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Bachmann 2012? Not If I Can Help It

July 1, 2011

During the 1992 presidential election my class got to vote. I was one of two people who voted for Bill Clinton, and I’m pretty sure my cousin was the other. A few months later I told my mother that I was going to be the first woman president, and that when (not if) I was elected I’d cure AIDS and “make taxes go away”. For the record, I was eight. All these years later, I do want to assure you, I understand that being president is much more complex.

Ten years later, on my 18th birthday the first thing I did was go to Town Hall so that I could register to vote. The following year, I went to college and decided to major in Political Science. I joined the Kerry campaign as a volunteer and never looked back. To date my biggest political heart break is a tie between an early morning in November 2004 when I stood in Copley Square at a “victory rally” steadfast in my belief that John Kerry would be our next president and the Spring of 2008 when I realized Hillary Clinton would not be the Democratic nominee for president. If I won’t be the first woman president, then I certainly am on board with electing Hillary Clinton to that spot.

I do not have the same feelings, however, about Michele Bachmann. In fact I think Vanessa at, my ever beloved, Feministing said it best with her headline, “Why there is no way in hell Michele Bachmann can become America’s first woman president”.  I repeat: No. Way. In. Hell. We’ve been having quite the discussion among the writers at Politics Power Sex about what exactly scares us the most and it seems what it boils down to is her fanatic and uncompromising dedication to the most radically right-wing and conservative tenets of her religion.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying that someone who is dedicated to their religion and it’s espousing values is scary. Religion and dedication to that religion can be a beautiful, wonderful, therapeutic belief for some people.  My problem with Michele Bachmann’s stance on religion is that she truly and completely believes that we all should live under the law of her God, her Bible, and her beliefs. As a Rolling Stone article pointed out, “Bachmann seems so unduly obsessed with Shariah law that, after listening to her frequent pronouncements on the subject, one begins to wonder if her crazed antipathy isn’t born of professional jealousy.”

And I have to say, if her God believes, among many other horrible things, that the LGBTQ community is in need of religious counseling to “ungay” themselves, that certain races and cultures should not be allowed to participate in politics, and that women should be submissive vessels, than quite frankly that’s no God I want to live under or believe in. I am the first to admit that religion just isn’t my thing, but when I attended a religious elementary school, they taught us that we should love everyone as if they were our sisters and brothers. I wasn’t told I needed to pick and choose based on sexual orientation or culture. I was told that all God’s creatures were created equally, and that God was forgiving, loving, and understanding. If I have to live under or believe in any kind of God, that’s the God I choose.

And so it makes me wonder, can we, would we, really elect a president who is so unabashedly bigoted? And better yet, can we really elect a president who would seemingly throw out our Constitution for the Holy Bible? The history of our nation is rich and entrenched in the battle for equality. It is a battle we continue to fight everyday against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, xenophobia, classism, bodily autonomy, and even political and religious affiliation. And while electing a woman president may be one step in the right direction, Michele Bachmann is exactly the last person in the world who should be considered for the seat in 2012. While my scope was severely limited, albeit unrealistic, I think when I was 8 I had a better handle on what people needed from their president then she does now, or ever will.

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