Our Greatest Fear?

A friend of mine passed me a new site called Our Greatest Fear. It has this ad they’re going to start running in swing states.

It’s powerful stuff.  The ad – which is factually accurate, underscoring Senator McCain’s age – makes me worry about the damage this woman’s candidacy is doing to future women candidates. I’m torn because, while I think the ad is effective, there are elements of this ad that are mildly sexist.  And knowing the people involved, I am certain that was not the intention.  The intention was to highlight how inexperienced Palin is.  My concern is there is a very real possibility that misgivings of Palin’s inability to lead might be misinterpreted as most women’s inability to lead.

I feel like one of my favorite web comics sums it up nicely.

On the other hand, I’m faced with pretty clear evidence that Governor Palin does NOT exhibit leadership qualities I look up to.  Recently, some people at a Palin rally yelled racial slurs, hateful language that was very clearly aimed at Senator Obama.  If Governor Palin ever had a chance to hit back, to prove to us that maybe she and we did see eye-to-eye, this was the time.  And yet, she said nothing.

Wonkette wrote about it, as did Boing Boing.  And let’s not forget that members of the MSM have been trying to ignore visible escalations of hate, of people yelling to “kill him” or even the limp claim that these people are “fringe extremists”.  For the sake of the McCain Palin campaign, as well as the Republican party, I hope these hateful people are not decision-makers or representative of the Republican party.

What disappoints me is that Palin had a chance to step it up, hold her hand up and say, “HEY GUESS WHAT? WE DON’T CONDONE THAT.”  She could have acknowledged that she didn’t agree with those words.  She could have exhibited some leadership, even just a glimmer, and shown us where she stands on expressions based off of hate and fear.  And that moment might have made me reconsider my opinion of her.

But she didn’t.  She failed to say a thing, except her pre-canned speech.

If you don’t stand up against the out-dated hate when you get the chance, Governor Palin, how in the world am I supposed to trust you are a woman of principle?


  1. “My concern is there is a very real possibility that misgivings of Palin’s inability to lead might be misinterpreted as most women’s inability to lead.”

    It is very possible, although the first ramblings I heard after the Sarah! announcement (from men) were lists of the women who would have been better picks.

    I think overall, ignorance can’t be avoided. The same people that would come to the conclusion that frightens you, are the people at that rally shouting idiocies. As soon as this election is over they will be blaming Sarah! for the loss.

    Thank goodness our world is changing and the number of the ignorant is decreasing as opposed to growing.

    Great post!

  2. I agree with your thought that there’s the possibility of it being translated to “all women”, but to me, the bigger …sadness? maybe? is the concentration on fear. I don’t want to spend any more time being afraid of what’s coming. I’m SO looking forward to the likely upliftment and, as Powell said, transformational power, of an Obama Administration.

    If ever it was time for ALL of us to “keep our eyes on the prize”, this is it, folks!

  3. Have you seen Get Your War On version of this fear? ?

    Also, I just keep thinking about the Supreme Court, and who will make the next appointments to it.

  4. As an African-American female, I’ve certainly seen my share of people “like me” on the surface running for office that I know should not be in office and so I don’t vote for them unless it’s a case of the lesser of two evils and the other person is sporting fangs or a white sheet. So, I think even people who aren’t in love with Obama should be afraid to put Palin so close to the Oval Office because Obama’s a good choice, no fangs, no hate, and Palin’s, welll, …

    Sometimes the Palin objections are colored with sexism. Women face the same challenges African-Americans face, however, to separate the wheat from the chaff and determine what part of the objections are valid and what parts are sexist drivel. Once you’ve blown away the sexist drivel on Palin, you discover you’ve got a silo full of grain none of us should eat.

    The morph in that ad was cool, btw.

    I heard about this site through BlogHer.

  5. V – can’t agree with you more. I am concerned with how people separate wheat from chaff though 🙂 It’s more an observation than a judgment.

    And the ad is slick 🙂

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