The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Dear Alaska

3 min read


Dear Alaska:

In the years of your statehood, the lower 48 have, in large part, ignored you. It’s sad, but it’s true—your politics were just never important on the national scene. We never considered you a battleground state, and everyone assumed you were red through and through. You were silent much of the time, and you didn’t cause much trouble.
And then John McCain nominated Sarah Palin.

Back then, we didn’t know much about her because, as I said, Alaskan politics just weren’t on the front of our minds. We assumed McCain appointed her because she’s a woman, and we figured she’d be another typical Republican, making it harder for the Democrats to take back this election. We worried Hillary Clinton supporters would change camps because now, instead of one historic ticket against an old white guy, we had an African-American on one ticket and a woman on the other. We had a choice to make, and we thought Sarah Palin was going to make it harder.

Alaska, thank you for Sarah Palin. Without her on the Republican ticket, Tuesday’s election would not have been possible.

It was like Geraldine Ferraro all over again—she jazzed the base, and then the scandals started. Except, while Ferraro’s were a small question of family finances and didn’t cause her to act with deceptive intent, Sarah Palin’s scandals, well…

It started with “Troopergate.” Investigations were opened. Reports were filed. The first finding showed Palin’s ethics violations, and the second declared her exonerated. But the question still lingered.

And then there were other questions. How much did Sarah Palin spend on clothing and hair styles, and who exactly paid for it? What exactly happened with the building of her house? Why wouldn’t she release her medical records?

And they were all valid questions.

Was Sarah Palin just unqualified to run the country if need be, as 60 percent of Americans agreed according to exit polls, or was she actively manipulating the finances of Alaska and the country for her own gain? And what exactly was she hiding in her medical records—something that would prevent her from leading or something that reveals her as a hypocrite?

We appreciate the boost she gave to Obama’s campaign, but the fight isn’t over yet. The questions are still unanswered.

We’re counting on you to give us the answers, Alaska.

You gave her to us for this election, and we’re considering you responsible for her. This is unquestionably a woman of great ambition, and if she is considering another run in national politics any time soon, we need to know the answers.

Ted Stevens is another politician you’ve given us, Alaska. You let him serve in the Senate for six terms, allowed him to become the longest-serving Republican senator, and let him serve as the President pro tempore, and then he was convicted on seven counts of felony for failing to disclose gifts.

To make matters worse, while many absentee and early ballots have not been counted yet, and you probably won’t have a final decision for more than a week, he has a single-digit lead over Democratic challenger Mark Begich.

Alaska, Ted Stevens is a convicted felon, and you’re electing him to another term in office.

Now, in case you’ve forgotten, dear state, felons are not allowed to vote and they surely face expulsion if actually elected to the Senate. With the Democratic majority and three more seats up for grabs for the Democrats, expulsion is not an unlikely result.

Now, I know you just want to be heard finally. I know, we’ve ignored you for too long, and you’re getting your revenge with Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens. But is this really the mature way to go about it?

Sarah Palin helped us more than hurt us. Obama did win the election, after all. Additionally, Ted Stevens is on his way out.

If it makes you feel better, Alaska, we’re sorry. We apologize for ignoring you for so long and we promise we’ll make an effort to pay more attention to you.

Now, really, it’s time to take back Ted and Sarah.

The lower 48

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