Friday, September 19, 2008

a little ditty on politics...

by Eve Ensler. (playwright and activist)

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?


Beenthere said...

I totally know where you are coming from. I've been right where you are. Your heart aches for the wrongs in the world, your heart aches for those who are suffering. Mine is too. Here's the difference between us. I kept thinking that I could change the climate--and only God can, that I could change sin--and only God can, that I could make those who made bad choices...suddenly make good ones--and only God can. I went into education and worked for 30 years to do that. I worked in neighborhoods most people I knew would NOT work in. Even those who said they could change the world...they would not sacrifice like I did. But I did. Year after year. In situations beyond comprehension and beyond what I can tell you. You'd be mad at me if I did. Because you are where I was 30 years ago. I'd have been mad too. Here's the thing. Government cannot fix sin. It can fix money for a minute. Give money here, and they'll be better until it is spent. Give money there, and they will be better until it is spent. Fly out a government plane, and dump money in this block, and it'll be better until it is spent. We have been wasting billions of dollars to not fix a problem. The problem is in the souls and spirits of communities. We've got to have faith-based, or even community-based programs to fix situations. I can (and did for 30 years)take your children, feed them 3 meals a day, train them, love them, hold them, rock them when they are sick....but if they come home to abuse and neglect...I can't save them. There have been "parent-training programs" every year of which I speak---since the '60's. People go in the homes, tell parents how to feed and nurture their children. No progress. There are programs that go into the homes and offer drug and alcohol programs. No progress. This has to stop. Smarter people, who understand that doing the same thing will not yield different results, have to come to positions of leadership. What we have in the Democratic side, offers more of the same. We will increase the social programs we are doing. We'll do more of the same conservation to try to change the climate. I'm as upset over this as you are over the other.
Perhaps there is a solution neither the Democrats or Republicans are offering. Should we put our heads together and hope for a better tomorrow? Or continue to be mad and fight...when "man" is not our foe?

Tricia said...

Now, mind you, I did not write the article above, and not ALL of Eve Ensler's ideas are the same as mine. I just wanted to share this article with my readers to stir up some thought. I'm glad I did. I am a little angry, but more than angry I'm SCARED! I'm young and would like very much for the so-called best years of my life to be more carefree and not feel like I need to be building a bomb-shelter in my backyard.

Now to rebut some of the things you said: of course we can change the climate! But it takes EVERYONE to make it happen. It will take everyone to stop thinking that if we do nothing, GOD is going to fix it. God gaced us with free will, and it's that free will that we have to use to put our heads together and MAKE tomorrow better. We can't just sit back and wait on God to swoop in and fix everything.

"Smarter people, who understand that doing the same thing will not yield different results, have to come to positions of leadership." I agree with this statement COMPLETELY!!! but Sarah Palin is certainly not that person. The government is going around in circles, we need NEW ideas and new leadership, and the republican ticket does not have new ideas, and is just the new Bush administration.

I don't think that the democratic ticket will fix everything, but I feel that they have the interest of the masses in mind, not just an elite few.

Beenthere said...

When you replied:"It will take everyone to stop thinking that if we do nothing, GOD is going to fix it. God gaced us with free will, and it's that free will that we have to use to put our heads together and MAKE tomorrow better. We can't just sit back and wait on God to swoop in and fix everything." made me think you didn't read a thing I wrote. When I said instead of government, it must be and community-based. Far from do nothing, it's rolling up my own sleeves and doing much! I know you think what Obama-Biden offers is something new. It's not. More government is more of the same, and this is the road we started on in Johnson's "Great Society" of the 60's (that attempted to eliminate poverty and injustice). When you say McCain-Palin is more are saying the sound bites you hear on MSNBC, etc. They want no torture, environmental guidelines stronger than we have now, more fiscal constraint, and more community-based initiatives. That is honestly a change. YOU can make a difference today in a child's life, in your neighbor's life. If all the "YOU's" do that, tomorrow will be better. The government does nothing as well as the individual. Have you gotten a car tag lately? They make even picking up a tag hard and convoluted!
About being scared and needing a bomb shelter...more of the same. In the late 50's and early 60's, when I was a student, Premier Khruschev of Russia pounded his shoe on the podium at the U.N. and said "we will bury you". We all had bomb shelters or safe areas with supplies in our homes. At school, we were given dog tags so our bodies could be recognized and had bomb drills where we got under our desks. Total terror. Kennedy was our President, and we also had "The Bay of Pigs" in Cuba, which was a very sad part of history. The Kennedy/Johnson era was also when we went to war in VietNam. Just horrible, frightening years. Everyone, including Conservatives, wants peace. So far, it has escaped Republicans AND Democrats in power. Pres. Carter thought talking would work, but 52 Americans were held hostage in Iran for 444 days under his watch. Evil exists.
I promise not to write again. I know you are a precious, compassionate young lady, and just want you to "hear" the other side. Hope your move is great and your future greater!

Anonymous said...

Great post! She is a loose cannon who scares me to death. I am personally offended that just because I am a woman, the Republicans think I will vote for Palin.

Beenthere - I think you need to keep reading. Don't just wait for a "smarter person" to give you answers. WE CAN change the climate. PLEASE separate church and state. That is crazy. Should we not elect anyone president and just let God be in charge? That's ridculous. I think you are very confused about what the Democrats stand for. Perhaps your TV is staying on Fox News a little too long.