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Not That Stupid: Erica Jong's Dear John Letter

10/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dear John McCain:

We're not that stupid. Sure it would be nice if the women of America believed that everyone with breasts and a vagina believed in equality. But it ain't so. Women have differing views -- just like men.

Some like beer; some like chardonnay. And some prefer AA. Some like automatic weapons; some don't. Some think every pregnancy is sanctified; some don't. Some think presidents should be qualified for office; some don't care.

But to take the struggle for equal rights that has gone on for two centuries and embody it in the person of Sarah Palin is not just misleading but abusive. Charging rape victims for rape kits is a travesty of equal rights. Insisting that government impose your own views of abortion on others is anti-equality. Cutting funding for black teenage mothers is anti-feminist and racist. Lying to the electorate about your record is insolent. Do you think we're too stupid or indolent to check?

We have checked. You are lying and so is she. But you must think that a big lie repeated over and over becomes the truth. And it seems that many Americans are with you on that.

You are so good at the bold-faced lie that you even seem to believe it yourself. When Barbara Walters and Joy Behar accused you of lying on "The View," you claimed you weren't.

I guess your handlers have decided that after eight years of Cheney-Bush saying one thing and doing another, truth no longer has any meaning. Say it often enough and we'll believe anything -- like the good commercial-watchers we are. So, prep Sarah to sound like Hillary -- and we'll be fooled.

It remains to be seen how many will.

But one thing is clear. You have reached a new low in your regard for the public. You have blown your credibility. Usually politicians wait to be elected to do that.

It's fascinating to watch you and your party try to co-opt the idea of change, the idea of equal rights after eight years of being in total control and trashing the country for women, for workers, for taxpayers and for anyone who earns dollars.

Do you really think we're that stupid? Apparently you do.

Tax cuts for the rich have produced trickle-down unemployment. You want to try that again? We don't. The private sector has not policed itself. Failing banks and mortgage companies prove that. The deficit has swelled. Insurance rates for health care have swelled. Women are joining the ranks of the poor faster than ever.

Play it again, John?

As Sarah Palin said, lying about her lust for earmarks, "Thanks but no thanks."

Sincerely,
Erica Jong

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