Once again, I am blown away by the strength of character and independent spirit shown by the GOP's new VP pick Sarah Palin and her family. They released a statement this morning that 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is 5 months pregnant, plans to keep the baby and marry the father.
The most impressive aspect of this announcement is they emphasize that it is Bristol's decision to keep the baby and that they completely support this decision. This is a young girl, whose parents have no doubt been the primary influence on her personal development to this point. Her decision to keep the baby is, therefore, not surprising and even the expected one. The fact that they let it be her decision and emphasized this point, is none the less an impressive testament to their character. This point is driven home by the fact that they are also accepting her decision to marry the father of the child. I don't know who the boy is or anything about him and it's really not important that I do. What is important is that this is another independent decision on Bristol's part, that they have decided to respect. Unlike the decision to keep the baby, I'm sure this decision was far harder to accept. Marriage and a family at seventeen years of age is a momentous decision and one which profoundly affects the course that the life of a young person takes. I'm sure the Palin's have many hopes and dreams for their children and that few of them include marriage and a baby at seventeen. This is a bitter pill for any parents to swallow and I'm sure it is no less for them. The Palin's have experienced, very publicly, a momentous week, the events of which are bittersweet, at best.
At a time like this, I am struck with the dichotomies presented by American culture. The Republicans have, once again, chosen from among the most odious, corrupt, divisive and inappropriate of their number, which includes virtually all of their leadership, to pick a Presidential candidate. That person, in turn, has chosen one of the most interesting and inspirational Americans in recent history, to share the ticket with. On the one hand I am repulsed and on the other stirred.
God bless you Todd and Sarah Palin and all of your children and grandchildren to come. May you meet all the upcoming challenges in your life with the same courage and character that you have shown in this past week. Americans everywhere are honored and privileged to have shared this week with you.