Governor Palin’s Choice

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

He’s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I’m just one of many moms who’ll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm’s way.

Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow – September 11th – he’ll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.

My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.

In our family, it’s two boys and three girls in between – my strong and kind-hearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

That’s how it is with us.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges and the same joys.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

Governor Palin’s Acceptance Speech, the International Herald Tribune, September 4, 2008

It”s a good idea to keep the kids out of the press, as Senator Obama has insisted. I think, though, that we deserve answers to some specific parenting questions from Governor Palin, especially given that she has framed her credibility, at least in part, in terms of her role as a mother. There are several issues that seem worth exploring.

I’d like to know, for example, how she feels about embryonic screening, given her apparent willingness to have a child despite evidence of genetic damage. I find this choice especially troubling, given that she already had four kids. Does her opposition to abortion, in effect, make this sort of testing irrelevant?

I’d also like to know if she applied the ‘abstinence only’ model to her discussions of sexuality with her children. If she did, I would like to know if she now questions her decision and if she plans to stick to that plan with her other children. I find her behavior troubling here too, because it suggests a kind of ideological rigidity.

There are other questions about Governor Palin’s ethical judgment in more official matters, too. The choice of Governor Palin has also suggested questions about Senator McCain’s judgment; ambition seems to have been his guiding principal. We won’t have a chance to find out unless Governor Palin stops hiding from interviews.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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