Thursday, September 4, 2008


by Joan Wile
"Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace"
Citadel Press -- May 2008

Yes, when I first heard the announcement that John McCain had picked Gov. Sarah Palin for his vice presidential nominee, I sunk into an anxious state of depression. I gleaned immediately that he had scored a political coup by copping the media spotlight Obama had enjoyed from his acceptance speech the night before. Then, I had visions of thousands of
Hillary supporters leaping on to Sarah's bandwagon now that there was somebody to represent Girl Power in the national election. "Take that, Obama supporters!" I heard them say in my alarming scenario.

I got calls from other Obama grannies in my group, Grandmothers Against the War, equally worried about McCain's cataclysmic bombshell announcement. I had a very unhappy couple of days as I imagined the defeat of the Democrats at the hands of this pretty young Hockey Mom. The only negative I could discern was when I heard her speak in her shrill, piping Valley Girl voice. This didn't comfort me much, though, as I am a singer, much more aware and concerned about vocal tones than most people.

But, then, as the revelations about Sarah started to roll out, I began to have a little hope. Would the Hillary legions support a woman who was anti-abortion to the extreme, even, of condemning it for victims of rape and incest? Hard to imagine. Next, we learned of her fidelity to the creationism theory. Would any Democrats go for that? Would Independents? By the very nature of the word "independent," it is hard to imagine that they would subscribe to a belief out of the dark ages.

And so much more. She fired a librarian who wouldn't ban books Sarah deemed bad. She didn't want sex education in the schools. The later news that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter was pregnant was certainly an ironic comment on the questionable wisdom of that stance. She actually supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she felt enough political pressure to turn against it. She was a political pal of the indicted corrupt Sen. Stevens. She's a member of the NRA who loves to hunt -- a synonym, to my mind, for "kill."

Well, I won't go on and on with the long litany of her conservative sins. But, they have relieved me a little bit of my nervousness about her. I tell myself that surely the American women are not cajoled into voting for this person who holds positions and beliefs so contrary to what I assume most women outside the Bible Belt hold, who if elected with John McCain, would be so on the brink of being President.

We couldn't be that dumb, could we?

On the other hand, we elected George W. Bush to a second term!