So. I’m aware that there is already plenty of commentary swirling around in the blogosphere about John McCain’s choice of running mate, but I’ll add a few words here.
My first impression was that Governor Sarah Palin was a quirky and surprising – and even refreshing – choice. I don’t see her as an alternative to Hilary, but it’s amusing to read about her exploits as a hockey mom who likes to hunt and dine on moose stew. She seems very likable and from what I can tell, she’s done good deeds in Alaska. And I find the idea of a special needs child in the White House appealing.
But, as many have pointed out, I find it odd that Republicans are so quick to embrace a mother who knowingly gave birth to a child with Down syndrome, and yet balk at supporting the social programs that would help families of special needs kids and single moms.
I’m also one of those liberal, feminist moms who thinks that maybe Palin should be spending a little bit more time with her son Trig. When I wondered aloud to a Republican in the family about who would be taking care of the baby, that person replied, rather blithely, “Oh, someone will take care of him,” and then later went on about special schools for kids with Down syndrome. Well, my daughter has been going to a special school since she was about one, but if I hadn’t put the effort into learning sign language, helping her with her homework, driving her to and from therapy, filling out lots of paperwork and making sure that she had a chance to get out in the world, her life would be very different – and we wouldn’t be able to communicate with her at all. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that the mothers of children with special needs (and in some cases the fathers) tend to be the children’s best advocates, and it is foolish to rely soley on “professionals” to ensure the future of these kids.