Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let the Games Begin

Sarah "bring the pain" Palin did what few female politicos have been able to accomplish thus far in history: she kicked ass gracefully.

Watching Palin's triumphant foray into the national spotlight during last night's keynote at the RNC was a far cry from Hillary's shrill diatribe a week ago here in Denver, and as the cameras panned the crowd for token reaction shots, I noticed another dissimilarity. The Republican women, while perhaps less fashion-savvy on a whole, were unmistakably feminine looking, whether by appearance of dress or facial expression. I saw no hatched-faced femisnistas populating the crowd in Minnesota last night, and while I noticed plenty of fashion disasters that would have sent Stacey and Clinton over the edge, the women supporting the woman on the stage were, as a whole, a pleasant looking lot.

Why is this relevant? Only because I believe Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton are opposite sides of the same coin, and the juxtaposition of these ladies is what I'd like to think of as a wonderful "teachable moment" on the dignity and beauty of authentic femininity.

Sarah Palin, you see, was quite able to defend herself - and her family - against the slings and arrows of the left... and she did it with a certain gracious hospitality that is so often lacking in matters political. She was angry, but it was a righteous sort of anger. She was firm, but without the shrill note of entitlement omnipresent in Clinton's vernacular. She spoke with intelligence, but not for the sake of belittling the audience whom she was addressing. In short, Sarah Palin embodied much of what is admirable and worthy of emulation in the female person: strength, conviction, righteousness, and compassion.

Palin is not a man. This doesn't seem to bother her. She doesn't seem to be operating from the assumption of entitled disadvantagement that so many women in Washington have adopted, and neither does she show any sign of remorse for her apparent lack of testosterone.

Here is a women who embraces and embodies authentic femininity, giving her daughters and ours an example worthy of emulation. Her defense of the unborn, her sense of justice, her prioritization of her responsibilities in life... these are all the qualities that count, whether in the home or on the world stage. If we do not begin all acts of public service from the basic assumption of the worth and dignity of the human person -including ones own self- then what, exactly, are we hoping to accomplish? What can we hope to change?

Democratic politics (government by the people governed) must always begin with the good of the person considered first and foremost. Government, the way we do it in America (in theory) is not a game by which one furthers one's own career; it is the process by which basic human liberties are discovered (through natural law) and guaranteed (through just legislation) for every single citizen.

Not for an elite few. Not for a select cadre of cronies bent on furthering special interests and agendas in which they have high stakes, either financially or ideologically, but for the rest of us, those tired and huddled masses sickened by the persecution of our weakest members and wearied by rhetoric and relativism that has dominated so much of this campaign.

So even though I worry about this woman's family, feel for her children who are going to lose a certain accessibility to their mother over the next 4 years, I'm grateful for her sacrifice, hopeful for her future, and ready for the "change we can believe in."

And isn't that what they've been promising all along?


  1. Government, the way we do it in America (in theory) is not a game by which one furthers one's own career; it is the process by which basic human liberties are discovered (through natural law) and guaranteed (through just legislation) for every single citizen.

    I would go further and say government should work for the rights and liberties of every human being under its power, so as to include the unborn and the enemy. Given this understanding of government, I was disappointed by Palin’s depiction of Obama’s concern regarding terrorists as merely a concern that they are read their rights. The concern is for respecting human rights, even those of our enemies. The concern is that fear not drive us to commit the grave injustices perpetrated by the current administration.

    I like a lot about Governor Palin, particularly her lived dedication to life and liberty. I think she’s genuine and authentic. However, I personally found her speech wanting. In addition to revealing her story, Palin rehashed old superficial talking points and buzzwords from the Republican playbook. I fear something of her story was lost in that. Her speech seems to have served its purpose, though: rallying many social conservatives behind McCain. Not me, though.

  2. I thought of you while watching footage from the DNC...."Oh man, what must Jenny have been going through right then as everyone cheered Obama???"
    Jon responded something like: "She's hearing the roar of cries from hell"


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