Short Circuit News Wire

Diverting the Main Stream

Why the Palin Pregnancy Story Deserves Resolution and Analysis

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It looks like everyone’s got something to say about the Sarah Palin, the birth of her son or grandson, and her daughter’s pregnancy, with tones varying from righteous indignation to rampant speculation and a few dirty jokes thrown in between. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were not true. I wouldn’t be surprised, if it were not true, that it was a simple mistake, that it was a political ploy on the Democrat side, or that it was a political ploy on the Republican side; after all is said and done, it’s possibly the best way to reveal the pregnancy and shotgun wedding of a values candidate’s 17-year-old daughter without having to choose between a proud announcement and a possible backlash for supporting irresponsible premarital relationships or an apologetic announcement and a possible backlash for not supporting the family.Honestly, there’s plenty of interesting evidence on both sides, but it’s all kind of convoluted and presented in a biased way. Nobody was looking for these photos before Palin was announced as vice presidential candidate, and everything is backdated now with claims that some sources have cleared their online photo archives. It is a suspicious story, considering the fact that the story of the mother concealing a daughter’s unwanted pregnancy is all too common. It’s more a thing of the past, but it looks like this tradition may be alive and well today.

I’m not going to come down on either side of the debate on whether this is true or not. It demonstrates not only the incompetence of the mainstream media that this rumor has been cited but they have not taken the time to convincingly prove its validity or falsehood, or even tried, but also the fact that we bloggers aren’t quite ready to replace them just yet as a reliable source of information. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it on factcheck.org.

Whether it’s true or not, the constructive thing to do is to take the opportunity to bring some issues to light that merit discussion on their own. If it is true, we have to discuss these topics in relation to an important presidential campaign. More than one blogger has stated their opinion that this is a private family matter and that we shouldn’t waste time on it even if it is true, but that’s something I definitely disagree with. I know Palin can’t control her daughter, but the issue of conservative promotion of a certain definition of values, the exclusivity of abstinence in educational and institutional policy, and abortion do come into play here. If it is true, and please let me reiterate that I am not claiming that it is, this would reveal a conservative’s reaction when the abstinence-only policy fails, to respond with secrecy and lies. Sarah Palin could have legally adopted her grandson if taking charge of his care as his grandmother was not enough.

Palin’s daughter’s reported long-term case of mono is extremely suspicious. Such a long-term case is possibly unprecedented; not unprecedented is its use as an excuse to avoid embarrassment in cases of unwanted pregnancy among young women. Simply missing that much school is a huge violation of the young lady’s rights, if it was done for the preservation of the family’s image and Palin’s political career. Maintaining this kind of secrecy requires some level of isolation, which again, is unfair for the young mother, more so depending on how many people she could confide in and who she had to lie to, and who was allowed to see her when the pregnancy would have been obvious. It would be a moot point if the case is untrue, but a reminder of the discrimination, persecution, and isolation women have suffered in the very recent past while carrying unplanned children, and may still suffer in individual cases today.

Another important aspect of this issue, obviously not pertaining to Palin if these rumors aren’t true but an opportunity to discuss something that we kind of take for granted in the U.S. but is violated in these cases, is the issue of the right to identity. If you lie about a person’s birth records, if you falsify a birth certificate, you are violating this person’s right to identity. This is the right to know where you come from and who your parents are, and spans into other areas including documentation, citizenship and its recognition, and therefore the protection of other rights, as well as issues involving adoption, immigration, and inheritance, and others may apply. This Palin story is big right now and I want to get this out quickly, and I’m not prepared at the moment to go into full detail on the issue of right to identity. It’s recognized by the UN and human rights organizations, and the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of May Square) do a lot of work in this area.

They’re cleaning up after the remnants of the military dictatorship, which the U.S. funded under Henry Kissinger’s guidance along with Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, in the same era. The military dictatorship would kidnap people and take them to clandestine detention centers, under the guise of fighting leftist terrorism, for anything from being part of a violent leftist group to simply studying in college or participating in education programs for poor people, and torture them, ask them for names, many were killed, and the children of any pregnant women were taken and adopted extralegally by members of the dictatorship to be raised under their worldview. This is a huge mess, and it’s estimated that over 400 people still don’t know that they are living with oppressors as parents under falsified identities and don’t even know their real names. Obviously this has nothing to do with this specific case, just a little background on the origin of the identity rights movement.

I wonder how this will affect the campaign. The whole mess may turn out to be terribly ugly for the election in general. If the accusation is not proven, it may be a big boost for McCain, showing the far left not just to be paranoid, but to be equally capable of low, dirty campaigning as the Republican Party. If the accusations are confirmed or widely believed enough to cause trouble for the McCain campaign, or even cause a near mirror-image scenario to the Eagleton affair, it won’t improve the situation. Thomas Eagleton was not straightforward with George McGovern in the ’72 election, and the resulting mess led to a landslide for Richard Nixon. If this turns into a scandal and contributes to a loss for McCain, Palin or the scandal surrounding her might be blamed, fueling Republicans to claim that the election was less than fair and costing Obama the general perception of having a mandate for change.

Don’t get me wrong, I want this to come to a conclusion just as much as anyone else, but I am also a big fan of the truth and I’d like to see it truly resolved.

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