Submitted by Big Mo
(Note: I wrote this before Wonkette’s utterly repulsive attack on Trig Palin—an attack worthy of a serious ass kicking—but I won’t dignify it with a reply. Kudos to all decent folks who contacted Wonkette’s advertisers and got amazing results with many pulling their ads immediately. Now, I’ll have no more to say about that ground-feeder site.)
Usually, there is a seminal moment when I decide to support someone. In 2000, George W. Bush already had my vote because he was not Al Gore. But at the 2000 GOP convention, my pending ballot changed from “voting against the other guy” to “voting FOR my candidate.” What did it for me was when he dared to touch the so-called third rail of politics, Social Security. True to his word, he pressed for reform early in his second term, only to be shot down by the barking moonbat Democrats who never let a crisis be solved, especially when they can horsewhip Republicans with it.
In 2008, Sarah Palin earned my support because of her son, Trig. During the campaign, she said that if the McCain-Palin ticket won, then special needs people and children would have a loud voice in Washington.
And in 2009 in the now-famous “death panels” post, she said, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”
Indeed. Now, there are plenty of spokespeople and lobbyists on Capitol Hill for those with special needs, and many of them do fine work; but that wasn’t Palin’s point in 2008. She wasn’t knocking or dismissing them. Rather, she was raising the profile, if you will, for special needs children, who are often treated as “mistakes” or “near-human” or problems to be shoved aside—out of sight, out of mind.
Palin carrying her son to term and raising him was the decisive moment in my support for her. Such children are gifts from God—as are all children!—and the duty of raising them is not to be taken lightly. There are those who advocate that if the doctors discover something wrong mentally and/or physically with a baby in the womb, then that baby should be aborted rather than live a life of anguish or a mind trapped in a body. I have a really hard time with that, considering my own family. (I’m not trying to make this an abortion debate. For example, I once spoke over the internet with a woman who aborted her third child when it was discovered that the child would be born with the same excruciating and terminal disease that had already claimed her other two children only a few years after birth. Such is a mind-bogglingly painful decision and one I thank God I’ve never faced.)
My family has many who have special needs, both physical and mental. On my wife’s side of the family, we recently buried a remarkable woman who cared for her two special needs children for six decades. She was a tireless (truly) advocate for special needs children, and you crossed her at your peril. One of her boys is acutely retarded and the other is severely retarded. (Those are old school but accurate descriptions.) Another relative of hers is full-blown autistic. Of the three, two live in group homes and are utterly incapable of functioning outside their group home unless heavily supervised.
One of my sons is on the shallow end of autism spectrum and the other is a Type 1 juvenile diabetic. (Look up Type 1 if you have no idea. It’s ABSOLUETLY NOT the same thing as what most diabetics have, which is Type 2 adult onset. Type 1 is incurable. Huge difference between the two.) So, we know full well what it means to have special needs family members. My sons will eventually be just fine living on their own, but they’ll only get there with the training, patience and love my wife and I give them.
You should keep the following in mind about children and adults who are mentally “disabled.” Some, like my son, are wired differently. They’re not stupid or “slow;” they just arrive at conclusions by different paths and see things in terms of black and white, with no gray in between. He often surprises me with his insights, too. For those like Trig Palin, they’re trapped inside a body that doesn’t work quite right, but with the right patience, love and understanding, they CAN be reached AND live fulfilling lives—usually by loving and making others happy. And that’s what the Palins are doing.
I would love to see Trig play at the feet of President Palin in the Oval Office, like JFK’s kids did almost 60 years ago.
Two final notes:
First, anyone who claims that Trig is NOT Sarah Palin’s son (like Andrew of the bleeding heart Sullivan) is a moron of the highest order, because you CANNOT FAKE love for a special needs child or adult. It’s impossible. They KNOW when you’re insincere. Perfect example: If you’ve ever seen the gross-out comedy “There’s Something About Mary,” you’ll see Mary’s special needs brother, Warren, acting perfectly comfortable around Ben Stiller’s character Ted. Warren even lets Ted tug his earphones off to say goodbye, because Ted’s affection for and understanding of Warren is genuine. If it weren’t, Warren would scream loudly and try to get away from Ted. Again, you can’t fake that kind of affection.
Second, caring for special needs family members is a full-time job in of itself, but let me give you all a piece of advice: Don’t ever tell a mother of special needs children “I don’t know how you do it” or words to the effect. Even though you think you’re saying something nice, it can be insulting, depending on the woman (or father!). Why? We do it because 1) God gave us these wonderful and wondrous children to care for and 2) they’re our flesh and blood, and we love them fiercely. To do anything less would be a crime.