As millions of Americans I have been reading much press concerning Sarah Palin’s qualifications to become vice president of the United States, and in an extreme case, president. To say I am appalled by John McCain’s choice is an understatement.

I do not care about her personal life, whether or not she has had an extra-marital affair, whether her 19-year-old son is or was addicted to anything, the situation in which her 17-year-old daughter finds herself, or any other nonsense. After all, people have led similar lives and gone on to greatness.

However, when a vice-presidential nominee knows nothing about U.S. foreign policy as evidenced by her interview with Charlie Gibson, when she claims to know all about Russia because she can see Russia from one of Alaska’s small Islands, when she takes credit for being against the “Bridge to Nowhere” after it has been documented she was mightily in favor of it, I take issue.

I am also against her strict interpretations of the religious right’s views on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. Although abortion is not probably something I would have ever considered for myself, I have a granddaughter and the thought of her having to endure a pregnancy due to something as evil as rape, incest, or a medical problem sends shivers through my body.

I bring these matters up because, should she assume the office of president, she would be the one to nominate future Supreme Court judges. What other of our rights would be taken away in the name of God’s will? And while I am on the subject, since when is our going to war fulfilling God’s will?

If we go back in recent history, we might remember Christie Whitman, a wife, mother, seasoned politician, who went to Washington after being governor of New Jersey. If Christie, with all her experience, couldn’t “get it together” enough to deal with the Washington bureaucracy, what makes a small-town mayor with less than two years as a governor believe she will be able to do any better?

We need someone in the second chair who knows what it is all about, not someone who thinks she knows.