Governor Sarah Palin is taking a bus tour. No one knows whether she's running for president or not, but over the last week she took part in Rolling Thunder, the Gettysburg battlefield and visited the National Archives, among other stops. It's great that she is going to America's heritage settings, but there are other stops I would like Governor Palin's bus tour to make. Here are 5 suggestions:
1. I would like her to see the Walter Reed Medical Center. There, she can see Army medicine at its best, as well as talk to our wounded soldiers, some of whom only have one remaining limb. It is sobering to see our wounded and also amazing to see how much energy the military spends on helping our wounded warriors survive and thrive. She could also take a paired stop at any food pantry for homeless Americans and free clinics that provide care for the over 15 percent of Americans who have no healthcare. With the hoards of press following Governor Palin, this would shine the spotlight on the almost 17 percent of Americans without health insurance.
2. It would be great if the bus stopped at the Alderson Federal Prison for Women and spoke to many of the women who had the misfortune of being involved with a man who is dealing drugs. Many of these women have had abuse histories and were caught in a web with a conspiracy charge because of their abusive boyfriends' criminal behavior. PA few other stops Governor Palin could make would be for the tomato pickers in Immokalee, Fla. Many of those workers are documented, some are not, but by talking with the workers, Governor Palin will be able to grasp a deeper understanding of some of the migrant workers' issues.
3. The last two stops I would like to see Governor Palin's bus make are to visit an inner city school, especially one where there are few resources due to poor tax base, that has been a problem. It would be great for Palin to talk with teachers and students, as well as parents, who have no other options but these inner city schools.
4. Finally, it would be great for Governor Palin to walk through some of the country's ethnic neighborhoods and talk to many first generation Americans.
I'm a liberal who has had my personal experience expanded by my contact with the military and conservative ideology. Meeting people always changes someone's experience. I think it's wonderful that Governor Palin is tipping her hat to our heritage and I'm hoping that her bus tour expands to respond to an America that has changed greatly in the last 40 years.
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.