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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Playing the gender card

In making her first public remarks today as John McCain's running mate, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin praised, as trailblazers for women in politics, both Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic nominee for V.P. in 1984, and Hillary Clinton, who finished second in this year's race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"The women of America ... can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all," Palin said of the possibility that she could win the second-highest office in the land in the November election and become the first female ever elected to a national post.

In essence, her message - largely to the XX-chromosome half of the electorate - was "Vote for our ticket because I'm a woman."

How unbelievably sexist.

Voting for someone solely because of their gender is as bad as voting against someone solely because of their gender. Likewise, voting for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama simply because he's black would be as racist as voting against him simply because he's black.

Candidates should be judged - and then either accepted or rejected - solely on the grounds of their qualifications. Genitalia and skin color have no impact on a person's ability to hold office.



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