Another Fourth of July. America takes to the barbecue grill, to parades and fireworks, and hopefully reflects on the meaning of the holiday, celebrating the birth of our nation. It’s a good time to take inventory, count our blessings, promise to improve. There is much wrong in the world, though it has been buried deep in the news cycle as the hyena-like media feast on the death of Michael Jackson and the dramatic fall…no, stumble, from Grace, of a South Carolina Governor. No moral obstacle too high to scale for our esteemed “journalists” and news outlets, it’s whatever “sells” that makes the front pages.
Recently, even late-night television began to take on the carnivorous nature of the national media. David Letterman’s over-the-top remarks regarding Sarah Palin’s daughter come to mind. A brilliant comedian seemed bent on diminishing himself in the eyes of millions by exposing his utter disdain for…a politician?
No, it’s deeper than that with Governor Sarah Palin. It always has been. From the very moment she was chosen as Senator McCain’s running mate, she sent chills down the spines of many, on both sides of the aisle. It has been quite a spectacle, really. Watching the feminist organizations squirm, the pro-choice sign-holders fidget, and Republicans either diminish her, or gush over her. But it’s been consistent with the main-stream media from day one. Vitriol. I resist using the word “hate” because I just don’t like the word, but in reality, it applies here.
Why all the fuss? It is almost like a large science-experiment gone bad. From the beginning she struck me as very down-to-earth. She comes from a humble background, rose from Mayor to Governor, and has accrued an admirable record of achievement while in office. More than admirable, really, quite remarkable. She took on some pretty big and entrenched powers and shook the rug pretty effectively. Not bad.
Her family is exceedingly “normal”. Her husband works on the oil rigs on the North Slope and is an accomplished snow machine racer. Nice kids with a loopy daughter who got pregnant. Welcome to Main Street, USA. Pick it apart all you want, they are decent, hard-working, honest people and she is someone who has given back to her state and country. We all should be so accomplished.
So it is not surprising, to me at least, that Sarah Palin chose Independence Day to announce her departure from politics. Pretty stunning. A player, for sure, and some even expected her to run in 2010. She is loved and adored by at least as many as despise her, and the political world was her oyster, had she wanted it. Still, I had a feeling, after the David Letterman event, that she was genuinely angry and hurt for her daughter. I give her credit for making a difficult decision, but the correct decision for her and her family. She is young, her family is young. Her political career is hers to re-ignite whenever, and where ever she chooses, be it four years from now, or twenty years from now.
The media will tear at this from every angle. They will diminish her further. But she has shown courage in this decision, and commitment to family. The one thing the media will not report on is who the real loser is here. That, of course, is the American people. It’s not about Sarah Palin, but all the other Sarah Palin’s we will never see because of the ridiculous gauntlet that running for office has become. I have been saying this for years, that because of the process we have delegated ourselves to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to choosing leaders. We get the Bill Clinton’s and the Larry Craig’s. People of true honor and character would not subject their families to the process. If it were simply a matter of self-scrutiny, that would be different. Now, we include the entire family, including minor children, in the public dissecting process.
It is sad. We should savor these Independence days, as they may be markedly different years from now. When history looks back, to trace the thread that so thoroughly unraveled that the entire country fell apart, the menacing and voyeuristic media that we allowed to dominate us will have played a major role. They will secretly congratulate themselves now, nap in the wake of their meal, and then, of course, awake and be looking for their next victim.
Tags: Sarah Palin