In being introduced as McCain’s running mate last Friday, this is what Governor Sarah Palin had to say as she tried to reach out to those who supported Senator Hillary Clinton, “It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."
As a constituent of Senator Clinton, my opinion is: no, we are not finished yet and we owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Clinton for at least trying to break through that glass ceiling, but we as women do not need Sarah Palin being the one to accomplish it.
Governor Palin is no Senator Clinton when the news has reported of Palin’s daughter Bristol being five months pregnant. I want to add that had this been a pregnant Chelsea Clinton, the media would have destroyed Senator Clinton. Only time will tell how the media deals with this leading up to Election Day. Right-wing talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh would have jumped on this and he would have done anything to destroy Clinton while communicating with his millions of listeners. It would have been a feeding frenzy.
With the revelation coming to light of Bristol’s pregnancy, we as Americans should have known about this from day one. It all boils down to McCain’s decision making process should he become president and makes me question whether or not a thorough vetting process took place in the selection Palin as his running mate. Then again, he only met her once prior to this all-important decision. He had to know how something like this would affect his campaign. His selection of Palin was to pander to the Evangelical voters since Palin is pro-life, and one wonders how that base will react to this. His selection of Palin was not truly putting country first.
The rest of us who are not from that base should rightly question any decisions coming from McCain should he become president when it comes to issues that affect national security. How well will he vet the person who will become our National Security Advisor, our Secretary of State, and if he so chooses to replace the director of Homeland Security.
My last piece targeting Palin, I laid out certain proposals which can bring the rate of abortions down and what we, as a country, need to do in order to make sure both mother and child are healthy if a woman chooses to bring a baby to term. Bristol Palin will have excellent medical care that others in this country do not have. What happens to a seventeen year-old in this country should she come from poverty? Quite frankly, at this moment in time, she is left to fend for herself unless she has a supportive family. Even then, with 47 million Americans going without health insurance, that young girl is often left on her own.
If McCain is elected, we are going to continue this compassionate conservative era - and I use that term loosely when, the AP reported of McCain that he "has opposed proposals to spend federal money on teen-pregnancy prevention programs and voted to require poor teen mothers to stay in school or lose their benefits." How I take that is that those on the right who are pro-life will say to a teenager, "Okay you are pregnant...You are on your own."
We must do everything possible so that teenagers are not finding themselves pregnant and alone. We are spending roughly $10 billion dollars a month to end lives in Iraq where mothers and children have been killed yet we cannot find the money to promote and support life here in the United States? I find that abhorrent.
As I read this AP report, and as the mother of two teenage children, I was deeply offended when I read this quote coming from Palin, "The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support," she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates." Again, Palin chooses to leave these children behind. I do suspect that many moms across this country would rather have their children taught by professionals how to use birth control instead of facing what Bristol Palin is at this moment in time. Some parents are not even engaged in their children’s life and they do need these programs. With many parents, especially moms having to work one, two or three jobs just to make ends meet, they have little time to sit down and educate their daughters or may not know how to teach their daughters.
This Salon.com article reported that Senator Obama was “an original co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, which will ensure that all taxpayer-funded federal programs are medically accurate and include information about contraception." They noted that "in December 2006, Obama went to 'the political equivalent of the lion's den' when he told a conservative Christian audience in Southern California that abstinence-only education was not enough." It was Senator Obama looking out for the welfare of our children, unlike McCain and Palin.
This is where I find the hypocrisy coming from those on the right: They will shout from the rafters that they are pro-life, yet are unwilling to do anything to prevent teen pregnancy. Not all teens have engaged parents which goes back to Senator Barack Obama's challenge to us all for greater personal responsibility in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, and they do need sex education classes so they do not find themselves being the next Bristol Palin.
But it was this passage in that AP report which reminded me of Clinton's “No way, No how and No McCain” when I read, “When reporters pressed McCain whether the government should provide contraceptives or counseling on contraceptives, he replied, "You've stumped me." McCain said later that he was sure he opposed government spending on contraceptives.” You’ve stumped me?! Is that the answer we want coming from the next President of the United States? Sounds like more of the same coming from McCain as we have had coming from Bush during these past eight years.
McCain saying, “You’ve stumped me” sounds like Bush’s answer to where Osama bin Laden was at one time, “I don’t know…We don’t know where he is…”
Senator McCain has no credibility in entering this debate over unwanted pregnancies when he opposes any spending on contraception. This crisis felt by many can be avoided and prevented, but he is unwilling to help America’s children. America’s children should and must learn how to use contraceptives if we are to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Until those on the right can guarantee this education, their opinions have no place in this national debate.
In my previous article, I cited how contraceptives should be covered by health insurance, so I was stunned to read that McCain “has opposed legislation that birth control be covered by insurance. He has also voted against programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception.” What about the many women and girls around this country that are raped? If you are a woman, McCain does not care about you.