The Palins are coming! The Palins are coming! News that the former half-term governor of Alaska was hitting the East Coast set off a firestorm of speculation about her presidential ambitions. In fact, it might have just as much to do with her television ambitions. Not to be outdone by the her fellow reality show star and non-candidate Donald Trump (whom she met with at Trump Towers), she decided to blast her way back into the headlines with a tour "highlighting the great things about America."
Forget for a moment that the protagonist of this "One Nation" is married to a man who was part of a secessionist party in Alaska. I think it's great that she's visiting the National Archive; right-wingers should read the Constitution more carefully. And I hope she makes it to New Hampshire, if only to prove she knows better than the Tea Party's other featured female, Michele Bachmann, who declared that the Revolutionary Battles of Lexington and Concord took place in the Granite State.
But while you're at it, Half-Governor (I believe that's the appropriate honorific title for someone of esteemed office who dropped out midterm), here are a few other places you can visit to truly celebrate America.
1. Vermont: A state that just voted for single-payer healthcare would have a lot to teach this conservative visitor. She'd learn about organic farming, sustainable living and how libertarian attitudes actually promote tolerance. Plus she'd see a mostly-white, northern climate state that doesn't rely on the level of government welfare that keeps her state afloat.
2. Sesame Place: If she can make it to Gettysburg, she can hit Langhorne, PA on her way back to pay a visit to those lovable Muppets who have taught generations to read, be kind to friends and strangers and to show compassion to the world. Ideally, Palin would be transported to Sesame Street itself where lessons of diversity, inclusion and creativity would showcase the "Real America" she is always so proud to boast about. I'm not saying she needs a reading lesson (that would be a different VP candidate from a couple decades ago) but that she could learn a bit about making friends. Of course, if her party has its way, funding to public broadcasting would be slashed, and Sesame Street would be another Skid Row as the Muppets realize the bum mortgages on their homes and trashcans have left them underwater.
3. Christopher Street: The Stonewall Riots kicked off the modern gay rights movement in 1969. One of the qualities that makes America great is not that we began perfect, but that our historical trajectory has led to greater rights and enfranchisement. Emancipation, women's suffrage, civil rights are all proud moments of our history - and in a generation, schoolchildren will look back and marvel that there was a time we didn't treat our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as equal. Public opinion has been shifting toward equality, even among Republicans, and Sarah Palin should come to the symbolic start of the movement to show that she stands with all Americans and we are truly One Nation.
I'm sure we could easily think of more, but I want to give her time to see the traditional sights as well…like the Statue of Liberty, whose engraving invites "your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shore"…a message she could bring back to her newly adopted state of Arizona.
Justin Krebs is a political organizer and writer based in New York City. He is the founder of Living Liberally, a nationwide network of 250 local clubs that create social events around progressive politics, and author of "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal."