An Open Letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Gov. Palin,

Yes, it’s me again. I told you I’d be back in touch.

I read Kathleen Parker’s piece at the National Review Online in which she admits that she was at first delighted by Sen. McCain’s selection of you as his running mate. She’s been an ardent supporter of yours, but your recent interview performances have been disillusioning. As Parker puts it: "I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted."

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I’m afraid to watch Thursday night’s upcoming debate for the same reason. I hate to watch someone make an ass of themselves, and I can’t envision this debate being anything but a train wreck. Plain and simple, Sen. Biden is going to eat your lunch, because — as Parker stated — you are clearly out of your league.

But your inability to articulate a viewpoint beyond snippets of the talking points that have been fed to you isn’t why I’m writing. No, I’m here to implore you not to take Kathleen Parker’s advice:

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.

No. Don’t you dare.

If you bow out of the race with the excuse that your family responsibilities prevent you from fulfilling the duties of Vice-President, you will have set all mothers — be they SAHMs, WAHMs, or WOHMs — so far back that it will take many decades more for us to come this close to the glass ceiling again.

I’m not a member of any feminist organization, but you only have to take a look at my resume to see that I’ve been pushing the envelope since I was an undergraduate. I know many women — especially mothers who work outside the home, not just to pay the bills, but in pursuit of long-held career ambitions — who have similarly bucked the system. By doing as we please — demonstrating that it’s not just possible, but desirable and admirable as well — we’ve been chipping away at the misconception that women can’t care for their families and realize their professional dreams.

If you — currently the most visible example of a woman’s ability to go where no other woman has gone before — step down and give your reason for doing so as being your inability to reconcile personal and professional responsibilities… well, you will have not just chucked your party’s chances at winning this election out the window, you will have thrown the sisterhood under the bus.

Stay in the race and take one for the team, Gov. Palin. Whether you’re an asset or a liability to the ticket is immaterial now. If you quit, it won’t benefit your party. Instead, it will undoubtedly destroy what so many women have worked for and prove our naysayers right. Don’t let that happen.

Sincerely yours,

Julie Marsh

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