Friday, September 5, 2008

Is Sarah Palin being faithful in the small things?

Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, has five children, all but the eldest under the age of eighteen. Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, is pregnant, and a teenager. Bristol is having her baby – a good thing, for, moral issues apart, in my experience one mourns a child even if it drops out of one's belly of its own accord. Bristol's baby father, Levi Johnston, is also a teenager, a self-described "redneck" who doesn't "want kids". So here's the situation: Bristol Palin, a child, albeit a sexually active one, is having a baby for another child, Levi Johnston, who doesn't want children. That's a complex, complicated, challenging situation in any family, and one that's certainly not solved by the teenage parents getting married. There are two other daughters in the Palin family: Willow is thirteen and Piper is seven. Mrs Palin's baby, Trig, has Downs syndrome. Barack Obama may have decided that the whole matter is off limits for discussion as an issue in his campaign, which is more evidence of the decency of the man, but I'm not running for anything, and so I'm free to say my say. The Palin family is in trouble, no question. What would I do if I were the mum? Do some self-searching about why my eldest daughter is making a baby at seventeen, and for a young man who doesn't want babies. (That's a big thing. Children need to be wanted, and if Levi Johnston doesn't want babies, he probably shouldn't be marrying Bristol or anyone else likely to give him one.) I'd be wondering whether, with the challenge of a little son with Downs syndrome, and the responsibilities of an onerous job, I'll be able to devote enough time to my other two daughters, give Bristol the support she certainly needs, and continue to nurture my relationship with my husband – not to forget my eldest child, about to be deployed to Iraq, and no doubt in need of lots of reassurance and advice, never mind his age. My uncle used to say that to love a person is to act always in such a way as to ensure the well being of that person. I can't for the life of me see how accepting the Vice-Presidential nomination is the best thing for the Palin family at this time. Maybe next time around, or the time after that, but not now. And if Sarah Palin can't act in the best interests of her family, well… I am reminded of Luke 16;10 “He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much.” And, truth to tell, I don’t think by any means that Mrs Palin’s family situation is a small thing…

9 comments:

FSJL said...

Why the young Ms Palin was not aware of methods of preventing conception was the first thing on my mind. My sons certainly are (and had better take advantage of them; they have educations to complete). But I don't believe that ignorance is protection, and Governor Palin appears to do so.

What appalls me, is the rank hypocrisy that's been emanating from the Xtian right -- how good it is that they're getting married, that she didn't have an abortion and so on. Conveniently forgotten are all the strictures against premarital sex, and all the claims that abstinence-only education will promote sexual abstinence. In a pig's eye it will. A great poet warned against 'the unco guid and the rigidly righteous' and we should take that warning to heart.

djm said...

It's disgraceful that these two teenagers are being forced (for that I believe is the case) to marry for the sake of political expediency.

This reflects the hypocrisy, not only of Sarah Palin, but the entire Republican Party. Rather than allowing her daughter to decide what is best, for herself and her soon-to-be child, Palin would rather force her daughter's future for the sake of her (Palin's) career. I suspect that if this coupling lasts for the life of the presidential campaign and then ends, Mrs Palin would not be unduly distressed.

In terms of the Republican Party political expediency has always been SOP. Rather than deal with the underlying problem, they, instead opt for a cosmetic fix. The many examples of Bush "optics" regarding the war in Iraq, that assured us that the war had been "won" (rather than withdraw troops when they realized they had no chance at "winning"), coupled with the various scandals (sexual and otherwise) that have recently plagued the Republican party, prove this. Long before Mark Foley was "outed" the Republican Party was aware of his predilection for young boys, yet they did nothing, maintaining his façade of an honest, dedicated public servant. He became a casualty only after the case grew to the point where the party could no longer contain it or deny it.

Given this, I have no faith in either Sara Palin or the Republican party We are in tumultuous times, dealing with problems that have faced no other potential administration. To elect a party that substitutes superficial change for systemic change is ludicrous and ultimately detrimental.

Mrs Palin, your rhetoric may be well packaged and you say your lines convincingly, however your actions do not correspond.

To demand that these two young people marry is to offer up your daughter and unborn grandchild on the altar of your own ambition. That is not Christian, it is wrong.

clarabella said...

fsjl: Let's put this in perspective: Young people have sex and make babies. Everywhere in the world. Tragic but true. Ms Palin isn't the first and won't be the last, never mind the (not-quite almighty) prophylactic. Responsible parents have been handling this situation in sensitive ways since forever. What gets to me is the hypocrisy, as you say, a double-blindedness as broad and deep as ever could be imagined. Were this any 'ordinary mother', you and I know that chances are she would be read out of her church, or challenged about her fornicating daughter, at the least. Were she the Democratic Presidential nominee (absent the gun, I'd hope), you can imagine what the Republican spin on this would be! This whole affair trivializes the serious business of citizens of the USA electing persons to its highest governmental offices. I hope Americans can penetrate this wily obfuscation.

FSJL said...

I don't know how much American television you watch up there in the Frozen North, but here the right wing media has basically crowned Ms Palin the queen of middle-class family normality. The contortions that have been produced, the hypocrisies uttered would make a car salesman sick.

Jdid said...

its all a big crock. i concur that keeping the baby is a good thing but forcing a marriage into it is silly just to keep up appearances.

If this was a democratic nominee the right would be going off about the premarital sex,the lack of parental guidance, the quickee marriage and asking how can someone who cant control/govern their household be expeected to govern the country.its so hypocritical to make it look like Palin is cool when if she was from the other side she would be soundly trashed.

Ruthibelle said...

lol@hypocrisies that would make a car salesman sick...

Politics is always tricky business. Palin is playing the part she's been scripted, as are the unfortunate young'uns...

clarabella said...

Hi DJM:

I think that just bout says it. By coupling the packaging of Mrs Palin's woes (so that it comes out as Sarah's Saving Family Values) with Bush's optics re the Iraq war, you make it clear that it hardly matters WHAT the Republican spinners are spinning. Who cares abut the lives being sacrificed? So Bristol and Levi and the wee babe get shoved into an unhappy alliance! So what? So a few thousand American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, woman and children get killed. Who cares? I agree the times are tumultuous. What scares me most is that the Republicans, in their mad rush to find a woman candidate for the ticket, could find no one more experienced and more fit, by reason of her life circumstances, to undertake the job. That is pretty scary!

clarabella said...

Hi jdid:

It sure is a crock. Fornication is fine, if it's the daughter of the Republican Vice Presidential candidate who's doing the nasty, and if she's going to keep the baby! Any balanced person would have to admit that were the elephant's shoe on the donkey's foot, it would be a horse of a totally different colour! (I couldn't resist that!) Let's hope that the American people aren't fooled by this wanton foolishness!

clarabella said...

Hi Ruthibelle:

Thanks for visiting all the way from Jamdown. Come again! Yes, fsjl's typified it well. (Read Geoff Philp's interview with him on Geoffrey's blog then read his poems on Stanmore Hill. He's a multilingual political scientist with a ready turn of phrase.) What is worrying is that the cooked-up combination of Fran the Nanny's Big Hair, Annie Get Your Gun and Little House on the Prairie, never mind the illicit sex on the side, is going to distract Americans from the collapse of Fannie and Freddie, economic woes and the two illicit wars. God help us all! He better!