I was thrilled to hear that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain’s running mate. Of course, already the blogosphere is abuzz with speculation that Palin was chosen because she is a woman and maybe this is true. But it is not the reason I will be pulling for her and McCain come November. For me, Sarah Palin represents many right-leaning libertarian ideas that I personally support: low taxes, gun rights, and smaller government. David Harsanyi writes more about her libertarian leanings:
Yes, Palin is pro-life and yes, she’s made a huge mistake by supporting windfall taxes on oil companies. But she was a tireless reformer against government waste in a state that is famous for it. She, after all, shut down the Bridge to Nowhere.
Palin sued the Federal government over its outrageous listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. She is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. Her views on the Drug War are more reasonable than most in Washington. Her framing of cultural issues is far less divisive and strident some of what we hear coming from the hard social right.
While Democrats want to expand government programs to “help women,” I believe that smaller government and the policies of the libertarian right help women in many ways that are often ignored. Carrie Lukas, in a special report entitled “Dependency Divas” from the Independent Women’s Forum, states that:
Government efforts to improve on market outcomes often have serious unintended consequences that make women worse off. Workplace regulations make hiring more expensive, thereby decreasing the number of job opportunities available for women. Entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security crowd out private enterprise and initiative, and bloat the federal budget. The high taxation necessary to support lavish social spending slows economic growth, reducing the living standards of all Americans. The paternalistic arguments used to justify these government programs also reinforce the harmful notion that women are incapable of surviving or prospering on their own.
It seems that more and more women are going into business for themselves; in fact, a recent study shows that women are emerging as a fast-growing sector of new small business owners. That matches my experience: I hear women at my gym all the time talking about their start-up home businesses, such as working with Ebay selling furniture and other items. Some are making a very good living at it. A living, I am afraid, that will be eaten up by regulation and taxes if they are deemed “too successful” by the Obama camp. I hope Palin has more sympathy for entrepreneurs and those who run their own businesses, for they are the backbone of this country. Their success should be rewarded — not discouraged.
Unlike many liberals, I believe that women are capable of surviving and prospering on their own — and Palin is proof of that. And unlike some female politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Palin made it herself without the help of a career politician husband to give her an added advantage. Palin strikes me as someone who is fair to both men and women and who does not give women special rights and privileges just for the sake of being female. Kathy Hendrickson, a blogger, is also jazzed about Palin:
In my opinion, Sarah Palin comes off as a capable, confident woman, a no-nonsense mother of five who doesn’t treat her gender as a handicap or a get-out-of-jail-free card. Her neutral treatment is what allows her gender to be a non-issue, and I’d love to see her in the White House, so that at last, women can run as reformers, or conservatives, or beltway outsiders, and not as gender novelties.
Palin strikes me as a no-nonsense woman who would treat men and women alike with civility and fairness. After all, she has a 80-90 percent approval rating as governor of Alaska, which is one of the few states that has more men than women (although that is changing). And unlike Obama, who would treat fathers unfairly, with little forethought, or “chivalrous” Biden who wants to give women a free divorce lawyer, I think Palin would focus on helping Americans achieve their dreams by staying out of their way. I hope she lives up to my expectations and will get the chance to serve as our vice president come November.