Sarah Palin’s Family

I want to scream at Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd Palin.  I want to know why they keep parading their infant son and their pregnant daughter before the television cameras?  Why isn’t the child in the hotel room asleep?  Why is he exposed to the germs, noise, television krieg lights, and being passed from arm to arm as if he is a sack of potatoes.  Why is her pregnant daughter brought out before the cameras as if she is a poster child for, instead of against, teenage pregnancy? 

Alright,  Sarah!  We get it.  We know your dear infant son has Down Syndrome.  We empathize with him, even though I am not sure how many of us empathize with you and Todd. 

Why?  Because this baby is going to have a life of challenges as he grows and tries to fight for his place in a cruel world.  His disability alone is enough for us to want to encircle him in a cocoon of care and protectiveness.  But your actions make it difficult for me to have any empathy for you. 

How many mothers would keep such a child on front and center stage as nothing more than a political slogan written on a huge banner on the stage at the Republican convention?  After the baby was introduced the first time, there is absolutely no need for you to keep harping about how you and Todd received blessings from what some may deem a misfortune. 

If you are trying to get sympathy, forget it.  You made your decision to bring your child to full term and, we, the public accept that.  Let it go.  There’s no need to keep hitting us over the head for the very private decision you made. 

 You are not the first or only mother who made a similar decision.  I have a number of friends who did the same.  They are not asking anyone for sympathy, nor have they asked us to give them a pat on the back.  Get over it.  We get it.

I feel the same about your daughter’s pregnancy.  We are tired of seeing you parade her on stage, and as of yesterday, her baby’s father as well.  They should be in school, which they are not likely to continue.  We get it!  She got pregnant and she is going to get married, a marriage whose chances for working are very slim, if she and her baby’s father follow the path of most teen marriages.   

 She is not the first nor will she be the last teen to get pregnant.  She is definitely not the first to marry her child’s father, so don’t hold her up as an example for the rest of us because she isn’t.  We don’t want our teens to follow the path you chose for your own.  We want our children to finish high school and college.  We don’t want their development to be interrupted to have a baby.

Your daughter should not have gotten pregnant, especially in your household where you and your husband taught her abstinence before marriage.  Before readers harp on the fact that this happens in a lot of families, I say, you are absolutely correct.  It has happened in my family. 

However, in many families  teens have not gotten pregnant because they had choices.  Their  parents did not ensure pregnancy by foreclosing their options: abstinence, family life planning, contraceptives, or God forbid, abortion.   Perhaps if you and your husband had approved family life education and, if necessary, contraceptives, to your child she would not have gotten pregnant. 

American parents that you are trying to reach understand all too well that “things happen” (as many of your defenders are saying).  It is because “things happen” that they provide the options to their sons and daughters that you decided against.  

Your position on this critical issue is what terrifies me.  Should you win the election, will you work to ban choices for teenagers?  John McCain is already on record for having voted against appropriating funds for family planning.  This position alone is enough for women (and men) to vote against you.  We do not need your Neanderthal views imposed on the rest of the society. 

I can’t help but wonder how your daughter is going to feel about her self esteem next week, next month, and next year after you put her on stage before the world.  The Republican right does not represent the majority of society.  Will she be able to withstand the whispers, slights, and downright meanness from her peers and others for what she did?  I hope you give some thought to this.  Poor child.