A Hockey Mom’s Breakaway

Kristen - Falmouth, Maine
Entered on October 3, 2008

I am a hockey mom.

That means I spend a lot of time lacing skates, sitting in a chilly ice arena, cheering for my sons and their teammates, and talking with other hockey moms – and dads – about hockey and life.

The hockey moms and dads that I know care about quality public education, affordable health care, caring well for aging parents, and making a decent living. They work hard to provide for their families, and spend most of their free time with their children, volunteering in our schools and coaching kids on the field or in the rink. As parents, we hope that hockey will give our kids a chance to develop a skill, learn about teamwork, and mature into courteous winners and gracious losers.

These are the universal desires of parents across our country. They are not unique to hockey parents, or to my town, or Maine, or the Northeast. These are the things about which all hockey moms could agree.

In this election cycle, the Republicans, specifically Governor Sarah Palin, have claimed ownership of the “hockey mom” moniker. They presume that all hockey moms support their game plan for America. However, this hockey mom disagrees with just about every play in their book. That’s why I am reclaiming the title of hockey mom for all of the women who share the view from my seat in the arena.

In politics, as in hockey, there are red lines and blue lines. Some plays put us in the neutral zone. Others will force a face-off on November 4. In marked contrast to the beliefs of Gov. Palin, I believe:

• We should invest in alternative energy, not continue our dependence on foreign and domestic oil, which has weakened our economy, drained our wallets, and driven our country’s disastrous foreign policy agenda.

• We should take immediate action to reduce climate change, not pretend that we as humans have not contributed to it.

• We should protect the natural resources that make our nation so astounding, not drill for diminishing fossil fuels at the cost of wilderness and animal life.

• We should keep our government separate from our religious life, not link civic infrastructure projects or foreign military action to God’s will.

• We should preserve freedom of speech, not ban books that contain an opinion with which we disagree.

• We should provide women with equal pay for equal work, not forget that women still earn seventy-five cents for every dollar earned by men.

• We should defend a woman’s right to make choices about her own body, especially in the deplorable cases of rape and incest, not eliminate it.

• We should teach our children about their bodies and about making healthy, safe, responsible choices, not preach only abstinence.

• We should encourage stem-cell research, not diminish hope for a cure for the diseases that ravage millions of lives.

We need a line change in Washington. We’re not going to accomplish these goals with John McCain and Sarah Palin. We can get there with leaders like Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House. This is the forward line we need: Obama on center, Biden on wing. This is the all-star team that will execute a power play for America.