I will admit it. Sarah Palin is the type of person that irks me. Perhaps it's the "avid hunter, lifetime card-carrying NRA member," gun-touting image that makes my skin crawl. Maybe it's the way that she and McCain patronize Hillary supporters by kissing up to them, when in fact they have probably not much more in common than a skirt. Oops, on second thought, Hillary prefers pantsuits.
I don't need to go into this big discussion over experience and who has more and who has less. Yeah, Obama's resume of experience isn't exactly a mile long and it's fair game. So is Palin's and so are her politics. This isn't an "Obama-is-better-vote-for-him" post. What I intend to focus on is her ultra-conservative approach, how it relates to her family situation and how something like a teenage pregnancy can be used as political gain among people who are naive enough to buy it.
So Palin's 17 year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. In today's world, even in conservative Mormon country, I think most of us can get over the "shock." I've seen the best of parents lament over their teenage children's pregnancies.
According to ABC News, "Palin is an outspoken opponent of abortion, opposing the termination of a pregnancy in all cases except when the mother's life is in danger. Palin also opposed sexual education programs in schools, other than an abstinence-only curriculum, during her 2006 Alaska gubernatorial campaign."
So Bristol Palin decided to have sex. Is that her parents' fault? Probably not. But let's say she had decided to be responsible and wanted to make sure that it didn't lead to an unwanted (and certainly ill-timed, politically inconvenient) pregnancy. Was she being informed about how to use birth control at home? Certainly not from her mother. Was she getting it at school? Not if her mother had anything to say about it.
"Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist who leads an influential weekly meeting of conservatives, reacted to the news that Gov. Sarah Palin's, R-Alaska, 17-year old daughter plans to keep the baby and marry the father by saying that the GOP's pro-life base is "over the moon" because it re-enforces that the Palin family lives its pro-life values."
So now the pro-lifers are "over the moon" that a couple of 17 year-old kids are getting hitched and going to raise a baby happily-ever-after. "This is absolutely the best thing they could do," said Oklahoma delegate Angie LaPlante, 46, of Bristol Palin's decision to keep the baby. "This is the best thing, pro-life decision and it shows Palin is being supportive," she said. I just have to wonder: how "supportive" is Palin going to be when every-day Americans in their 40's and 50's, who don't live in a governor's mansion, are faced with the prospect of raising their grandkids? How "supportive" is she going to be when one sexually-ignorant generation living in an extremely sexualized society is irresponsibly giving birth to the next generation? How "supportive" is she going to be when America's girls develop cervical cancer later in life because they had never heard of the HPV virus, how to prevent it, or that there is a vaccine for it? How "supportive" is she going to be when more of America's teenagers are having babies because they weren't raised by parents who taught the value of abstinence and don't know how to use a condom?
I am also happy that Bristol "decided" to keep the baby. No, I don't think that abortion would have been right in her situation, unless she had been raped. Of course, though, her mother would have had something to say about that. But just how much of "Bristol's decision" was it? When your mother is running for VP on the GOP ticket, how do you say, "I want an abortion," (no, I'm NOT advocating that) or "I want to put this baby up for adoption," when you know the media is going to hound you, the baby, and any potential adoptive family. Yeah, I'm sure that Bristol really weighed all her many, many options.
I honestly wish Bristol Palin the best. The odds are stacked up against her big time, but maybe the father and her are a match made in Heaven and they will be able to provide their baby with everything that it deserves. Only time will tell, but my bet is that Sarah Palin is going to be raising her 6th child.
It's too bad really, that Obama's daughters aren't old enough to get pregnant and heroically raise their babies. The resulting enthusiasm from conservative Christians could have been enough for him to secure the presidency.
So if John McCain wins, he better throw Bristol Palin one heck of a baby shower.
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