Que Sarah, Sarah, Whatever she'll be, she'll be.
At the beginning of the Republican convention week, a poll revealed that 41% of Americans surveyed said they weren't familiar with Sarah Palin. That means that 57% of those surveyed weren't telling the truth.
Now we all know that Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, is John McCain's choice for his running mate as the vice presidential nominee. Not that McCain asked me, but there are some things about this pick that bother me.
Some Republicans are saying that with this choice, women who are disappointed that Barack Obama didn't pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate now have a woman to support and vote for. This seems so sexist, so condescending, that it's beyond belief. Do they actually think that many women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman, even if they disagree with her beliefs and positions? That's crazy. Nobody's saying that men will vote for McCain or Obama just because McCain or Obama is a man.
And then there's this other thing. They're saying that she's not a "regular politician." Instead, "she's just like you and me." "Just like you and me?" Are you kidding? When they were trying to contact her father to tell him that she was going to get the nomination, he was busy caribou hunting and gold mining. I have to tell you, nobody in my family ever spent time caribou hunting and gold mining. If McCain had decided to choose me instead of Sarah Palin, it's possible that my mother would have been busy when they tried to call her, too. But she would've been busy doing something like reading -- not panning for gold or pointing her rifle at an animal.
By the way, what's Sarah Palin's favorite food? Moose stew. "Just like you and me?"
Sarah's father isn't the only one in the family who is a hunter. Sarah likes to shoot animals, too. Rumor has it that she's a much better shot than the current vice president. Then again, Ray Charles was probably a better shot than Vice President Cheney.
Evangelical Christians and other Republicans on the right are embracing Governor Palin's religious and social views. She believes that "abstinence only" should be taught in school, not sex education. She believes that creationism should be taught alongside that other doctrine that's only been accepted by the scientific community around the world for 149 years -- evolution.
There is something I've never understood about "creationists." If they believe so strongly that God has created all the creatures in the world, why do they think that it's okay to shoot some of those creatures with a gun? And then they think it's a nice touch to decorate their homes with the heads and skins of the animals they've killed?
So in Sarah Palin we have somebody who doesn't think sex education should be taught in school, who doesn't believe in evolution, and whose favorite dish is moose stew. "Just like you and me?" I don't think so.
But don't write her off. One of the most amazing things that I've ever seen is that the Republicans are turning all of her negatives into positives. Since they can't call her selection a strange choice, they're calling it a bold one. Instead of apologizing for her shortcomings, they celebrate them. Her inexperience is supposedly an advantage because she's not a "traditional politician." Her family problems are a positive because they show that she has the same kind of problems as everybody else -- except she has to worry about overcooking the moose stew.
And at the convention, she offered up her own blend of political stew. It had equal parts of "Aw, shucks" and venom.
Don't sell her short. She might be different from you and me - she was the 1984 runner up in the Miss Alaska contest, and I wasn't -- but just because she is different, doesn't mean you should dismiss her. I don't think jokes about her being another Spiro Agnew or Dan Quayle are going to fly. As I recall, those two guys were on the tickets that won.
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Home Improvement" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his website at lloydgarver.com and his podcasts on iTunes.