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The alphabet of issues
Every reason from A to Z to keep McCain and Palin out of the White House

By Ellen Snortland

As Sen. Hillary Clinton so brilliantly put it, voting McCain/Palin to the top executive jobs and expecting "change" is akin to "asking the iceberg to save the Titanic." Personally, I can't afford four more years of steeply declining income, rapidly rising prices, the Wall Street debacle, the climate crisis, helping out at least 3 destitute loved ones too under-insured (or not insured at all) to be sick, and the tragedy of being at war. As a gender and human rights activist, a Republican victory would create such a reversal of my entire life's work, I am sleepless thinking about what a shipwreck a G.O.P. win could be.

Where do you stand with this alphabet of issues?

A is for "abortion," which will be criminalized (prison for doctors and self-aborting women, anyone?) under another Republican term;

B   is for a "Bush" administration extended. Republicans will not change anything with a McCain/Palin regime except for the puppets on the White House stage;

C   is for "cowards," a deserved label for the McCain/Palin team avoiding issues, declining interviews or dodging debates;

D   is for "Down Syndrome," flaunted with an innocent infant at the RNC convention as a crass campaign gimmick and mascot for anti-choice;

E    is for "Equal Pay," a fundamental notion of gender fairness that McCain voted against. Will they offer Palin 78 cents on every dollar that former male Veeps earned?

F    is for "four more years" of "foreclosures" and "Fannie Mae" and "Freddie Mac" bailouts;

G   is for "gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender." GLBT folks who vote for the "G.O.P." ticket endorse a party that proposes a constitutional amendment to ban their right to marry and create a family. Palin believes GLBTs are possessed by demons;

H   is for " humungous humiliating hypocrisy." Why does a party that touts individual responsibility and smaller government consistently undermine domestic and international family planning, fight gay rights or "harangue" anyone else about private matters?

I    is for the "Iraq invasion," squandering lives and the treasury for empty reasons. It's also for "Iran," the country Republican war-mongers are "itching" to "incinerate;"

J    is for "Justices" of the Supreme Court whose LIFELONG appointments will wreak havoc on civil rights, reproductive justice, labor unions and the stability of the middle class for decades;

K   is for "Are you Kidding?" Gov. Palin is no more a feminist than Justice Clarence Thomas is a civil rights worker;

L    is for "local librarian." Gov. Palin, while Mayor of Wasilla, fired the librarian for refusing to agree to ban books in the library; Palin reinstated her after citizens threatened to have Palin recalled - the books stayed on the shelves;

M   is for "mind your own business!" What part of "separation of church and state" did so many Republicans "miss"? Creationism, school prayer, private school vouchers, faith based programs, sex education, book banning all have religious implications in the public sphere;

N   is for "ninety per cent," the percentage of times that so-called "maverick" McCain voted with lame duck and lame brain Bush;

O   is for "oil." Gov. Palin is all drill, drill, drill while our addiction to petroleum has got to end, or else;

P   is for "Polar," as in "ice caps" that are melting at a crisis rate, and "bears," animals that Gov. Palin sued the U.S. to remove from the endangered list so they could be murdered with impunity;

Q   is for "quality," something that is increasingly missing from poor and middle-class family time and lives;

R   is for "rifle," an item that Palin cares about more than she does animals;

S   is for "social security," one of the pillars of the New Deal targeted to be gutted with another Republican administration. "Shopping carts" will become more people's only vehicle;

T    is for "terror" and "torture." Ask yourself honestly if we've gained any ground on the so-called "war" on terror. Also, is it OK with you that McCain has betrayed his own stand on torture and the Geneva Convention?

U   is for "universal health-care." Forget it if McCain/Palin win. How many of us are a mere job loss, accident or illness away from bankruptcy and/or homelessness? I am;

V   is for "Viagra," which McCain thinks is appropriately covered under health insurance unlike simple birth control pills or devices;

W is for "wolves & wildlife," precious, living creatures that Palin enjoys slaughtering from the air;

X   is for "XX," the chromosome marker for femaleness but also for "double cross," something that women are just as able to do as men. Palin is a threat to peaceful human progress, not only feminist values. Feminism never said that women are superior to men. Therefore, an XX human has the right and potential to be just as fanatic, demonic, double-crossing, cruel, short-sighted, greedy and bigoted as any XY human;

Y   is for "Yellow journalism," the consistent color of much of our mainstream media;

Z    is for "zoos," the only place you will see polar bears, wolves or caribou if Gov. Palin has her way.

Ellen Snortland teaches a writing workshop in Altadena. Contact her at

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