Sarah Palin is an interesting person. She reminds me of the kind of football mom you question under your breath before you decide to date her son. The kind of mom that sticks up for her kids when a teacher disrespects one of her daughters. (I’ll never forget the day my mom walked into my 8th principal’s office to share some words with my 8th grade basketball coach; and that’s putting it nicely.) Sarah Palin seems like the kind of mom you share the latest high school gossip with and a mom you’re not embarrassed to hang out with your friends.
So why then did her daughter, Bristol, decide to follow the footsteps of so many other lost high school girls? Could you say it has something to do with Sarah Palin’s parenting style?
Yes of course, I should also question Mr. Palin. But let’s be honest, in small town America, moms run the house, not dads. Moms clean the house, cook the meals, take their kid’s temperature, and do the laundry. Dads, on the other hand, mow the lawn and BBQ on Sunday.
But if Sarah Palin’s family life-style is different, then she can’t relate to every small town American mom – which also means she’s different from every other Wal-Mart shopping, hockey mom. In my small American town, I learned at a very small age that I needed to learn how to cook, and that I needed to follow my mom’s footsteps; which gets to my original thought.
I can see why Bristol is pregnant. Besides the fact that she could be in love with some guy whose myspace page screams of obscenities, small towns are hard to grow up in. There’s not much there, so career paths are limited, especially for young women.
But I can’t help but wonder how the conservative right would treat the Barack Obama camp if one of his daughters were seventeen and pregnant. Better yet, what if the father’s myspace page (which he recently deleted) mirrored Bristol’s boyfriends, but from a different sub-cultural twist? What if Malia’s (his oldest daughter) boyfriend – IF she was seventeen – were a young black man, wore baggy pants, a ball cap tipped to the side, and listened to Ludicrous and Lupe Fiasco?
(Naturally, I’m playing with a hypothetical, but I still think it’s a relevant question.)
If the tables were turned, Malia would still be the talk of the town – unlike Bristol. And social conservatives would paint Michelle as a horrible mother without family values. In fact, they’d have a heyday if Malia were pregnant. They’d use Michelle’s parenting style to continue to question her patriotism. (Boy would I LOVE to see Bill O’Reilly try this.)
So Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter isn’t off limits. You just have to be able to talk about it in everyday language. For instance, if the majority of American voters base their vote on personal character more than a candidate’s political agenda, than I’d say attacking a candidate’s character is NOT off the table.
Where would I start? I’d ask Sarah Palin if her stance on abstinence actually works. And then I’d go on to demonstrate how her special pet projects reserved ONLY for her small town proves that Sarah Palin is a selfish woman that only thinks of herself. And I bet all the other small American towns that Palin continues to take money from and ignore would agree.
It’s interesting, I used to think about being the mayor of my small town, maybe even governor – and maybe someday I will. But if I do decide to head home and help my small town, I wouldn’t forgot about my next door neighbors.
(I guess you have to be a part of Palin’s “in” crowd for her to treat you with respect and not like some other hockey mom whose son sits the bench.)