My old University of Michigan Daily colleague Eugene Robisnon, now seen all over the place as a columnist for the Washington Post and commentator on MSNBC, wrote the following words, entitled, "Would You Do That to Your Daughter?" for today's (Sept. 2, 2008) blog on washingtonpost.com.
"As I tried to make my way through St. Paul today – protesters managed to make driving, or even walking, anywhere pretty much impossible – people I ran into were asking one question: Is Sarah Palin doing what’s best for her daughter?
This isn’t a sexist question. It would also be asked of a male politician in her position. Is it fair for any parent to put his or her pregnant, unmarried, 17-year-old daughter through the klieg-light scrutiny of a presidential campaign? Actually, there’s a better way to put the question: Would you do that to your daughter?
There are lots of other issues involved with Bristol Palin’s pregnancy, chief among them her mother’s far-right views on sex education and abortion. But what’s truly awful is that the girl’s pregnancy would be reduced to “issues” at all. That unfair process became inevitable the moment Sarah Palin accepted John McCain’s invitation to be his running mate. Palin effectively guaranteed that Bristol would have her baby under the glare of unimaginable public scrutiny. The whole world would be watching.
It’s one thing to walk the walk of your political beliefs, as Palin did when she learned that her infant son would be born with Down syndrome. It’s another thing to bring your teenage daughter along for the hike – or even to allow her to follow you down such a path. As a parent, I hope Palin thought long and hard about Bristol before saying yes to McCain."
Well written and well said. Sadly, the responses on that blog range from mild to delirious and poisonous. It is a sorry state in America when debate on politics has become a matter of personal destruction of one's opponent. Call it "Swift Boating" or "Rovian" or any tagline, it is unbecoming of American principles and ideals.
Having said that, I must wonder two things: 1) Who names their daughter, Bristol? and 2) With a child suffering from Down Symdrome and a daughter who is knocked up, possibly before she turned 17, what kind of blind political amibiton drives a woman to expose her family to the white-hot media spotlight by runninig for vice president?