You know I loved you once, right? I hope you know how much I once loved you. Back in 1984, when I was 10 years old and I had no earthly reason to know who you were, I followed the Presidential election because you were on the ballot. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, my parents really mean it when they say that I can grow up to do whatever I want, don't they?"
In the 24 years since then, you have shaped me in ways that still astound even me. To a fledgling feminist, you were The One, the benchmark, the standard. From that point on, I never took any crap from anybody, because I knew I didn't have to. Why couldn't the best and the brightest in the class be a girl? Why can't I do anything as well as any man could? You could.
With you, it was always about qualifications and policies. Which is why I am so disappointed to hear rumors that there is a hint of a chance that you would consider voting for the McCain/Palin ticket, just because there is a woman's name on the ballot. I hope this is because your politics and priorities have changed, and not out of some misdirected sense of girl-power cameraderie, because in that case, you would be doing us all a great disservice.
When you accepted the VP nomination back then, you said:
By choosing a woman to run for our nation's second highest office, you send a powerful signal to all Americans: There are no doors we cannot unlock. We will place no limits on achievement. If we can do this, we can do anything. ...The issue is not what America can do for women, but what women can do for America.I will quote it again, because it bears repeating: "The issue is ... what women can do for America." What women can do for America, all women, is recognize that voting for a person solely on the basis of her gender would instead lock doors that people like yourself have blown wide open. We would be saying that values, principles, policies, and experience do not matter as much as the simple fact of our gender identities.
Which, back in 1984, 24 years ago, when I was just a kid, you told me was false.
At the risk of sounding like one of those "punk kids" who do not respect their elders, I ask you: Is this what you really believe? Do you believe that simply being a woman is enough to qualify someone for this great office? You fought so hard for so long for other people's right to receive my vote; why aren't you fighting equally hard for Sarah Palin to earn mine?
It saddens me to read things you have said over the past few months. Where once I saw a person I one day aspired to become, now instead I see a bitter, spiteful, nasty person who will not graciously accept defeat and recognize the opportunities that coming this far has afforded you. What it has afforded all of us.
What I see now is exactly the sort of person who is wrong for America: a person who sees only what she wants to see. And as the equal-opportunity-for-all feminist that I have become, the one you helped teach me to be, I don't see in Sarah Palin a person I want to vote for. Sorry to disappoint you, but mostly I am sorry that you have disappointed me.
Hopefully, before all of this is over, you will be yourself again, that smart, funny, talented, savvy, awesome woman I always hoped that I could be. Until then, I will be ...
Wishing you all the best,