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Yes she rambled through a resignation speech. Yes she's only half way through her term as governor. Yes she has racked up a half million dollars in legal fees to defend herself from political opponents and their accusations. Yes her chances for a bigger political stage seem smaller. Her response is basically, so be it. All these facts are also in the same article. Obviously, there is something else going on. She did express pain over the Letterman joke. She also expressed family interests. I think this might be the actual reason for her resignation. It's not necessarily about running for president, though I could be shown very wrong very soon.
If I were in her shoes, as if, I'd look at Trig and all the junk that sucks away time from all politicians and think about choices. I don't think Trig was planned. Yet, she received him as a gift from God despite knowing he had Down Syndrome. I think she might be admitting to herself and her family, the amount of work needed to raise a special needs child in addition to several other growing children, as I've noted other parents' lives before. We already know that oldest daughter Bristol made poor choices and got pregnant out of wedlock. Perhaps, Sarah Palin holds herself guilty for being an absent parent, whether true or not, and therefore part of the reason Bristol made her poor choices. I'm sure I would think that way. Perhaps, she really does want to focus on her family, at least for a little while. If so, more power to her. Parenthood is a gift from God. I hope she enjoys it in her time off. I'd like to believe she is one of those people whose identity is not the same as their job.
I read an interesting blog post yesterday exploring this issue of identity and job and their intertwining in our culture and its devastating effects, to which I commend you.
The observer from the future might also note that the roles based on familial relationships—mother, father, wife, husband—along with the labor they require, have been devalued, even sneered at, while society values profoundly impersonal work—science, finance, engineering—which are based on data. It does not matter whether you are a man or women to work with this neutral data. Even positions with a more personal element to them, such as counseling, amount to diagnosing specific problems defined by the research of social scientists. Literature and art, once the expression of what is human, are thought of as the publishing or movie “industries” and are strictly business. Whatever is corporate is impersonal and functional.I think it was these lines from that post and the news article today that got me thinking this way.
It is my hope, that Sarah Palin might be a rare person who rejects familial devaluation. If so, I think our culture can learn much from her. Usually, though, swimming against the tide is considered crazy.