Tuesday, September 9, 2008


My friend, Ephie Patrickson, has offered me some very astute observations on the acceptance speech of Sophie Palin.
Political speeches are just that, politics.
We should not pretend otherwise, but I must say I really enjoyed Sarah Palin's speech. I enjoyed how forthright she was combined with her sense of self-irony and humor. She speaks like a normal person, and I am not as likely to check to make sure my wallet is in my pocket when I listen to her as I do when I hear most politicians speak. I am not attempting to endorse any party, for both parties I find more than slightly disappointing, but I have found the Obama, Hillary, Biden et alia campaigns and speeches to be shrill, elitist and tedious when considered with care.
Biden gave a stirring speech in many ways on a surface level, but again I ask the pole dancer question. He talked big in his speech, of course, about worrying about working Americans and the tyranny of mortgage granting banks etc, and high finance crippling workers. Yet he comes from Delaware, the land of favorable banking laws. Is there a conflict of interest, there? He claims he is for change, but he has been around for quite some time as a 'good old boy' in political power. In Washington it is always about money, but ironically enough it is the Democrats who sound 'moneyed' and elitist these days-- despite their smooth speeches to the contrary-- while the Republicans like Palin are accused of being country-bumpkins. How ironic.

There is something worth mentioning. Regardless of what one thinks of the candidates, I find it sad that Democrat agitators should attack a woman with a Down Syndrome infant about her motivations regarding her family life. These are the very same sort people who scream with desperation when they are caught in sex scandals etc. about the need for privacy in their family life (and infidelities) being their own business. It makes me ill.

Regarding people having disabilities, I have two immediate family members, a parent and a sibling, who are educators who work with children with disabilities. I also had the grace several months ago of addressing an entire room full of teachers who work in the field of special education. I am an educator myself and have taught in numerous undergraduate classrooms. Talk is cheap. Actually making the sacrifice of being a parent, or being a teacher for that matter-- particularly of someone with special needs-- is something that involves hard work and a real act of commitment.

I find it tedious that she is being attacked about her personal life with such vigor. Perhaps it is because her professional track-record is more sterling than the Democrats would like. How inconvenient. It is worth making an observation on two figures, House Leader Nancy Pelosi and former President Bill Clinton. The Lord alone can judge them. It is not my place, but I will utter some facts about some of their actions. Not too long ago Ms. Pelosi was in the limelight in terms of scandal when she spent more than $2,400.00 on a makeup artist preparing her for her swearing in ceremony. Some would say it is nothing. Yet it is tax payer money. It also is more than I take home in an entire month of hard work as an educator in the non-profit sector. I also am a tax payer.

By way of another fact, according to the public record Ms. Pelosi is among the very wealthiest of politicians in Washington; that factors in both political parties. She is entitled to her money, but when the wealthy pretend they are poor and give the poor lectures on poverty I change the channel. In the end she reimbursed the government after being caught, claiming it an accountancy error. Of course, no doubt these things happen from time to time, but I never have heard of any politician (of any Party) accidentally making an accountancy error in the other direction. '”Oops, I am so sorry I accidentally paid for that ear-mark myself,” I doubt ever has been heard in the halls of Washington politics... Of course, it is poetic. What was she buying? “Blemish concealer” treatments and so forth. What other blemishes are they concealing?

What of another prominent Democrat? Of course, there is Clinton. Where to begin? Another fact, awkward though it may be, should be mentioned. He had 'inappropriate' sexual relations with a White House Intern, a government employee, and he did it on the job at his office. A medical doctor caught doing that would risk losing his license, a police officer his appointment, a teacher his job. I do not know of any field of professional endeavor where this is acceptable conduct. He abused power on the job in his office. Some would say it is old news, but the issue is salient, especially when perjury also is an issue. Again, it is an awkward fact, but one that is important to consider in the whole issue of double-standards in discussing the family life of politicians.

Why do I mention all this? Well, before poor Palin even gave her big Convention speech Democrat agitators, the kind who make daily acts of adoration at the Pelosi-Clinton shrines, were lambasting her with ridiculous judgments on how she lives her personal life and whether her decision to bring her Down Syndrome baby to term was for politics. It is revolting. This is a mother of five children. I do not know much about her, but she sounds like a normal person. I listened to her speech live on the radio and enjoyed it. It was the first time I heard her voice, and I was refreshed to hear her speak forthrightly about specific topics rather than speaking vaguely about 'hope' and 'change'. Hope in what? Change in what direction?

My favorite line in her speech was a delightful turn of rhetoric. She stated a fact. Sen. Obama, despite having written two books of memoirs about himself and his commitment to reform has not authored even one major law or reform. Not one. It is a delicious detail, and speaks volumes.

It is easy to spin images. Just about anyone can hire a make-up artist to conceal defects or give speeches about 'hope' and 'change' to cover up a lack of a documentable track record, but being an authentic leader is a different matter altogether. No amount of pricey makeup will cover up those defects.

Another detail. Governor Palin has five children, and she is being persecuted for it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also has five children, the same number. Could a Republican agitator get away with accusing her of not balancing family life or having her children for political reasons without being driven into silence and off the stage for inappropriate conduct? A Republican questioning Pelosi throughout the growth of her career on her family values and her five children when they were younger would have lost his neck and been driven out of politics by the Press. Yet like 'accountancy errors' that inevitably tend only to go only in one direction, based on the case of our former President Clinton, though, I hardly think the press would attempt to drive a Democrat off the floor for any impropriety, no matter how grave.

How Governor Palin balances her legitimate home life is really her own business. May God bless her for being open to life. In this abortion-loving America of ours how many women in spheres of influence have five children? Not that many demographically. She also knew based on pre-natal tests that her baby Trig would have Down Syndrome, and in spite of this obstacle she valued bringing him into the world alive. May God bless her abundantly for that choice. This must rankle those like Sen. Barrack Hussein Obama who endorse partial-birth abortion as an unpleasant reality. Her personal heroism makes his track record in these areas an even more awkward fact. I am mindful of another line: “Choose life, choose death. Choose a blessing, choose a curse.” No one is perfect, none of us, but I certainly am eager and willing to be patient with those who protect the sanctity of life and actually live up to their words. I do find it a positive sign that both parties are speaking about Palin's children, while I have yet to hear a commentary speech about her makeup job! This is a good sign for America, and actually does give me some real degree of hope...

-Ephie Patrickson, 3 September '08

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