Sunday, July 24, 2011

Maggie Walsh: There's room for both Palin & Bachmann in the race

Except in the tiny minds of the media
Like most of her peers, Maggie Walsh, a college senior and intern with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, had always considered the world of politics to be "a man's world" and for that reason never felt a need to get involved. But all that changed, Walsh writes, with with the nomination of Sarah Palin in 2008 as the vice presidential candidate of the Republican Party:
Because of Sarah Palin, for the first time I felt like there might be a place for a young, conservative woman like me in the political world.

And it wasn’t just me who felt this shift in American politics. In 2009, we saw the awakening of the conservative woman through the Tea Party movement. Mothers, sisters, college students and retirees—who had never been politically active before—started making signs, calling their representatives and attending town hall meetings. Women wanted their voices heard, and many organized local Tea Party rallies. Two women, Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann , emerged as the biggest supporters of this freedom-seeking movement. But all of these strong conservative women seem to be too much for the Left—especially feminists—to handle.

Some in the media have recently questioned whether there is enough room in the presidential primary race for two women.


But despite having a lot of beliefs in common, it’s a mistake to think Palin and Bachmann are exactly the same. Their expertise, knowledge and experience vary. Palin has executive experience from her time as governor of Alaska, mayor of Wasilla, and a town council member. She has extensive knowledge of energy policy from being the chairwoman of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and through her legislation for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Bachmann has legislative experience from being a three-term representative of Minnesota’s 6th District, and a Minnesota state senator from 2001 to 2007. She has wide-ranging knowledge of the tax system from the time she spent as a tax lawyer for the IRS. If both women were to run, it would be up to the American people to decide which would represent them best.

The false narrative that there is only one spot for a woman downgrades the accomplishments of those who choose to run for office.

Walsh says the media should drop its sexist "cat fight" narrative and admit that there is room for two women in the race. Interestingly, the media has no problem with two or more men in the race and doesn't label such a "dog fight" The media would better serve its alleged purpose by reporting the policy positions and records of Palin and Bachmann rather than continue down its current misogynistic and sensationalistic path. We join Walsh in the hope that all future political contests attract more intelligent conservatives of both genders, and that more young conservative women will be inspired to join their male counterparts by getting actively involved in the political process of this republic.

- JP

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