Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
Why in the world we’ve been asked to trust the selfish sisters of the 2010 American political races, I do not know. Sarah Palin is a woman of privilege who preaches the gospel of selfishness, yet she travels around the country providing motivation for her minions and for candidates like Sharron Angle of Nevada equally as selfish as she is – no entitlements like Social Security or Medicare or certainly not Food Stamps or WIC benefits for these well-kept and well-funded selfish sisters.
If it were not for the generous voters of Alaska, Sarah Palin would be much less significant. Oh, those silly Alaska citizens – so many feeling entitled to their checks from the state every year that spread the profits from the oil pipelines across from the few to the many. Sarah Palin loves those entitlements enough, all right. Then she claims some superior position due to her elevation to the national stage by Arizona Senator John McCain. She is the darling of the Tea Party, the group of many Medicare recipients and Social Security beneficiaries who join Sarah’s chorus in bad-mouthing their own kind. It is insanity elevated by mainstream media to political theater. Sarah is selfish – she’ll say and do nearly anything to make sure her own image is aggrandized. Sarah the selfish is supreme, at least in her own mind.
Sad and sick and short-sighted are the selfish. A confident and wise people care for the less fortunate. Or so I learned at the knee of my then-Republican, full-time working mom who knew a thing or two about self-reliance and courage.
In Nevada, Sharron the selfish builds on sister-Sarah’s selfish vision. The unemployed are spoilage, she says. Young rape victims should make lemonade from the “lemon situation” of having been raped if they are pregnant, even in situations of incest. Social Security and Medicare should be phased out, muse the selfish Sharron and selfish Sarah, and even those benefiting who have been sold the selfish line fight for their own demise.
Selfishness sold as self-reliance by women who have benefited wildly from government programs. Selfish Sharron is supported in large part by her husband’s Bureau of Land Management pension funds. Selfish Sharron spews hatred of government entitlements while loving up the entitlement that she lives on. Trash talk from selfish Sharron makes it sound like others who need help are lazy, yet she’s comfortable in her personal financial safety net.
How did we come to the selling of the selfish sisters? Most women I know do not support the selfish sisters’ positions – many of the women I know are every bit as strong and are more knowledgeable than the selfish sisters, yet they are ignored by many in the mainstream media because it’s not as controversial to show hard-working moms and wives and single moms and every manner of woman believing that we are better as compassionate souls, and we are strongest when we lift the weakest among us rather than belittling them and squashing them like bugs.
The strong women I know are confident enough to be generous and kind. The strong women I know reject selfishness as policy. The strong women I know do not belittle others for their own personal gain the way selfish Sarah and selfish Sharron do. Strength shows compassion not hatred.
One of the most disconcerting things about the Tea Party movement has been its selfishness and its cruelty as expressed by some of its women elevated to leadership. Sarah and Sharron are not the only ones, by any means – Tea Party candidates across the country embrace the selfish sisters’ agenda, as funded by some very profitable and selfish brothers named Koch.
When I was growing up in an upper-middle-income family with a hard-working mom and dad, I learned that some folks are in need of help no matter how hard they may work and that it was my responsibility to be caring enough to share with them whenever I could. This, I learned, was strength. This, I learned, was what a strong, compassionate and confident woman shares with her community.
So as I look at what some are trying to show as our strong women candidates this mid-term election cycle, I cringe. But I also remain confident that truly strong and caring women and men will prevail in the long run. For now, we’ll have to endure the shameless, self-righteousness and selfishness of a few imposters. In the long run, it has been my experience that women and men so self-absorbed will sell out one another and fail rather predictably to provide any sort of decent leadership. So I can hope that selfish Sarah and selfish Sharron and their clan will so perish – sooner rather than later.
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