Don't know if the Spec is going to publish it, at this point. But I submitted this earlier this week. I think they may be all "Palined out".
The Case for Sarah Palin
The irony appears to be lost on most critics. They object to Sarah Palin appearing at a fundraiser for a publicly-funded hospital, because she is opposed to Canadian-style socialized medicine. Shouldn't the very idea of a $200.00 per plate dinner in support of the original beneficiaries, St. Peter's Hospital and the Juravinski Cancer Centre, suggest that Ms. Palin might have some valid criticisms of an underfunded health care system?
This might have been the most bewildering criticism of Sarah Palin's pending visit, if it weren't that other arguments against are even more bizarre. First, there is the suggestion that her Hamilton event is inappropriate because the city boasts five "social-democratic" legislators, by which I am assuming is meant the five New Democrats representing Hamilton ridings in the House of Commons and at Queen's Park. Since when does the makeup of our local parliamentary delegations dictate who is welcome and not to speak in our city? If that's the case, do David Sweet, Tim Hudak, Dean Allison, Ted McMeekin and Sophia Aggelonitis , all apparently, "non social-democrats", get to huddle to select the next charity speaker?
Secondly, there is this idea that Ms. Palin's beliefs, be it on same sex marriage, abortion, public health care do not reflect core Canadian values. Is this to suggest that we stifle all opinion, to the point of not welcoming differing point of views, if that opinion is A: foreign, and B: not consistent with what a show of hands might suggest? This type of intolerance reminds me of the dark days of political correctness in my university undergraduate days of the early nineties. It's one of the basic tenets of free speech; one needs dissenting viewpoints to challenge if one is going to make the claim about the validity of one's own.
Telling also is the tone with which critics in these pages have attacked Ms. Palin. Seemingly unable to articulate any serious objection to her speaking in Hamilton, they have denigrated her personally, likening her to Paris Hilton or suggesting that her visit is an "early April Fool's joke". This type of invective suggests to me that the writers are more concerned about fulfilling a psychological need to feel smart by joining a the tired chorus of mainstream media ridicule of a conservative politician, rather than making a serious argument against her visit.
Having made a woefully inadequate case against Sarah Palin speaking at the now Charity of Hope fundraiser, critics might do well to consider the arguments in favour of her attending. She was a moderately successful Governor of the largest American state for three years. Her book, Going Rogue, is at or near the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. And, oh yes, she ran for Vice-President of the United States just over a year ago, only the second woman in the history of the country to seek that office. Palin may also be one of the front-runners to carry the Republican banner against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
Agree with her politics or not, but Sarah Palin is newsworthy for all the right reasons. There are no sex tapes, no allegations of infidelity and no criminal record. She is a woman who has made some noise in the arena of politics which, at the executive level in the United States, has heretofore been the almost exclusive domain of men. She has a story tell and it is one that is worth it for Hamiltonians to hear first hand on April 15th.
It will be a great evening for ticketholders to the event. Hopefully, it will be an even better evening for the Charity of Hope.