Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz
10/6/2008 10:45:12 PM
She’s a congenial, athletic, grammatically challenged, Bible-believing, gun-toting, moose-slaying, diplomatically unenlightened, politically unaware, SUV-driving hockey mom from the wilds of Alaska.
I know you have been anxiously awaiting my views on John McCain’s selection for his running mate.
“Not really,” you mumble as you roll your eyes.
Choosing to ignore your sarcasm, I will now continue if you don’t mind. (And don’t say you do mind, for I intend to continue nonetheless.)
When I first read of McCain’s selection in The Advocate (My Newspaper of Choice), admittedly, my initial reaction was to mumble “Sarah Who?” Why? Well, it was because I had never even heard of Sarah Palin; and, obviously, since I had never heard of her, I had absolutely no idea that the woman was the Governor of Alaska. But then, how many people can name the governor of any state other than their home state? Can you? I sure can’t.
Wait, I’ll take that back because, now that I’ve thought about it, I realize I can actually name three governors. First, there’s the Governor of Louisiana, the state where I reside, although it isn’t my home state. His name is Bobby Jindal. I can also name the Governor of Georgia, my home state, albeit where I no longer reside, and his name is Sonny Perdue. And, finally, perhaps because he’s one of my favorite actors, I can also name the Governor of California, who is, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, aka Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator.
Still, as I said earlier, up until the moment I read about McCain’s selection for his running mate, I had never even heard of Sarah Palin. Then again, who had? Had you? Had anyone? (Well, that is except for the people who live in Alaska, or at least most of those people, since I’m sure a few probably don’t know their governor’s name, anymore than some residents of Louisiana, mainly my students, know the governor of their state.) In fact, if you type “Who is Sarah Palin?” into Yahoo’s search engine, you will get 309 million hits (I know because I just checked, though the number may be higher tomorrow); and that’s a lot of hits, although I doubt you would have received that many hits before McCain announced his choice for Vice President since not only had no one other than most of the citizens of Alaska ever heard of Palin, no one else in the world probably gave a hoot.
Being curious by nature, after reading of McCain’s nomination, I decided I needed to learn something about this woman who could one day possibly hold the second highest office in the land; well, that was unless my fellow voters agreed with me that eight years of Republican rule was far more than enough and this country was in dire need of change. So, decision made, I set out to learn the answer to the question: “Who is Sarah Palin?” And where did I turn? Why, of course, to the World Wide Web. (You thought I was going to say The Advocate, didn’t you?)
Admittedly, I was feeling quite lazy at the time, so I visited only two websites. One was that bastion of “misinformation” known as Wikipedia; the other was the homepage of Wasilla Bible Church. However, I did learn quite a bit, and I am now going to share what I learned with you, along with my interpretation of what each “fact” reveals, at least to me, about Sarah Palin.
- As a child growing up in Alaska, she ran in marathons with her entire family.
This tells me McCain’s choice for VP is (to put it in “Palinese”) “as fit as a fiddle, doggone it,” which means she’ll have the staying power to run alongside McCain to the finish line. Moreover, if the Dastardly Duo does win the election (God help us all), since McCain’s as old as dirt and she’s “fit as a fiddle,” there’s a possibility McCain could croak in office and Sarah Palin could be the one sitting behind that big old desk in the White House and deciding the fate of this country.
- She grew up hunting moose with her father and still hunts today.
This tells me Palin is not a friend of PETA. It also explains why she’s a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association and, naturally, being a card-carrying member, like other card-carrying members, she believes in the right to bear arms. Of course, I have to wonder why she doesn’t pass a bill extending that same right to wildlife. At least then the poor moose would have a fighting chance.
- She won the Miss Wasilla Pageant and finished third in the Miss Alaska Pageant, where she won the “Miss Congeniality” award.
This tells me Palin cares about how she looks (despite her dated hairdo). It also tells me she’s always been good at projecting a down-home, good-old-girl persona, thus the “Miss Congeniality” title. Moreover, she’s a seasoned performer since, as a young girl preparing for competitions, she probably spent untold hours standing in front of full-length mirrors, smiling fetchingly, bobbing her head, and practicing such homilies as “You betcha,” “Darn tootin’,” “Doggone it,” and “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
- She earned a bachelor of science in communications/journalism from the University of Idaho, after which she became a sports reporter for a station in Anchorage.
This tells me she didn’t pay much, if any, attention during her English classes in college. After all, if she holds a degree in communications/journalism (See number 3 above), one would think her capable of speaking without slaughtering the English language, now wouldn’t one, that is, if she had paid attention in her English classes, which she obviously didn’t? On the other hand, since she does like to slaughter things (see number 2 above), that penchant for destruction obviously carried over to other things, including the English language.
- She calls herself a “hockey mom.”
This tells me hockey is to Alaska what soccer is to the rest of the nation. But then, I imagine residents can’t play soccer in Alaska except during that one week in late July that passes for summer. It also tells me Palin drives a gas-guzzling SUV since she has to haul all those kids and their gear around to hockey games.
- Although born into Catholicism, she joined the Wasilla Assembly of God, which is Pentecostal, when she was old enough to decide such matters for herself; and she remained a member until she was 38, after which she began attending the Wasilla Bible Church, which bills itself as an independent congregation. Interestingly, however, following the Republican National Convention, CNN reported that Palin “no longer considers herself a Pentecostal.”
This tells me Palin is trying to distance herself from her faith. Why? Well, although the church she attends bills itself as independent, based upon the information on its website, Wasilla Bible Church adheres to the same doctrines as Pentecostalism (If you don’t know the tenets of the faith, just do a web search). So, again, I’m inclined to think Palin has decided to distance herself from her faith, at least during the election process, probably because she doesn’t want American voters harboring images of the Vice President beginning to speak in tongues during meetings with dignitaries from other nations. Oh, and by the way, Palin calls herself a “Bible-believing Christian,” which tells me she must think other Christians don’t believe the Bible. Of course, I’ve always thought all Christians were “Bible-believing,” but maybe I’ve been wrong.
- She claims the Republican Party’s platform offers “the right agenda for America” because of the party’s “respect for equality and respect for life and an acknowledgement that it is individual Americans and American families who can make better decisions for ourselves than government can ever make for us” (No, I did not make up that quote, for if I had, not only would a few commas have been inserted, but the ending clause would have been grammatically correct).
This tells me that Sarah Palin has not been paying attention for the past eight years. Respect for equality and life? Really? Is that why the current administration cut off funding for so many social programs geared toward helping the less fortunate in this country? Is that why it allowed the levees to get in such disrepair in New Orleans, an oversight that ultimately led to the deaths of thousands of people during Hurricane Katrina and to thousands of people being displaced and left homeless? Respect for equality and life? Is that why the administration provided so many tax breaks to big corporations and the wealthy? Is that why it sent our troops marching into Iraq, resulting in the destruction of an entire country and thousands upon thousands of deaths (over 4,000 American troops, but many, many more innocent Iraqi citizens)? Is that why the current administration has ignored the Geneva Convention and allowed torture of detainees? Is that why it has plunged this nation into astronomical debt from which it will never recover? Is that why it failed to take steps to rein in unscrupulous lenders, tighten mortgage qualifications, prevent market speculation, cap CEO salaries and perks, slap the wrists of oil companies, and, ultimately, avert a meltdown of America’s economy?
Moreover, if the Republican administration understands that we Americans can make better decisions for ourselves than the government can make for us, then why hasn’t it been listening to us for the past eight years? Why are we still the only industrialized nation without national health insurance? Why are we spending approximately 10 billion dollars each and every month in Iraq while so many people in this country are eking out the barest minimum of an existence? Why is this nation’s infrastructure in such dreadful condition? Why is social security teetering on the brink of obliteration? And, finally, why weren’t we allowed any say-so in the decision to bail out Wall Street, especially since we are the ones who will ultimately pay for it with tax increases? Sure, we can make decisions for ourselves, all right. The problem, however, is that the government will not allow us to do so.
Oh, well, enough said on that topic. It’s getting me too upset, so let’s move on the last thing I learned about Sarah Palin.
- She thinks it’s God’s will that we are in Iraq, and she supports ongoing United States military operations in Pakistan. She also believes that this country should take preemptive military action in the face of an imminent threat, and she says that if Russia invaded a member country of NATO, the United States would be obligated to intervene.
This final bit of information tells me Sarah Palin is not someone I want to see sitting in the White House with her finger anywhere near the doomsday button.
And so, dear readers, that’s the answer to the question: Who is Sarah Palin? She’s a congenial, athletic, grammatically challenged, Bible-believing, gun-toting, moose-slaying, diplomatically unenlightened, politically unaware, SUV-driving hockey mom from the wilds of Alaska.
More Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz
Have You Ever Wondered? - Monday, February 08, 2010
Students Write the Darnedest Things - Thursday, December 17, 2009
Random Brain Droppings - Saturday, November 07, 2009
To Twitter or not to Twitter, That Is the Question. - Monday, June 29, 2009
Levy "Sin" Taxes on Actual Sins - Thursday, May 14, 2009
What's New in My World? - Sunday, April 05, 2009
To Blog or Not to Blog? - Sunday, March 08, 2009
New Year's Predictions for 2009 - Thursday, January 01, 2009
Christmas 2008 - Saturday, December 27, 2008
What I Learn from the Newspaper - Thursday, December 11, 2008
Totally Inane Messages - Monday, December 01, 2008
Is America a "Civilized" Nation - Saturday, November 29, 2008
What Thanksgiving Means - Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Autumn, Sarah Palin, & Cultural Literacy - Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thank You, America - Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The Perfect Husband - Friday, October 24, 2008
Sarah Who? - Monday, October 06, 2008
Rats Abandoning a Sinking Ship - Friday, September 26, 2008
Why Do So Many Students Detest Reading? - Monday, September 22, 2008
What's in a Name? - Saturday, September 13, 2008
Waiting for Gustav - Sunday, September 07, 2008
It's Time for Change - Friday, August 29, 2008
George Washington, He Ain't - Saturday, August 23, 2008
More Money Than Common Sense - Friday, August 15, 2008
The Loss of the Ability to Communicate - Thursday, August 14, 2008
The Wonders of Modern Technology - Sunday, August 10, 2008
Water, Water, Everywhere - Thursday, August 07, 2008
A Different World - Sunday, August 03, 2008
Thinking" Consumerism - Thursday, July 31, 2008
Mr. Fix It -- Not My Husband - Saturday, July 26, 2008
Pour Me Another Cup of Coffee - Sunday, July 20, 2008
Southern Cooking - Friday, July 18, 2008
The Value of Human Life - Friday, July 11, 2008
Running on Empty - Sunday, July 06, 2008
A Question of Respect - Friday, July 04, 2008
Monkey See, Monkey Do - Thursday, July 03, 2008
English Only - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Jesus for President - Friday, June 27, 2008
Do You Believe in Bad Luck? - Thursday, June 26, 2008
Existing versus Living - Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Rich Are Different - Sunday, June 22, 2008
Spirit Dog -- Goodbye My Friend - Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What's in a Name? - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Are Some People Really That Dumb? - Monday, June 16, 2008
An Appalling State of Affairs - Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Ongoing Stupidity of the Human Race - Sunday, June 08, 2008
Living in Fear - Friday, June 06, 2008
An Epiphany about Survival - Monday, June 02, 2008
Abusing the System -- Handouts from Uncle Sam - Saturday, May 31, 2008
When 50 Cents Was a Fortune - Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Greed of the Human Race - Saturday, May 24, 2008
I Have Been Living an Illusion - Friday, May 23, 2008
Today's Children Lack Imagination - Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Three Perfect Foods - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Kids & Pets Alone in Vehicles - Saturday, May 10, 2008
Into the Valley of Death - Friday, May 09, 2008
In Remembrance of Outhouses - Monday, May 05, 2008
Family Is Family - Saturday, May 03, 2008
Thank You, Mr. President - Thursday, May 01, 2008
Just the Right Word - Thursday, April 24, 2008
America, Overweight and Gaining: A Byproduct of Capitalism - Friday, April 18, 2008
Only in Southern Louisiana - Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Why I Don't Trust Doctors - Saturday, April 12, 2008
Mama Wisdom - Thursday, April 10, 2008
Who Is To Blame? - Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Smoking Ain't So Bad for You After All - Friday, April 04, 2008
In the News: Children Plot to Kill Teacher - Wednesday, April 02, 2008
If I Were An Advice Columnist - Sunday, March 30, 2008
In the News - Thursday, March 27, 2008
How to Tell When You're Getting Old - Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Most Heartbreaking Profession in the World - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
My Kingdom for an Honest Politician - Friday, March 14, 2008
Let's Simplify the Divorce Process - Sunday, March 09, 2008
Restaurants Should Ban Kids, Not Smoking - Sunday, March 02, 2008
Technology and the Destruction of Language - Friday, February 29, 2008
Our Friend, Mr. Comma, and How He Is Being Abused - Thursday, February 28, 2008
More on the Abuse of the English Language - Monday, February 25, 2008
More on the Abuse of Words - Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Slaughtering the Mother Tongue - Sunday, February 17, 2008
Slaughter of the Innocents - Thursday, February 14, 2008
Valentines Day - Bah, Humbug! - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Election Day - Saturday, February 09, 2008
Today's Pathetic Television Fare - Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Something Is Definitely Rotten in Denmark - Sunday, February 03, 2008
Georgia Good Old Boys & Pickup Trucks - Thursday, January 31, 2008
Shop 'til You Drop - Sunday, January 27, 2008
The State of Our Economy - Friday, January 25, 2008
Love Is Such a Little Word - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words - Monday, January 21, 2008
Winning the Lottery - Saturday, January 19, 2008
What Is Going On With Today's Children? - Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Flip-Flopping -- The New Trend in Politics - Monday, January 14, 2008
Religion - Walking the Walk - Saturday, January 12, 2008
You Can't Transplant a Southerner - Friday, January 11, 2008
Punishment --Southern Style - Thursday, January 10, 2008
Today's Children - Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I Love the South--Especially Our Language - Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Freedom of Expression: Who Decides? - Monday, January 07, 2008
You Can't Go Home Again - Sunday, January 06, 2008
Predictions for 2008 - Friday, January 04, 2008
Up, Up, and Away--The Price of Oil - Thursday, January 03, 2008
High School Reunion - Tuesday, January 01, 2008
New Year's Resolutions - Monday, December 31, 2007
All God's Creatures, Great and Small - Sunday, December 30, 2007
Send Me A Man (or Woman) Who Reads - Saturday, December 29, 2007
Dante's Inferno--Revised - Friday, December 28, 2007
America’s Expanding Waistline: A Byproduct of Capitalism - Friday, December 28, 2007
Why We Cannot Live Deliberately - Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Ideal President -- My Opinion - Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Going Deeper and Deeper into Debt - Monday, December 24, 2007
Cell Phones -- Bane or Blessing? - Sunday, December 23, 2007
Greed--A Natural Human Condition - Saturday, December 22, 2007
So This Is Christmas? - Friday, December 21, 2007
Rush Limbaugh & Double Standards - Thursday, December 20, 2007
Growing Old Ain't for Sissies - Wednesday, December 19, 2007