Objects in Mirror

The politics around Palin

Posted at 7:57 PM on November 7, 2008 by Julia Schrenkler

Post-election there has been a bit of a buzz about the McCain camp and the Palin camp and the fingerpointing and... even that sentence became a droning noise.

I'm really interested in your perspectives on the politics around Palin. What should voters - and politicians - learn from her candidacy? Here is a complete - and provocative - comment from the open discussion on mnpolitics.gather.com:

"Standing in line to vote this morning, I was thinking about my old job. And babes.

Many companies have an office to handle compliance with the government regulations that affect employees. In the early 90s when new acquaintances first heard where I worked, some glared. 'Oh, so you gave my job to a minority. Or a girl.' Affirmative Action's purpose - measuring all seekers with the same ruler for the same job - was tinny background static to their thumping notions of quotas.

The job is many years gone, but the discussions on the intent and minutiae that are Affirmative Action echoed down every hallway from there to here. The specifics reverberated this morning as I filled in my ballot.

Here's what I believe: the vindication of affirmative action is when Sarah Palin is NOT elected Vice President, because she's unqualified.

The right hiring criteria for second-in-command are qualities we've probed all along: intelligence, perspective, diplomacy, leadership. Thoughtful voters know that while there are many paths to accumulate the experience and credibility, the office makes the same demands on whoever occupies it. 'Babe-ness' has nothing to do with vice presidency.

When we call an end to discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation, we're going in the right direction. When we declare that the right person for the job is the most qualified person, we're picking up speed. When our process brings forth serious candidates from all walks of life, we're passing milestones. When we pick the Vice President who can do the job best, even though the one with the fashionable gender would make history, we have finally gotten somewhere.

I was thinking that fifteen years ago, reminding the glarers that they had no divine right of hiring would have gotten me a punch in the nose. Today, history doesn't owe Sarah Palin a job she is not prepared to do. The prize here is not a trophy bride in the Naval Observatory; it's an election that focuses on credentials over chromosomes. Right now the most qualified applicant happens to be a middle-aged white guy, and he should get the hiring offer. Oh, yeah, and so should the guy who nominated him." - K F

Post your own perspective and join the conversation.

November 2008
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