This morning someone asked me to design a “Country First, Family Second” bumper sticker about Sarah Palin. I declined; the phrase made me queasy. Part of my queasiness was in reprinting the “Country First” slogan that Rowan notes is tied to totalitarianism. But mainly I have a problem with the premise of the sticker that because Sarah Palin is putting “Family Second” she is unfit to be Vice President. The idea is that Sarah Palin should put “Family First.”
Pardon me, but by running for the White House John McCain is putting family second too, and so is Joseph Biden, and so is Barack Obama. Barack Obama, like Sarah Palin, has young kids who need him as a father. Barack Obama is clearly putting “Family Second,” but I don’t hear anyone out there saying that because he has young kids he needs to relinquish his run for President and tend to his family. Why not? Is it because he is a man? Is the demand upon Sarah Palin to put “Family First” due to her status as a woman? Or is it a partisan thing: that we would first decide we don’t like Sarah Palin because she’s on the wrong team, and then look for things we could criticize, settling on her young kids and deciding it’s a problem because we think it would be a tactically useful thing to bring up?
Count me out. Sarah Palin is unfit for the presidency (tick tock, John McCain) for reasons having nothing to do with her family. There’s no reason for me to delve into partisanship or sexism in order to conclude so. All I have to do is look at her anti-liberty policies, her use of political office for revenge and her tendency to apply messianic prophesy to governing. That’s enough for me, thank you very much.