Politics & Policy

Talk vs. Action

Obama vs. Palin.

So let’s compare. Sarah Palin has a 17-year-old daughter who is pregnant. Does this mean that Sarah Palin is a hypocrite for championing family values? Does this make her a bad parent?

Here is what Palin has to say about the matter: “We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart. . . . Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of love and adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional support.”

This to me is the true humble and Christian response. No one is perfect. And there are consequences for actions which each person has to live with. Even so, parents can admire the young girl’s decision not to take the easy way out and have an abortion. The Palins love their daughter unconditionally, and accept the grandchild unreservedly. I predict that this will strengthen Palin’s support both with evangelical Christians and with the American people.

Now let’s contrast Palin’s behavior with that of Barack Obama. Here is Obama, from his speech at the Democratic National Convention. “It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.” Obama faulted McCain for his cruel and insensitive philosophy, which he defined this way: “Out of work? Tough luck. No health care. The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your boot straps, even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.”

Obama regularly distances himself from this philosophy. In his interview with pastor Rick Warren, Obama said his favorite passage in the Bible is the one where Jesus says: whatever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me. Obama insisted that these are the ideals that have guided his life and the ones that he would bring to the Oval Office.

Now how can Obama’s self-description be reconciled with news reports that Obama’s youngest half-brother lives in a hut in a shanty town on the outskirts of Nairobi? Twenty-six-year-old George Hussein Onyango Obama told Vanity Fair, “No one knows who I am. I live here on less than a dollar a month.” George Obama’s shack measures six feet by ten feet, and yet he says that Barack Obama has done nothing to reach out to him or to help him. “I live like a recluse. If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.”

So far what has Barack Obama said about his half-brother? Absolutely nothing. Obama’s supporters, in attempting to cover for Obama, have basically accused the young half-brother of trying to benefit from Obama’s success. They say Obama doesn’t owe his sibling a thing. In other words, the Obama camp has a message for George Obama: “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.”

Could there be a more striking contrast between Palin’s loving approach to her family and Obama’s callous rejection of his own brother? The media seems to be implying that Palin is hypocritical because she stands for “family values” while her daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. But parents don’t have full control over their teenagers’ actions.

Moreover, isn’t Obama an even bigger hypocrite for championing aid to the down-and-out while his own sibling lives in an African hut on pennies a day? By the way, the Obamas made several million dollars last year. They are certainly in a position to relieve George Obama’s condition if they cared enough.     

The major newspapers and networks know about George, and they seem to recognize how damaging this story is for their favorite presidential candidate. So they are not reporting it, even though it is one of the most revealing stories about the candidate’s character. And thus, as the GOP convention gets under way, we have the ridiculous spectacle of Obama getting credit for talking about compassion while Palin gets criticized for practicing it.

 – Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book is What’s So Great About Christianity. He can be reached at dineshjdsouza@aol.com.

Dinesh D'SouzaDinesh D’Souza is a writer, scholar, and public intellectual. He is the author of America: Imagine A World Without Her, in which he explores the landscape of a world in ...


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