Sarah Palin, a candidate “for such a time as this.”

I am the proud grandmother of a granddaughter named Avery Grace who will be one year old this month.  My granddaughter is a very active one year old, beautiful in all ways, who also has Down Syndrome.  Because of Avery’s developmental disability you can imagine that I was very interested when I heard that the republican candidate for vice president Sarah Palin also has an infant son with Down Syndrome.  To say the least this gave me a new interest in the youthful candidate and caused me to make a point of listening to her acceptance speech. I anticipated that she might speak about her baby boy and I was not disappointed.    

 

When Sarah Palin introduced Trig alongside her other children at the RNC she said, “We were so blessed in April; Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig.”  Children, she said, with special needs inspire a special love. To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years, you have sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”

 

Sarah Palin in a few short sentences had grabbed my heart and my hopes and tears came to my eyes.  I have to admit however that it was my emotions she had touched first and I had not yet had a chance to contemplate the gravity of her statements.  The next day as I perused the blogs to see what other viewers thought about Sarah, I came upon this quote, from Dr. Mark Mosert.  Mosert, a long time Christian advocate for those with disabilities explained:

 

Last night, “Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin put both her supporters and detractors on notice that people with disabilities would no longer be ignored in civic life.

 

Palin chose not to genetically discriminate against her unborn Down Syndrome child, Trig.  She chose to show him off (proud mom that she is) along with her other children.

 

She faced the camera squarely and said what no other politician on either side of the aisle has, so far, been willing or able to say:  That all people with disabilities matter, that they will no longer be ignored.  That they have a rightful and unmistakable place at the table of civic life.  That they are, before anything else, Americans.” 

 

My heart was lifted by Mosert’s optimistic interpretation of Sarah’s message.  In Mosert’s opinion the now VP candidate’s words represented sentiments that the families of those with disabilities could rally around.  Palin was choosing to actively acknowledge the value of people like Avery and her son Trig in a society that has tolerated aborting 90% of all in-utero babies diagnosed with Downs.  I tucked Mosert’s words away with Palin’s in my always hopeful grandmother’s heart and thought to myself “Thank God for Sarah Palin.”

 

Then on Sunday I was working the women’s ministry counter in our church lobby and I became aware of a young man passing me by.  It was Brandon, a young DS man from our congregation and as he strolled by he shot me a huge smile and an elated thumbs up, “I’m voting for McCain” he told me with pride. 

 

At this point his dad caught my eye and told me “Sarah Palin has given us all a good reason for getting politically active.”  Brandon’s dad nodded in affirmation at his son and said, “Brandon’s over eighteen and he gets to vote.”  “Yeah,” said Brandon “I’m an American.”  And with that, father and son were gone and I suddenly found my heart pounding.  I couldn’t help but think she’s like Queen Esther. “For such a time as this,” this young hockey mom from Alaska is gaining a platform to stand up for the rights of those with special needs not only that they might live but that they might be considered worthwhile contributors to our nation.” 

 

Whatever your politics, take note, Sarah Palin is engendering the confidence of a whole population of people and their families.  She is inspiring the hopes of a group who have desperately needed an advocate for years and her role is not being taken lightly.  I am only one grandmother from Colorado and I cannot guarantee who will win this election.  But I can tell you one thing: I am hopeful that regardless of who wins, our country will become a better place because of the light Sarah Palin has shed on all people with disabilities.  It is my hope that in the future citizens like Brandon, Avery and Trig will be recognized not only for the value they bring to society but acknowledged as an important part of the fabric of this great nation.

 

Note from Author:  Obviously the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president has impacted my world and caused a reaction on many levels of my being.  How has this unexpected and controversial nominee caused an impression on your world?  How has she touched your heart? How has she caused you to think, differently perhaps?  How has she touched your life?  What hopes do you have tied to this influential woman?  Please comment.

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under Current Events and Editorials

16 responses to “Sarah Palin, a candidate “for such a time as this.”

  1. Newbie

    The reaction Sarah Palin has caused in me is to want to protect her. I cannot believe the rude criticisms and comments. The lipstick on a pig comment by Obama is out of line. Why do people hate her so much? They hate her because Palin’s family is a double-rebuke to the culture of abortion. First, there’s Palin’s decision not to kill Trig because he has Trisomy 21. Then there is seventeen-year-old Bristol Palin’s decision to not to kill her baby.

  2. All the candidates will get slammbed. The bad comments will just cause women to stand up for Sarah.
    I have loved Avery from the time I’ve heard about her. She and Brandon serve to open the awarness of the special problems for DS people.
    I found that my girl friend that had to use a wheel chair and walker also opened my mind to a differnt kind of special needs. I feel blessed to have become awhare of the need for commpasion in my own life toward special needs childern and adults. America can use a little more of that right now.
    I pray that Sarah Palin can be a strong leader in human rights!

  3. maryellenstipe

    Newbie,

    Contrast Palin’s double rebuke to the culture of abortion with Barack Obama’s statement that he would keep abortion legal so that if one of his daughters were to “make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

    This statement on his part begs to be examined for
    deeper meaning: Obama views out-of-wedlock pregnancy as a mistake (which is sensible); he views such a resulting baby as punishment (which is less so); and he has strong feelings that should such a situation occur, he would not want his daughter to carry the baby to term. It is, objectively speaking, a pro-abortion statement. Palin and Obama are squaring off at each other from totally opposite points of view.

  4. maryellenstipe

    Jennifer,

    You said, “the bad comments will just cause women to stand up for Sarah.” I so agree, and I think that all of the negative press the democrats are feverishly trying to drum up against Sarah, shows their desperation and will eventually back fire on them.

  5. maryellenstipe

    Hey gang,

    You are not going to believe this, but after writing this article, I got invited to have breakfast with Sarah Palin on Monday morning, September 15th. There will be a few others present but I may still get to meet her. God is good! I am going to take a picture of Avery with the hopes of getting it autographed!

  6. Grateful Grandma

    FYI, Sarah Palin is dominating internet interest she generated more search interest than Hurricane Gustav and the DNC combined, seeing the biggest bump in search activity in months according to Lycos, Inc. who operates search and technology web sites that foster online communities. All publicity and public awareness is good public awarness. What a gal!

  7. Pingback: Maryellen Stipe- Sarah Palin, a candidate “for such a time as this.” « More Than Coping

  8. Level Headed American

    Well,
    I would say that all the reasons you have given for supporting Sarah Palin have nothing to do with her ability to lead or hold the second highest office in the land. Yes, it is commendable that she is dealing with the family issues she has, but those issues have nothing to do with her ability to be a leader. She, and her counter part John McCain, are nothing short of what we have seen over the last 8 years. A culture of lying and misleading people is not leadership, and it’s not going to assure us safe passage into the future.

  9. maryellenstipe

    Level Headed American,

    I obviously would totally disagree, yes, the article I wrote stesses Palin’s appeal to me as a grandmother of a Down syndrome child.

    But that does not mean she is without the capability of leading this great country. This article had a focus and that focus was her pledges to families of children with “special needs.” It was not meant to be a “why is Palin better” apologetic. But, since you want to get to the topic, I do believe she is a much better candidate. And why…

    In my opinion she has far more valuable experience at governing than Obama. He only has two real years experience no matter how you cut it. And as a U.S. Senator he has spent most of that time on the campaign trail for president. In fact his voting record shows he has barely been in Washington barely functioning as a legislator in any way, he is really nil of experience.

    On the other hand Palin has served for the last 10 years in exectutive capacities. When you are a mayor or the governor you can not be absent because the buck stops with you. Sarah has proved a wise and capable executive officer of her city and her state. And, she has not only been present to govern the great state of Alaska the last two years, she has done it with decisiveness and denonstrated great ability. She has cleaned up corruption in her state and stopped the needless overspending of millions of tax payers dollars.

    Obama meanwhile has simply no! accomplishments behind his name, nothing at all to his credit.

    Besides why should Sarah be stacked up against Obama anyway she is the VP candidate. If you stack Obama’s total lacking of experience against McCain’s incredible record of faithful and wise service to our country there is simply no contest. It is Obama who is a sham.

    You are terribly misinformed “level headed American.”

  10. Informed

    Her 10 years was as a mayor of 5000 people. Her 2 years as Governor has been over a state of 600,000 very widely dispersed small, isolated communities.

    Obama’s positions have been over millions, and his VP choices record… is well vetted.

    Are you aware that her education is a BA in Journalism? From 5 different schools? Obama was the editor of the Harvard law review his sophomore year, and taught constitutional law for well over a decade.

    Sarah Palin may be a nice woman, and I understand your attachment to her values… but this is not an election for “neatest lady”, this is the second most powerful position in the world… and her qualifications do not dignify the office.

    Do not take this wrong, I am NOT pro Obama. I have never voted anything but conservative my entire life… but that has been because the conservatives always served the best interests of our country.

    Considering her incredible lack of experience, education, and obvious lack of the most fundamental aspects of our governments budget, and foreign policy… I cannot in good conscience vote for this ticket. Just my .02

  11. Level Headed American

    Um, where is the rest of my post? Was this an attempt to provide a working example of the last sentence of my now shortened post? Keep your head in the sand and keep supporting McCain and Palin and maybe we’ll be lucky enough to be able to stay in our homes and not have to send our kids off to another war. You respect life so much? How about the lives off all the innocent civilians who died in Iraq? And American Soldiers who have given their lives for Oil Contracts (give it time)? Or will you change and spin that to meet your ‘message’ just like you cut off my post above. Class act, class act.

  12. maryellenstipe

    Informed,

    To me it is not about how many people you supposedly governed but how you actually governed. Sarah actually was involved in the process of governing which gives her experience. Obama has never participated in the process of governing the many he was elected to represent and that is a big problem for me.

    Also Ronald Reagan also only had a BA degree from a tiny college in Illinois and in my opinion he was one of the best presidents in recent times.

    You continually want to put Palin up against Obama but she is not the president only the VP and she has perfect credentials for what McCain is asking her to do.

    Her areas of focus are going to be “energy” which she has dealt with in Alaska and “cleaning up big and wasteful government” also something she has experience at.

  13. So why are we compairing Palin to Oboma?
    Where does Biden stand in all this?

  14. The whole issue is about respecting all life. Anytime some individual is eliminated just because of a birth defect, old age or illness puts no premium on life. God is the creator of life. None of the rest of us can do that. God puts a premium on life.

    Sarah Palin has done just that. She embraces all life whether it’s an incovenience to her young daughter or a disability for her son. That’s the type of leadership this country needs. Our society wants to control itself without any focus on God. I for one say, “Thank God for a woman such as Sarah Palin.” She is truly a woman of God.

  15. dxNOTid

    Politics aside.

    Down syndrome is a diagnosis, not an identity.

    When you refer to “DS people” or “Down syndrome child” you are giving someone an identiy based on their diagnosis. (My guess is that ‘Avery Grace’ and ‘Brandon’ are MUCH MORE than their diagnosis.)

    Please resist putting the diagnosis before the person.

    Nobody should be defined by their diagnosis!

  16. I have heard comments like, “Palin doesn’t believe women have a right to control their own bodies” when referring to her position on abortion.
    Actually, the baby inside the woman is NOT her own body; it is another individual human being with a right to life. It is being nurtured inside of her before birth and will continue to be nurtured outside of her after birth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s