The 2008 Election is Making Moms Go All Political!

Fri, September 19, 2008


I’ve discovered this year that mothers are political animals, even though many moms don’t consider themselves to be. Sometimes they just don’t like to put their personal politics on display. But as it became clear that the 2008 Presidential election was going to be crucial in determining what our country and our society are really about, I tried to persuade more moms, on both sides of the political aisle, to talk a bit about their beliefs and views, especially as they relate to their daily lives. And plenty said, yes.

At the start of 2008, I had to do a good bit of convincing and cajoling.

But now, it seems, that women’s political voices are popping up everywhere and getting stronger every day, even where you might not expect them. The topics and the conversations are exciting and energizing. As a “pundit” mom, I’m really excited that more mothers are finding their inner political voices and making them heard! (Yeah, I’m all geeky like that!)

Jodi at Jodifur freely admits that she generally steers clear of politics at her blog, but this week, she couldn’t help herself in her post I’m Breaking a Promise to Myself after experiencing this at her office:

I work in a building that houses most of the social welfare programs for my county. WIC, food stamps, energy assistance, you get my drift. And, I need to point out, I work for an incredibly rich county. I pulled into my building at 9:15 am and the parking lot was full. The satellite lot next door was also full and I parked on the street. This has become a usual occurrence in the past few months.

When the elevator doors opened to the second floor, where the programs are located, the waiting room was packed and the line snaked around the room. These are people, in a rich county, who need help. Help to pay for food, help to pay their electrical bill, help to secure the down payment for an apartment or else be homeless. Help.

Leah Peah, who went to the RNC for BlogHer, ruminated about her experiences there and her political views in her post, Politics:

[The election season has become a] climate of exaggerations and slight untruths and culminating in out-right lies or intentional misunderstandings. That’s how we play during the elections. Pouncing on the ‘Lipstick on a Pig‘ fiasco is one example (which McCain himself has said a number of times.)

Which brings me to Flip-Flopping, or Changing Your Mind, as I like to call it. Somehow, that is the worst thing a candidate can do. But how can a potential VP and P work together on a campaign if they can’t discuss their differences and come to some compromises and resolutions about how to support each other? And why is that a bad thing? Isn’t that what we all should be doing? Figuring out how to come together and work together and get this government changing towards what we all need: a stronger and safer economy, a better heath care system, a better foreign policy with improved relations with our allies? I think the belief that we have to all believe the exact same thing to be in a political party or the exact opposite of the other party is short-sighted and does nothing to bring this country together.

Cynthia at Don’t Gel Too Soon is hopping mad about so much attention to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and thinks it’s a dangerous diversion in such an important election:

This is an argument for a change of focus. As I began to write it all I could think about was the Wizard of Oz, the fake behind the curtain who had everyone believing he could save them all. When he finally presented gifts to all but Dorothy, it sounded horrifyingly like the tactics of the current “wizard,” nominee Palin, and her boss. I am as angry and uneasy as anyone over the nomination of Sarah Palin but I think it’s time to stop now.

And Amy at Up With Moms, wonders if there could be an upside to Sarah Palin being on the ticket, though I don’t think she’s holding her breath:

Fast-forward to a McCain/Palin administration. Will this administration recognize the impossibilities of trying to balance work and family? Will they fight for desperately-needed policies like paid family leave, flexible work policies and affordable childcare? Really? The mom who gave a speech and then flew home while in labor? The woman who gave birth and was back to work three days later? Clearly here’s a working mom who’s figured out the balance thing — she was a city councilwoman, mayor and Governor all while raising a beautiful family of five. If she’s figured out how to do it all without all of those costly policies, this administration is sure to argue, then surely you can too!

I could make this a post with many more links, but you get the idea. More than ever, it feels like women who purposely steered clear of the political scene before have been pushed or had some life experience to make them come out and say, “I’m mad as hell and I AM going to talk about my political views, even if you don’t like them!”

There’s an urgency in many of these posts, one that says to me we are all concerned, regardless of political party, about what happens to all of us on November 5, when all the votes (hopefully) will be counted and we all have to look at each other and say, ‘Where do we go from here?’

It’s an interesting time to be a political mom. And I couldn’t be more excited that so many of us are getting in on the act.

Cross-posted from BlogHer, where PunditMom is a Contributing Editor for Politics & News.

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