My Two Yen about Governor Palin

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.

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7 thoughts on “My Two Yen about Governor Palin

  1. Um, sorry, but first of all, isn’t her son only 4 or 5 months old? What kind of special needs school would he be in at this age that would require her to devote all her time to him and advocating for his rights and needs? At this point he is probably just snuggled up in that sling she wears a lot cooing and looking cute, maybe working on rolling over in his spare time. Secondly, how do you or anyone else know exactly how involved or uninvolved she is with him and his needs. Seems to me you and a lot of other people are assuming she isn’t involved because she is a busy mom with a high power job?

  2. Good post. One of the things I recently read about her mentioned an episode where she was backing a plan to ban books from the public library. I can stomach many things, but banning books is not one of them.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Thanks for the thoughtful words.

  3. Excellent point Sue! Plus, the child may be young now, but a VP term lasts four years at a minimum, and if at any time McCain becomes incapacitated, Palin would become president. I am completely supportive of a woman being a world leader and a mother. I think she can do both and should be given the chance to do both without hesitation. However, the dismissal by Palin about her child’s care is more the issue, isn’t it? And Sue makes an excellent point about the hypocrisy of Republican opposition to social programs of aid and yet embracing a candidate with a special needs child. (Let’s set aside Palin’s lack of experience, training, education for the job of VP.) But then, McCain believes the middle class stretches up through people who make $5 million annually, so perhaps only rich people …oops middle class people… are supposed to have special needs children so they can afford their special care?

  4. Gotta join the discussion! From what I hear and have read, Down’s children benefit from extremely early intervention–like earlier than a year old. And it’s because there is no replacement for parents in this sort of thing so early on (no school buses for babies!) I’ll be able to deal with it if I hear that Dad aka First Dude is planning to devote his days to taking care of Trig and planning Bristol’s wedding. My husband spent years teaching children with Down’s. No matter how hard the teachers work, it’s the parents who stay engaged with their children’s education that get the results.

    What I’d also like to advocate is birth control…

  5. Sure, if Todd and the older kids are super-involved in Trig’s care, that might make up for Sarah’s busyness elsewhere.

    I can’t abide banning books from the pubic library, however. By all accounts she was unsuccessful, but even so…

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