Reason #39: Sarah Palin’s Passport

Or lack of it.

Really now?  She didn’t get her first passport until 2006 (or, some say, 2007)?  And this woman is potentially going to be our Vice President?

Here’s why this matters: having a passport is not a sign of being financially well-off, from some sort of privileged background (as Palin tried to explain things to Katie Couric).  For some it might be, sure, but for most I would argue, its a sign of curiosity about the world.  Its about considering oneself not just a citizen of Alaska or Colorado or the USA, but a citizen of the world.

To be a global citizen as well as an American citizen is to understand that we all share the same planet, that we have something to learn from people everywhere, and that the best way to make sense of the world is to get out and see it—-to travel one’s own state, one’s own country, and, yes, the world.

There are all sorts of ways to do this on the cheap.  It doesn’t need to be expensive.  Gearing oneself up for a backpacking trip anywhere in the world is surely less than the cost of one’s permits and gear for a good, long hunting season.  Its all about how you choose to spend your money.

Granted the world has changed a bit lately.  In earlier times, we didn’t need passports to go to certain countries.  New England youth hockey used to be full of team exchange trips with other teams, including in Canada.  Load everyone up in the station wagon or van and head north.  Passports not required.

What happened off the ice was more important than what happened on it.  Staying up late to eat pizza or poutine; cracking jokes from one’s sleeping bag; seeing what Saturday morning cartoons they watched in the great white north—shortening the cultural gap between here and there.  This is what travel is about.

Travel breaks down barriers.  Travel builds bridges across countries.  Travel builds friendships.  Travel directly counters the sort of fear and xenophobia underlying some of the support for Palin.  None of this is productive for our country, and certainly not for hockey.  Just think of the many amazing players in the NHL with roots outside the USA.  You better bet they all have passports.

I want my President and VP to get this.  I want them to know personally why travel matters.  I expect them to know the world, and by knowing the world through their own experience, to thus better be able to know the USA and thus better be able to govern this country.

This is just one of many reasons I’m voting for Barack Obama for President–2008.

–Carole, mother to two, Gunbarrel, Colorado

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One Response to “Reason #39: Sarah Palin’s Passport”

  1. Reason #10: He’s Hip to Anthropology « Hockey Moms for Obama Says:

    […] here’s to a revitalized American built not on fear of the world, or being “dense to other cultures,” but to knowing, appreciating, and cooperating with […]

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