The positive side of presidential politics
Filed under: Opinions
Welcome to Red Mom Blue Mom, ParentDish's special coverage of the 2008 Presidential election. Each Tuesday through November 4, columnists Rachel Campos-Duffy (Red Mom) and Ada Calhoun (Blue Mom) will take on issues relevant to parents on both sides of the aisle. You can find past Red Mom/Blue Mom posts here.
Blue Mom: The Purpling of America
By Ada Calhoun
I'll be heading down the block to my polling place at six a.m. this morning to vote for Barack Obama. This is the first time in my adult life there has been a candidate I so desperately wanted to see elected. I've always loved my country, but for the first time, I'll be able to cast a vote for a politician who embodies so much of what I love about it:
Ultimately, We're All on the Same Side
Obama has consistently emphasized our common ground. In his nomination acceptance speech, he listed a number of issues that have divided us that need not keep us apart. For example: "We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country . . . This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."
Everyone Counts, Even Young People
Obama's campaign has gotten young people involved (really young people, judging by the number of kids on YouTube saying "Obama"). More impressively, he's kept them focused and organized. Whenever anyone has started to get negative in his crowds, he's said, "You don't need to boo; you just need to vote." And he's encouraging young people to serve their country in exchange for help with college tuition, which to me seems totally brilliant.
We're Not Afraid
Obama's race speech acknowledged the anger and mistrust that exists in America, but said, "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected." You sure don't see that conversation happening in France.
If predictions hold and Obama takes as many "red" districts as predicted, we will have the proof: there is no red and blue America, only one America, a country where an optimistic black man raised by a single mother can embody the hopes of a nation. That's a good country.
Red Mom: And the winner is ... Sarah Palin
By Rachel Campos-Duffy
Both Saturday Night Live's liberal humor (and fan base) and conservatives agree on one thing: the bright spot of this election has been Sarah Palin. SNL loves her Fargo accent and offbeat biography (beauty queen, moose hunts and caribou stew). And while conservatives cheer the fact that she is the only life-long card-carrying member of the NRA on either ticket -- and liberals jeer her reasoning and readiness -- lotsa folks just, well, kinda like her.
Conservatives admire the fact that her strong pro-life record is backed up by real-life pro-life decisions; namely the beautiful way in which she handled the unexpected pregnancy of her fifth child during the first year of her first term as governor. Not exactly great timing! And while 80% of prenatal babies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted, according to the Washington Post, the Palins welcomed Trig, their special-needs son, to the world with open arms, describing him as "perfect" in their birth announcement. There's no such thing as a perfect mom, but every child is indeed perfect.
From taxes to energy, conservatives have found in Sarah Palin a strain of the unapologetically American Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, Governor Palin is telegenic and attractive. And while few modern politicians can match Reagan's charm, Palin is a pro on the stump thanks to her unparalleled relatability to middle class Americans. Interestingly, Reagan was also underestimated and written off by critics as insufficiently intellectual. History has proved them wrong; I think the same will be true of Palin.
For conservative, pro-life women, Palin has finally given us a voice. Gone are the stereotypes of uptight, old-fashioned pro-lifers à la Phyllis Schlafly. Palin is thoroughly modern and attractive, juggling kids and career just like the rest of us. I am amazed and inspired that she has maintained her sunny conservatism and good humor despite the pummeling she has received from the media and the angry left.
The good news for conservatives like me is that win or lose, Sarah Palin is here to stay. Far from the media predictions that the conservative, religious wing of the Republican Party would be its downfall in this election, Sarah Palin's nomination has proven that no candidate can win or generate excitement without it. So what to say about that Sarah Palin 2012 T-shirt Tina Fey was hawking on SNL's hilarious QVC sketch? I say, "You betcha!"