One of the worst reactions to last night's Sarah Palin speech that I have seen is on the blog Conscientious, in which the writer accuses the Republicans of using Palin's Down Syndrome baby and pregnant daughter as stage props. Stage props? Seriously? As in, let's go out and find us a mentally challenged baby to help us look better to voters?
This is a truly disgusting accusation...and a slap in the face to any parent of a mentally or physically challenged child.In the 1950's the Down Syndrome child would have likely been in an institution and never discussed in public, let alone proudly held in his father's arms on stage. The pregnant daughter would have been sent away in shame to live with a distant relative, and the story would be hushed up.Should we return to those times? Would that help simplify our political choices?
The Palin family is what it is... and there they sat in all their realness, to support their wife, daughter, and mother. Everyone was included, regardless of their faults. To say that they were somehow used as stage props is as revolting as hearing those who are insisting that Palin has too many children to be a dedicated Vice President, and all of the other sexist remarks being spewed about.
Edit...Joerg Colberg, who writes Conscientious, deleted the offensive post, so don't bother clicking the link. I sent an email to Colberg this morning, telling him I thought his post was insensitive and heartless if looked at in the context of families with disabled children. To his credit, he immediately wrote back with an explanation, and ended his message with...But it's probably better I stay out of politics, since things have become completely ridiculous now. It's like a freak show that for some odd reason everybody takes seriously.
Well, I don't think it's odd that people take this election seriously, because there is much at stake, but I totally agree that American politics frequently borders on the Freak Show, and maybe that is what makes it so captivating... it's the original reality TV.