Hockey, abortion, book bans - oh my!

Of all people who could be one heartbeat away from running our country, I cannot think of anyone more unqualified or dangerous than Sarah Palin. I'm really not sure what scares me more: Palin's lack of experience involving foreign policy, her lack of knowledge on any sort of fiscal policy, or her reactionary social views.

Palin tries to portray herself as a typical hockey mom, not someone who you would expect to see in politics. Well, listening to her talk about politics makes her sound like a typical hockey mom - the only difference being Palin is currently being considered for the second highest office in America.

Recent interviews have shown that Palin doesn't have a plan for Iraq, she doesn't know what she would do about potential problems with Iran and North Korea, but hey - at least you can see Russia from an island off Alaska! According to Palin, that's all the foreign policy experience you need to be vice president.

Then, there's Palin's Gestapo-esque approach to social issues. Palin claims to be a great advocate for "special needs" children because she has an infant son with Down Syndrome. When Palin's vice presidential opponent, Sen. Joe Biden, claimed that she does not care about special needs children because of her opposition to stem cell research, he was absolutely right.

Stem cell research could potentially cure several disorders that people are born with, including Down syndrome; not to mention other diseases and conditions that stem cell research could potentially cure. Maybe when her child gets older, Palin will realize that her opposition to stem cell research is harming the chance to make life better for millions of Americans stricken with diseases.

While she was mayor of Wasilla, Ala., Palin tried to have certain books removed from the public library. When the librarian refused, Palin had her removed until public outcry forced Palin to allow the librarian to keep her job. Imagine if the government could actually put restrictions on what you can and cannot read, and remove dissenters from their jobs. Scary.

When it comes to abortion and a woman's right to choose, Palin feels that the only time abortion should be legal is if the mother's life is in danger. She does not think that an abortion is appropriate even in the case of rape. If a woman goes through something that traumatic, she should be able to choose what is best for her. I wonder if Palin would have the same views if one of her daughters were put into that situation.

Palin is also a firm believer in abstinence-only sex education. As the mother of a 17-year-old pregnant, unmarried daughter, Palin's message obviously wasn't followed in her own home. Somehow she thinks that telling young people to not have sex is better than teaching about birth control and other measures of STD prevention.

Finally, as students we all should be very wary of Palin. She advocates having teacher-led prayer in public schools. She also is a staunch supporter of teaching intelligent design. If Palin and other "Hypo-Christians" want to teach their own children about intelligent design, that's fine. If they want to pray together, that's fine too. Just don't force a teacher to lead a class at a public school in prayer. Schools are for education, not religious brainwashing.

Sean Kaplan is a senior political science major who secretly agrees those pesky librarians should be fired, and possibly deported to Russia.