment to reproductive rights and there are a large number of feminists who will go through the roof.

    Random thought number 3, we should all be vocally critiqing how Palin is treated as a woman durring the next 60 days. I truly believe in the notion — you teach people how to treat you and women need to teach the political process how to treat a female candidate with equity. Former HIllary voters are probably most keen to do this since they just watched what she went through but of course have to put politics aside. WHen all is said and done don’t you think a comparative study on the Clinton Palin campaigns will/would be fascinating — and probably depressing? NO?

  40. Kiri Close says:

    Go Obama

  41. Robert says:

    This is a hit-and-run post, since I’m bored with what you said, and find it smarmy and un-open-minded.

    So, my response to your response:

    “Yes, yes, yes!”

    She’s perhaps the most refreshing thing to happen to politics in a long, long time.

  42. Elke says:

    This post and a couple others motivated me to write a little post on Palin myself. I’d love for anybody to read it:


  43. kalanier says:

    Elke, Nice post.

    I agree, that politics aside “we should be evaluating how Sarah Palin is treated as a woman.” Because that is becoming more and more the resounding impression I get from commentaries and articles.

    There are all types of feminists and I do give Sarah Palin credit for engaging in public service – makes me want to go out and change the world (since it comes down to the fact that I don’t ever agree with all policies from an individual or party). But since I am somewhat shy, I’ll just stick to making a difference in science research – which I good at.

    This discussion has been nice though as it has touched on a number of different issues. It’s been great to hear everyone’s opinions from both sides. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think of a few more things.

    Kelly Ann

  44. Kiri Close says:

    oh, puh-leaze!

    Sarah is McCain’s last ditch effort/super weapon to get votes (via raunch culture). Period.

    She is still and will always be his coffee B–ch and the sex object he makes her.

    Yeah, um, NOT very feminist or forward thinking if you’re YES, YES, YES.

    You saw how she lit up the media! And duh, McCain knew this when he & GOP sought a Veep (and we all knew Mitt Mormontron wasn’t gonna ride that ticket).

    She is just another Republican tool masquerading as the new sex-object(that’s right–feed into the libidinally charged eyesores wearing lipstick). I think they called it ‘historical’ to pick a woman veep running mate to match up to Dems historical African American.

    We should be looking at the issues and if Sarah as McCain’s Veep will be part of the restoring, rather than the further feed of the unruly squandering, missteps from the last 8 years of a racist, sexist, unsuccessful, unintelligible administration.

    I hear George W’s drinking again anyway (lol!).

    Another woman veep from Kelly Ann’s list here would’ve been better intellectually.

  45. darin says:

    Saral, I agree with you completely. We don’t all come into this world with an equal playing field, and I wish government were more responsible with welfare, and educating people so they can become self-sufficient.

    Janna said she thinks that many “soccer moms” are seeking someone to champion and represent them, and I have some respect for Sarah Palin as a mom and for some of the things she has done. But I want someone who is exceptional, experienced, and intelligent to represent me. I don’t think Palin is any of those things. I don’t need someone who is on my level or who can relate to me.

  46. Janna says:

    I’m with you, Darin. [I was trying to be diplomatic in my earlier comment :)]

  47. CSS says:

    It is interesting how divisive many people are about these issues. C’mon, every one of these topics is WAY more complicated than anyone is giving credit. That is one of the problems with politics these days, instead of discussing the issues, politicians insult ALL Americans by creating talking points which stir up contention and place people against each other. It is as old as the “divide and conquer” mentality of combat policy. Instead of asking the really tough questions or holding politicians responsible for their past political decisions, this country’s M.O. is to divide the running mates and the country into religious conservatives who love guns and big business, and hate abortion and gay marriage, and think all people should just “pick themselves up by their bootstraps.” OR intellectual-elitist liberals who love to give away money through high taxes, hate religion, and think everyone’s needs should be met through social programs. I’ve never really met anyone who fits precisely in these categorical assumptions

    If we are talking about welfare services- we should be asking ourselves, how can we best help those who cannot help themselves (whether through disability, socioeconomic history, familial upbringing, addiction, or other circumstances). We should hold the politicians accountable for this question rather than assuming that because one-side is conservative they will do a better job at helping those who need it by spending less money. If the question is about abortion, we should ask ourselves, why are there so many unwanted pregnancies in the first place and what can we do to prevent this obvious trauma for both mother and child? Is making abortion illegal going to solve this problem (and if you agree with this, hold your politicians accountable- have the conservative politicians done ANYTHING on a federal level in the past 20 years to make this possible? OR are they just luring voters away by making promises they are actually unable to follow-through from the executive branch of the federal government. ) Also, what can limit incidence of unwanted pregnancies? What about more explicit sex education and prophylactics availability? (Palin is against all of the above. Does this solve the problem?) Thanks Kli, SaraL, and others for taking a more dimensional look at many of these issues!
    However, to go against everything I’ve said above, I think the most interesting aspect of the Palin debate comes down to a simple question: Is she the most qualified conservative candidate possible that Mccain could have chosen off all native born Americans over 35 (constitutional rules for presidency)? I think the answer to that question is very very very clear. As such, why was a less qualified candidate, such as Palin chosen? That is the real question to debate about American perceptions of women, etc.

    Although it is more complicated than my opinion, I personally find it offensive that she was selected. And this isn’t the first time the Republicans have done this. After Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner left to care for her ailing husband, Ruth Bader Ginsberg was the only female left in a constituency which is supposed represent the population! (this should be offensive to all women that 50% aren’t female) So instead of choosing from the hundreds of women on state supreme courts, Bush chose his own crony Harriet Myers. She was totally unqualified for the position but just happened to be a loyal conservative and although some might think it was harmless- it was both extremely offensive as well as damaging for the image of professional, capable, and politically minded women all over America and the future of political decision making power for women in the future. She was obviously not chosen for anything other than having a vagina and as such they ended up choosing a conservative man instead. (Why more women aren’t up in arms about this obvious injustice is beyond me)

    Sarah Palin is this year’s Harriet Myers and it is offensive for the same reasons. If a vagina is what they wanted- pick one that is qualified!!!! But we all know how impossible it is to show qualification, ability, and power while maintaining non-B—tchiness in the current system (Senator Clinton’s history of defamation). In no way do I think she should be second-in-command, not because she’s female, but because if she wasn’t I wouldn’t even know her name.

    To end, I think the next debate for all these awesome contributors should be, in light of the recent John Edward’s affair (although not unique: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, John Mccain, etc.), why do these politically minded men cheat on their intelligent, capable, and strong women? And why do the women stay?

  48. Kiri Close says:

    wow…Sarah’s dumb.

  1. April 3, 2016

    […] Guest Post: My Thoughts on Sarah Palin by Kelly Ann […]

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