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An American Tale

"Sarah is a zealot, but she’s a fun zealot. She has a beehive and sexy shoes, and the day she’s named she goes shopping with McCain in Ohio for a cheerleader outfit for her daughter." Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

There is nothing more American than the 2008 presidential race. First off, let's look at the cast of characters: we have Mr. Obama, a black man whose mother is from Kansas and his father from Kenya. In addition to his uncanny life story, he has a gift for rhetoric. A great gift. His wife grew up on the south side of Chicago, where she attended Chicago's public schools, and then went on to graduate from Princeton, followed by Harvard Law School. After working in corporate law, Mrs. Obama dedicated her professional self to social programs. She is now the ideal mother and wife. Mr. Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, is an all-American lawyer-turned-Senator, who respectfully commutes to Washington D.C. from Delaware and is married to an educator, Dr. Jill Biden. Still in the picture, but now on Mr. Obama's team, is his former rival, Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, champion of women (scorned) and cheerleader of the working class, despite her early Republican ideals and Ivy League education, also happens to be the former first lady and wife of Mr. Bill Clinton. Finally, for the last of our main characters we have John McCain, a 72-year-old white guy and Senator who served for 22 years as a naval aviator. Senator McCain's plane was struck by a missile more than once during the Vietnam genocide (I mean conflict) and he was eventually taken as a prisoner of war. He is married to an alcohol heiress. And just when you though it couldn't get more American...

Enter Ms. Sarah Palin. Mother of five and staunch Feminist Pro-Lifer, Ms Palin has taken the campaign trail by storm. Friday the McCain campaign introduced Governor Palin to the Americans and they were captivated. Here is a woman who hunts and fishes and refers to her husband as "First Dude." Here is a woman who cuts budgets, attacks corruption, and wears a bouffant with schoolmarm glasses and red shoes. Here is a woman who needed a background check.

"Don't you wish you were American?" asked my coworker Erika to the other teachers. "...so you could have elections as exciting as ours!" The faculty lounge erupted with laughter.

This campaign, in one day, has morphed from exciting to thrilling. I cannot stop laughing and clapping for the numerous challenges to the moral beliefs of Americans that Governor Sarah Palin, formerly "Sarah Baracuda" and Miss Wasila, and her family are providing for our country.

"Our girl," as many people fondly think of her since her first coming out press conference four days ago, has a few skeletons in her icebox. Not only is her 17-year-old unwed daughter pregnant, but she herself and her husband eloped and had their first-born only eight months later. Her husband has a drunk driving charge and a few other minor nicks on his record, and Ms. Palin has been accused of attempting to ruin a few careers, some of them belonging to her family members. She may even have toyed with a little idea known as secession.

Can this election be any more American?

Not only did the campaign begin by challenging the status quo of our Anglo-fixated and patriarchal precedents of what is presidential with the advent of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama leading the Democratic primaries, but it continued when the people propelled Mr. Obama into the position of Democratic candidate for leader of the "free world". The entry of Miss Bearskin Baracuda into the arena on Friday continued to chip away at conventional conformity and she has surprised us all even since then.

I am not thrilled because Ms. Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant. I am not thrilled that her dirty lingerie is being aired all over the news, national and inter. I am thrilled because with this cast of characters, each individual from the United States of America who votes, is truly going to have to consider what's best for themselves. Each individual from the United States who casts a ballot, is going to have to consider what's best for the country. Each individual from the United States who shows up on election day is going to have to consider what's really important. And each individual from the United States who participates is going to challenge and be challenged by his or her own beliefs, principles and prejudices.

There is nothing more American.

Comments

Melynn said…
This might be better than Dowd's August 31 column. You are a great writer.
Lex said…
Those words have reached the zenith of writing compliments :) Thanks:) And you'll send me an email soon letting me know how you and the dog and Tim are?

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