home > nonfiction > articles and essays > buying sarah palin

Buying Sarah Palin | Part I

I'm trying to buy Sarah Palin. Actually, I'm trying to rent lovely Sarah and husband Todd for a few hours.

And, believe it or not, there's nothing nefarious about this: I'm not a lobbyist for health care or big tobacco or any of a hundred other special interests that fill political coffers, expecting a political payback. No, this is 100% legit. The ex-governor of Alaska has put herself up for auction on Ebay with proceeds to benefit Ride 2 Recovery (an organization dedicated to the health and wellness of wounded soldiers). I'm bidding to purchase a "DINNER FOR FIVE WITH SARAH PALIN". As the Ebay auction site says, "This is the chance of a lifetime." The event is to be four hours maximum, I'll provide my own transportation, and I'll pay for dinner. Hey, I'm fine with that. I'll even throw in a couple bottles of champagne. If Sarah or Todd like thrillers, I'll give 'em free copies of my first two. Signed. You betcha.

My bid was submitted Tuesday night. Within five minutes, I received a call from a super nice man representing Ride 2 Recovery asking if I was "for real". I guess since the minimum bid is $25,000, there are, as he indicated, ".a lot of nuts out there." While I'm sometimes kooky, I'm no nut. My bid is uber-sincere. Excuse me if I seem a little star-struck, but I find this tres cool (this is, after all, Sarah Palin, political superstar, ergo I'm permitted to be struck, okay?).

At first, I was nervous about a required background check. Here's where I thought it'd get a little interesting. Reason? For starters I voted for and contributed money to President Obama. However, that shouldn't eliminate me as being unsuitable "based on her (Sarah's) subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background, and other factors." If nothing else, however, I am 100% positive ex-Governor Palin would agree that political differences, especially as she has a son serving honorably in the service, shouldn't be placed in the way of raising money for veterans.

In that spirit, I pledge that when we meet, I'll be polite, respectful, professional, and as charming as an ordinary guy meeting an icon can be. If we get this done and Ms. Palin approves of my donation, I pledge here and now not to talk about her kids, Levi Johnson, Vanity Fair, The National Enquirer, or Katie Couric.

And, after all, when Governor Palin ran for national office, she was in line to become not just the Vice President of Republicans. She'd have been my Veep as well.

As it turns out, for whatever reasons, I was approved. My money's up there on Ebay, competing away with four others for the Palin dining rights. Go figure.

The twenty-five thousand dollar question now becomes: why would I want to have dinner with Ms. Palin? For starters, this country needs sit-downs and face-to-faces with people straddling different fences.

More to the point, though, there are important issues I'd like to discuss with Ms. Palin, issues that trouble me deeply. She has, I suspect, insights into these matters that are worth plumbing and worth paying for (please all, let's give her the benefit of the doubt); and though it may sound hyperbolic, my peace of mind is at stake.

There exists an emotional divide in this country that I've not experienced since I attended the University of California near the end of the Vietnam War. As a protester who took to the streets post the bombings of Cambodia and being tear-gassed on three occasions and nearly arrested twice, I was part of the schism that ripped apart our generation. While leaving scars that thickened the hearts of many from that era, the ending of the war allowed for a healing to begin. Painful, but now mostly a distant memory.

Today's rancor, however, troubles me more profoundly. Why? Maybe it's because I don't see a catalyst -- like the end to a tragic war -- that will magically lead us to end this political divide. Politically biased "news" channels, over-heated rhetoric by bloggers, and (in my view at least) the demise of investigative mainstream journalism and the role of Watergate -- like Fourth Estate, are here to stay. This period has more the odor of the Civil Rights debate that ripped apart the South during the administrations of President Kennedy and Johnson. A rift that has never been bridged.

How, I'll ask Ms. Palin, can we work together ("we" meaning not just her and me, but all people on both sides of the political fence) to begin to fix this? I'll ask her a few questions that might seem harsh, but aren't intended to offend -- after all, we must be honest, no? Do your regret saying several hundred times that our president "...palled around with terrorists..."? Do you really believe that providing health insurance to all Americans is socialism or fascism or Nazism or that there are truly 'death squads' in these proposals? I'll likely feel compelled to suggest that she doesn't, in her heart of hearts, actually believe any of these things (if she does, then this will give her a chance to educate and win me over). In any event, doesn't she think we should all tone down the rhetoric? Angry mobs and gun-toting advocates can't be in anyone's best interests.

I'd also suggest that she ix-nay the Glenn Beck recommendations: after all, the man called our president a "racist". Surely that's not a healing kind of thing to say; not to mention that for a half-white man raised by a white mother and grandmother, being labeled racist sounds on face absurd.

As Ms. Palin is a born-again Christian, maybe we'd begin dinner by reading Colossians 3:13:

Amen to that.

Now, all I have to do is figure out who to invite (the short list: Olbermann, Maddow, Shannyn Moore, and, of course, Bree Palin). Oh, and I wonder if the Palins like Mexican. Solving the political divide over nachos?

As it says on the auction page: Value: Priceless.

Read Part II