Being at the DNC over the last week has not just inspired me for the Democratic party, it has inspired me to pay more attention to the Republican National Convention as well. It is important to be educated and know "why" we make choices.
So, I woke up Friday morning, anxious to find out who McCain would choose as a running mate.
I can't completely say I didn't see it coming, but I was definitely surprised by his choice of a 44-year old, pretty much unknown, 1 1/2-year governor (since December 2006)...with no other experience than the local city council and the mayor of a small, suburban town...from the remote state of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
CNN explained that the Republicans wanted to, "Shake things up." The New York Times called her a "novelty."
Talk about Affirmative Action in the worst way!
I hope people understand that nominating Barack as our party leader was not simply to "shake things up." Barack Obama was chosen because of his leadership abilities, his vision, his ability to reconcile on many different levels. But what I think many people overlook is that Barack Obama was chosen for his intelligence! Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago! You can't teach constitutional law and know nothing about the constitution.
On the other hand, Sarah Palin asked the question in an interview with CNBC, "What is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?" Though it may be just a soundbyte...and though she may have been trying to be humorous, it was a statement that I have to wonder if it was based in reality. I mean...seriously...don't we need someone who could potentially be the President who at least has a vision for the job?
I have always said that I think despite the media's portrayal of Barack's "lack of experience," he has the vision, the intellect, and the understanding of how to get things done. He may have been in the Senate for a limited amount of time...but Palin has rarely even been out of Alaska! (she got a passport in 2007 so she could go see troops in Kuwait and Germany).
I think it is interesting that this election has changed the tide. Women and people of color are now the critical people to have on your side. White men are no longer the unassumed choice. Women and people of color are now seen as strengthening the ticket. I believe the events of this election are going to launch us to a new level of thinking in our country. That's amazing and interesting.
However, we can not allow people to diminish the abilities of women or people of color by choosing less than qualified people. There are plenty of very intelligent and qualified people without choosing some obscure person. If we allow that, we reinforce the thought that women and people of color are truly not capable.
I am extremely excited about the way this election has changed what our future will look like. However, I do not want to accept a minimization of women or people of color's abilities or intelligence. That is insulting.