Not our candidate

While it is admirable for men in today’s culture to admit that women are capable of being strong leaders, I respectfully (and forcefully) disagree with Mr. Van Driel’s assertion that voting for Sarah Palin is a useful way to express this sentiment. Palin’s political history demonstrates her desire to rescind much of our nation’s progress both constitutionally and in the field of women’s rights.

As mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin attempted to ban books from the local library, ignoring that the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution guarantees freedom of press. News reports from the time indicate that the librarian who, strangely enough, was opposed to a tactic commonly employed by totalitarian regimes, had her job threatened for not giving her “full support” to the mayor.

Also during her tenure as mayor, the city of Wasilla billed victims of sexual assault for the rape kits and forensic examinations used to gather evidence. These kits and exams ranged from $300 to $1,200 at the time, and included medical swabs, containers and other supplies. Palin had been in office for four years by the time this practice came to the attention of state legislators in 2000, giving her ample time to take action against this act of extortion.

Women have made – and must continue to make – great strides to gain positions of increasing power within the U.S. government. However, a candidate should be chosen because he or she is qualified for the job, not because of gender. Electing Sarah Palin as vice president would not be a step forward for women’s rights; it would be a step backward … centuries backward. In order to show respect for women, it is necessary to support a candidate who has repeatedly shown that he or she respects women’s rights. That candidate is neither Sarah Palin nor John McCain.

Christy Steele

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