I am not a democrat and never have been. I'm an independent who, in the past few elections, has considered voting for the democrat but has been more strongly pulled toward third party candidates like Ralph Nadar.
This year is different.
From the beginning of this election, I was an Obama supporter. I saw him speak in St Paul. I tuned in to all his debates and primary victory speeches along the way. I watched the DNC. I like the guy. I think he's smart. I think he has great ideas for service (tuition breaks for college graduates who take less than glamorous, but necessary positions in under-served communities and creating "Energy Corps"), education (keep teachers accountable, but give them the resources they need), and foreign affairs (diplomacy first, military only as a last resort). Perhaps just as importantly, he's made me excited about the future of America. He's made me think that a united America is possible.
Initially, I was fairly neutral towards McCain. His "straight talk express" made him seem trustworthy and set apart from the average politicians. His service to the country indicated a love for his country that I think is important in a leader and yet, at least initially, he was somewhat humble about the experience. I didn't agree with a lot of his policies and ideas (he's pro-life, he voted against equal pay, and he supports school vouchers) but I didn't find him offensive... until three weeks ago.
When McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate, he made a decision that was purely political and had nothing to do with what was best for this country and its people. He was clearly pandering to the Republican conservative base and hoping to win over one-time Hilary Clinton supporters. What other reason could he possibly have for selecting such an underqualified candidate with a shoddy track record?
McCain obviously thinks that women voters vote with their uteruses and, seeing a woman with five kids, would automaticaly reward his woman-friendly choice with their votes. But one woman cannot simply be traded in for another.
On the campaign trail, Palin has been repeating her line "I said 'thanks but no thanks' to that Bridge to Nowhere" ad nauseam as late as Wednesday, her last day campaigning this week before she returned to Alaska.
In the meantime, every major news outlet -- from USA Today to NPR from her home state Anchorage Daily News to ABC -- was reporting that her statement was less than accurate. In fact, when running for governor in 2006, Palin supported the Bridge to Nowhere. Even once it was shot down (which, admittedly, Palin helped do in the end), Alaska, under Governor Palin's leadership, still accepted the $200 million for unspecified projects.
She said 'thanks but no thanks' the the Bridge to Nowhere and 'yes, please' to the Bridge to Wherever.
According to the AP, Palin is looking for another $200 million for similar projects for next year.
In spite of the fact that so many news outlets were pointing out the truth of what happened, Palin continued to tout her so-called refusal to accept Federal funding for the bridge on the campaign trail. As if we're not paying attention to the truth. As if we don't care. As if we are easily duped. As if we're stupid.
Prove them wrong.