The market dropped 500 points today, my professional alma mater Merrill Lynch is being bought/bailed out, and because I own Merrill stock, our net worth is not what it was a year ago...
So let's talk about Sarah Palin.
Isn't that a bit trivial, you ask.
I initially thought so, and started to write a different post, but changed my mind.
Will you you hear me out?
Which made me wonder -- are we voting for a political candidate, or an archetype?
If I'm honest -- both.
So as an archetypal figure, here's why I think I like her so much.
The cynical part of me knows John McCain chose Sarah Palin because she expanded his pool of potential votes, but her being where she is validates me and many other conservative women nonetheless. Here's why:
1) There's now a huge cohort in our country that can say, if Sarah Palin can be chosen so can I; my husband doesn't even have to be president first. It's not that we want to be president per se, it just feels good to know that if we work really hard, and get a little lucky, we too can have our very own American dream. We couldn't say that before.
2) In Sarah Palin, we see a woman who is happily married, happily a mother, with children who are not perfect. As she owns her choice, she validates ours.
3) And as we watch Sarah Palin attend to her relationships AND to her identity, embarking on the Psyche-like journey of learning to achieve goals and accomplish tasks, we believe we can too. While I undoubtedly simplified this, Sarah Palin appears to be a both/and woman. She may be quite harried at the moment, but it is unlikely she's desperate and depressed.
If I didn't share her political views, it would likely be different (e.g. I could identify with Nancy Pelosi), but I can't separate that out.
So, why talk about Sarah Palin on a day when the stockmarket has been routed?
Because when we're a little bit scared the best thing we can do is to redouble our dreaming.
There are many ways for a country to be under attack; we were again reminded of this last week (9/11). But the most important attacks can come from within. When the financial markets swoon, and we wonder if there will be enough, it is easy to let fear hold sway, to let our dreams die. When we do that, the enemy wins.
Sarah Palin reminds us that the American dream -- our dreams -- are alive and well.
On a day like today, that's money in the bank.