Honestly, I feel sorry for Bristol Palin. Somebody please mother this young woman!
It’s bad enough that your parent takes on a vice-presidential campaign, at all, knowing you will be thrown into the limelight when you’re an unmarried pregnant teen. It’s abusive when this parent has been an advocate for abstinence-only education.
What kind of parent is OK with potentially making her daughter a laughing-stock? The butt of worldwide jokes?
I’ll tell you who: one that is self-centered-bordering-narcissistic, that’s who. I’ve had it with all of this holier-than-thou-family-values display from people who don’t seem to know the first thing about respect, love, care, and consideration for their kids or their self-esteem and futures.
Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean you’re kind, thoughtful, or have a good mothering instinct. First Sarah Palin puts her "about-to-be-delivered" baby and herself in danger by flying from Alaska to Texas and back to make a speech after her water had broken. "I wasn’t going to miss that speech!" Then the next thing you know, she’s subjecting her pregnant teen, Bristol, to having her pregnant body scrutinized and photographed by the press.
I’m sorry. I’m a mom. You don’t do these things.
If I had been offered the Vice-Presidential candidacy under the same circumstances, would I have taken it? Never say never, but whether I was a man or woman, no, I would not have. If my political future looked good enough to be asked, I would know that my political future would only get better, and gracefully decline the appointment at this time. Sometimes you have to make the tough decisions. Sometimes you have to do the right thing.
Your kids have to sacrifice like any family member for career moves. But you don’t sacrifice your kids. You don’t exploit or embarrass them for your own gain.
Now maybe Bristol is a big girl by now and can make her own decisions, but she doesn’t seem to be. After all she’s been through, Bristol is towing the family "no sex-education" line. Being the poster girl for abstinence seems yet another bizarre step toward her place in the world and her family’s strange decisions and legacy. I believe in this girl though just as I believe in any young person. It’s time for Bristol to grow up and get real about her knowledge and experiences before its too late. She’s getting dangerously close to becoming as unaware and self-serving as her mother.
I look forward to a day when she has busted loose, recognizing she is someone with power who can "do good"; willing to council young men and women with truth and heart, standing on her own two feet.
Here’s a terrific piece by Gail Collins, NY Times: