Friday, October 10, 2008

I Hate to Admit It, But I Like Sarah Palin. A Lot.

Sarah Palin's sudden emergence out of the North as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate was shocking at the very least. Many many people are very very upset about her candidacy. In the article, "Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin," Time magazine called her Queen of YouTube and the clips are mostly mocking. Hatred for Sarah Palin is strong in many circles.

In the face of all this vitriol, I am ashamed to admit it, but I like her. I'm writing this while feeling like the barber in the Greek myth who couldn't keep secret his knowledge that King Midas had donkey ears, so he spoke the secret into a hole in the ground. I can't comfortably talk about this with hardly anyone, so here goes, oh anonymous blogsphere, I'll have to tell my secret to you.

Sarah Palin's candidacy has made me feel awe-stricken and thrilled. It took me a couple of weeks of pondering to figure out why.

Snatches of offensive conversations about Sarah Palin float around me when I lunch at work with my fellow technical writers. When I am not at Church, I generally am surrounded by anti-religious neighbors and co-workers of a uniformly liberal bent. You know the type. After their professors indoctrinated them in the whole "religion is a crutch" curriculum, these people walked away all facing the same direction, away from God and Christ, and never looked back. And they pretty much walk in lock step in all their other sympathies, likes and dislikes: I don't have to ask any of them where they stand on issues of sexual morality, global warming, or Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin is a Nazi, one of my fellow tech writers said at lunch a few days after the announcement,the same day when everyone else at the table was chortling about her daughter Bristol Palin's pregnancy. Why? Because she is against abortion? I blurted out. The guy didn't answer me. My diplomatic boss changed the subject. I remembered I had some urgent work to do, and left the group in the break room. to continue slamming Sarah Palin without me

There are obvious reasons for all this scorn against Palin. But I think one not-so-obvious reason she is enraging people is that she achieved her sudden prominence in spite of not doing the things that the common wisdom teaches that a woman has to do to make it in a man's world. She hasn't gotten to be a governor and now a vice-presidential candidate by going to good schools, being politically correct, or un-sexing herself. Think of that!

According to Wikiedia, poor Hilary Clinton married reluctantly. She interrupted her career to have one child only, and has been strategizing her way to the White House for most of her life. She went to Wellesley, got a law degree at Yale, paid her dues. And sadly for her, during this election year the coveted prize she wanted so badly has eluded her once again.

Then out of the blue, Sarah Palin, this pretty, charming, funny, uncultivated rifle-toting woman from Alaska, stepped gracefully over the master strategizer's politically-correct body and appeared as a vice presidential candidate on a major national ticket. And this even though she married young and started having a big family right away. She didn't go to the best schools. She just lived her life, and took the opportunities that presented themselves to her, and now here she is making serious cracks in the glass ceiling.

I think that that Hilary Clinton and women like her must be wondering how things could be any more unfair.

I've got to hand it to her. Sarah Palin is an original.

She hasn't denatured herself by having two, one, or no children. Oh, no, she has five. She breast fed them, brought two of them to work and nursed them in the governor's mansion. She is currently nursing the youngest, carrying a breast pump on the campaign trail. I remember what it was like to be nursing a baby and trying to keep up a busy schedule. How can she do that? Where does she get her strength?

Instead of aborting her first son when she got pregnant before marriage, Sarah Palin married the father, and she loved both him and the child. Instead of aborting her second son when she got pregnant with him in her early 40s, when the baby was diagnosed with Downs syndrome, Palin bore the baby and is equally proud of him too as she is of the rest of her five children.

And when her oldest daughter got pregnant at a critically embarrassing time for her, and thereby proved to the whole world that she was practicing sex outside of marriage even though they are an evangelical Christian family, Sarah Palin did not encourage her daughter to abort the baby or shame her with blaming words in the statement she released to the press. For these things alone, she is a hero to me.

She stood out on that stage at the Republican National Convention, now the world stage, supported by her five children and her genial handsome husband. And I thought to myself that she is living proof once again of this verse from Psalm 127.

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. {Psalm 127:1].

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