Earlier today I posted that the NYT was planning a front page story on the birth of Trig Palin. I was inclined to expect the worst, but Secondhand Smokette told me to cool my jets until it came out. Good advice as always from Debra. The story is now out–and it is not a hit job–although it feels invasive, particularly when it discusses the reactions of Trig’s siblings to his birth. And, the reporter makes a point that Palin is using her motherhood as a political prop in a whole new way; a fair comment, I think, given the “hockey mom” self definition. But I don’t think she is using Trig, as the story seems to me to imply.
But relevant to the issues we deal with here at SHS, “Fusing Motherhood and Politics in a New Way” casts a warm glow on the Palins’ wholehearted embrace of their son. From the story:
Her hesitation gone, Ms. Palin glowed with maternal pride. “Sarah was absolutely ecstatic,” said a friend, Marilyn Lane. After months of reflection and prayer, friends say, the Palins, who are Christians, had come to believe God had chosen to send them Trig. Later that day, Ms. Palin sent an e-mail message to her relatives and close friends about her new son, Ms. Bruce said. She signed it, “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.”
“Many people will express sympathy, but you don’t want or need that, because Trig will be a joy,” Ms. Palin wrote. She added, “Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome.”
One need not be religious to act and feel as the Palins do: If we accept the sheer importance of being human–whether we are children of God or the products of blind evolution–then we can embrace each of us as wonderful and equal members of the human family.
I think the Palins might well change a paradigm. Vivid illustrations of accepting love are the best antidote I can think of to the new eugenics. Indeed, I think their very public example of welcoming their son with joy could well help others to make a similar decision.
I have railed against the bias of the media often on this blog, especially that of the New York Times. I still think the paper crossed that line about leaving the children of politicians alone. But credit where credit is due. The story was reported straight.