The world, particularly the political world, is full of hypocrisy, but there should be limits. Sarah Palin is the darling of the fundamentalist right and the anti-intellectual right. These are the very same people who constantly tout family values, motherhood and child care.
My liberated women friends will hate me for saying this, but I seriously feel that Sarah Palin is a lousy mother. Why? Because she is putting her career ambitions ahead of her responsibilities as a parent. It is wonderful to have ambitions of becoming President of the United States, however pie-in-the-sky those aspirations might be. That’s fine if you don’t have five children (Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper), and a grandchild (Tripp) at home. Particularly problematic if one child has physical disabilities requiring special care.
Wow! I can hear feminists,with whom I usually side, rising up in outrage. Don’t you think that a woman should have the same rights as a man? Don’t you believe that a woman is entitled to a career as well as a family? You of all people should be in favor of women’s rights.
Right on. I have always believed that women , if they are wiling to undertake the burden, should be able to have it all –– a family and a professional career. I honor women like Barbara Boxer, who has two children as well as a prominent career in the Senate. [For that matter, I equally admire Joe Biden who, as a single parent, raised two sons while commuting to his Senate job for many years.] But there is a huge difference between two children and five children, not to mention that one has Down Syndrome and requires special time and attention . Not to mention that Bristol, a teenager, has her own child and both are living with Sarah. A rubber band can stretch and stretch and stretch, but there are limits.
Furthermore, if you want to raise children and have an active career, it is important to choose a career that fits in. Vice Presidents spend well over half their time travelling all over the country and around the world. A Senator, on the other hand, has a relatively stable residence, perhaps two, not more than that. He or she is able to spend substantial time with young children, when they need you most. [Biden was in the Senate when his children were young. As V.P., he travels extensively, but both the boys are relatively adult.] Sarah Palin apparently has her eye on the Presidency, which also requires a lot of travel and is essentially a 48 hour a day job.
I know, I know. Her husband Todd can take over the job of raising the kids, though he must keep quite busy working for an oil company and running his commercial fishing business. Her daughter Bristol can assist. If you can afford it, one can hire nannies. All true but, no matter how you spin it, it is not the same. You may dearly and deeply love your children, and I’m sure that Sarah Palin does, they still need your presence and your time as well as your love if they are to grow up emotionally healthy.
There are other matters relating to parental obligations. In one of her parting speeches, after turning the Governorship of Alaska over to Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin bitterly criticized the press. She hoped that the media would not attack Governor Parnell’s children the way they had attacked hers. Sarah, I’m sure that will not happen, unless he drags them all over the State as show pieces for political purposes. Like somebody else we know.
If my conservative friends really support family values, motherhood and child care, they should think twice before they stand up at a rally and cheer for Sarah. I’m not holding my breath.
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