I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Is it funny that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's reckless, dangerous, and destructive policy for abstinence-only "sex education" has backfired in her face now that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is knocked up? No. I don't find it funny at all. I find it tragic. Palin should be hoping with all her might that her daughter doesn't end up with AIDS or some kind of sexually-transmitted disease in addition to a baby.
It's this kind of idiocy that's going to drive me completely insane during this election.
Governor Sarah Palin is a dumbass.
She claims to be pro-life, but doesn't seem to give a shit that kids in this day and age can DIE from being denied information on safe sex practices. This is not the 1700's. Children are overwhelmed with sex all day, every day. It's on their television. It's in their music. It's saturated all aspects of modern society. And, as much as parents might hope and pray that their children will not give in to temptation, it is ludicrous to bet their life on it! Unless they live in a hermetically-sealed bubble cut-off from the world, children must... MUST... be given the information they need to keep themselves safe. Educate them on abstinence, yes. But don't leave them defenseless in the event that abstinence fails them.
Because, NEWSFASH: ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION DOESN'T WORK!
Though, historically speaking, it's not like Palin's idiotic refusal to believe actual evidence is anything new.
Probably even when that evidence gives birth in four months.
But we're supposed to ignore all that and instead congratulate her because her daughter made the brave choice to keep the baby and enter into a shotgun wedding. Well, no problem. Congratulations Sarah Palin, you got exactly what you deserved. A pity your daughter had to be the one to pay the price for it.
While I applaud Barack Obama for taking the high road and declaring Palin's family "off limits" during the campaign, I certainly hope her insanely stupid policy of abstinence-only "sex education" nails her hypocritical ass to the wall. She has the money, position, and power to ensure that her daughter is well cared for and her new grandchild will want for nothing. Most young girls living in these United States are not so lucky.
And, if somebody like Sarah Palin makes it to The White House, we won't be so very lucky either.
Now I think I do want to cry.
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Kudos Dave. Well said. Obama should hire you as a speech writer.
Palin is Governor of Alaska, not a senator!
Yes… it’s already been edited. I had cut a paragraph with comments from Governor Palin’s fellow Alaskan Republican colleague and it was left behind by accident. 🙂
I can’t believe McCain/Palin may actually win this godd amned thing. Hey, want to go into business with me? I’m thinking of marketing a home virginity testing kit. Makes a great gift for the abstinence only proponents who will continue to set reproductive policy here in the U.S.
I don’t think they have AIDS in Alaska.
Now tell us how you really feel. However, I do agree with you. I love how they have continually said that McCain knew all along about the daughter as if that makes the situation any better. Oy.
I don’t want to talk politics because I hate how it divides people when I really feel we should all be working together to make things better for everyone, but I do want to say that whatever a politician believes about sex education never influences how I think or vote. The truth of it is that in my opinion, kids should really be getting sex education through their parents. My kids all (except the 4 year old) know how babies are made, how to prevent diseases, how to prevent pregnancy etc. and none of them learned it through school. Our school system (in our school district) doesn’t even start teaching that until around 9th grade from what I have been told. While I hope like crazy my kids don’t need the info before then, I live in reality where temptations do happen and things I wish wouldn’t happen might.
I really respect the way Obama is handling this. Character is shown not through what you say, but what you do.
I agree 100%. Sex education should be the responsibility of the parents… there’s absolutely no question about it. Except parents are not talking to their kids (or not talking to them early enough). If every parent took the responsibility that you have to educate their children… if even the majority of parents got to their children early enough and attempted to give them the information they need to be safe… then this would be a non-issue.
But in too many instances they don’t, so it has become society’s responsibility. Right or wrong, for better or worse, it’s is the reality of the world we live in because young lives are at stake.
Believe me, this is an issue I struggle with because I feel parents should have the right to decide from their personal beliefs how sex is approached with their children. But If kids are constantly hit with sex in music, books, magazines, advertising, movies, television, friends, and so on… then being exposed to sex at school is nothing new. They’re already inundated with it, so how is being given information on safe and responsible sex practices making it worse?
It’s truly unfortunate, but if it weren’t for sex education in schools, a large number of kids would have no information at all. Safe sex education… including the promotion of abstinence… is critical to their safety, well-being, and survival.
when i first saw that her daughter was pregnant i thought it had to be a joke.
i’m all for teaching your kids that abstinence is the best policy or what have you but without the whole story and the facts on disease and pregnancy prevention you’re effectively lying to them.
kudos for obama as well for declaring the palin family off limits.
My parents were such religious freak-fests that they refused to let me take sex-ed in high school. During that section of health class, I had to get up, and walk my happy little ass down to the library, and wait there all period.
Yeah, because that was fun.
Yes I also think that if you write speeches for Obama you ought to have him add in the middle finger. That will add a nice touch to that illegitimate bastard’s resume of racism, hatred and the need to control the world government.
I think in this day and age, Sarah’s daughter knew what she was doing and probably wanted to get pregnant.
It’s not a big deal.
The nice thing about it is, there won’t be any abortions, and nobody will go on welfare.
Now THOSE are family values!
Oh sure… it’s not a big deal to get pregnant out of wedlock if you’re a wealthy white Republican. Just hypocritical given their stance on preaching abstinence-only as a solution for everybody else.
Mistakes happen – even the great Ronald Reagan married Nancy Reagan when she was 3 months pregnant. I don’t think it’s hypocracy when Palin continues to live her life according to her values. She can raise her daughter the best she can, but the age of consent in Alaska is 16, so the law says she’s allowed to do what she wants in that area (or, at least, the father won’t get charged with statuatory rape).
Now, if she had secretly had her daughter get an abortion and tried to keep it hush-hush, this backlash against her would be more justified.
I find it funny that you write “in the event abstinence fails them.” I think it’s the other way around… right? 🙂
I also like Tori’s comment about how politics can deeply divide people who would otherwise get along. I’m hoping everyone here is at least tolerant of another’s opinion, and I hope it doesn’t become like some of the other blogs where comments are left like “anyone who is pro-life should be killed” or something insane like that.
Oh of course… mistakes do happen. No doubt about that. Even if kids were given full information about birth control and safe sex practices, there’s absolutely no guarantee they’re going to listen or adhere to it.
But that’s not the point.
The point is that kids are having sex younger and younger and parents are dropping the ball in making sure kids are safe and protected. What is it… 23 teen girls out of 1000 are getting pregnant now or something like that? How many of those are getting STDs? Something has to be done… tried at least, or things are only going to continue to get worse. To think the answer is to tell kids “don’t have sex” is just naive, and flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that it just doesn’t work.
If kids are going to be inundated with sex anyway, then shouldn’t it be a social and moral duty to make sure that they at least have critical information they need to be safe? It in no way conflicts with promoting abstinence! Just as knowing how to safely shoot a gun doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to go out and kill somebody with it… knowing how to safely use a condom doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to go out and have sex with it. You can be informed yet still practice abstinence and follow the principles of your faith. Anything less is inexcusable ignorance in this modern world of sex overload we live in.
And yes, I most definitely respect the opinions of those who would disagree that Palin is a dumbass for insisting that abstinence-only education works.
All evidence to the contrary. 🙂
I agree with all you’ve said, Dave.
Also, if kids had more information about sex, they might actually wait to have it longer. It won’t be true for all of them, but I bet it would be true for some. Besides, if kids don’t get sex ed in middle/high school, when do parents think they’ll get it if they’re not discussing it with them? It’s naive to think all young adults will make the effort to educate themselves on the issue before having sex.
A lot of basic health education falls through the cracks though. Consider the percentage of people who don’t wash their hands after visiting restrooms or before eating, and the reduction of phys ed to a point where it has almost no health benefit in myriad schools.
Fuckin’ A Dave. Great post! Though I’m Canadian all this Palin shit is shoveld down our throats daily as well. I think it’s a fuckin’ joke to put it nicely.
In response to whall – I think statement like “anyone who is pro-life should be killed” don’t show any respect or professionalism in responding to these issues. I doubt that would ever be seen on this blog (or my blog, either).
As for everything Dave said in his post, I agree. It’s not that people can’t teach abstinence, it’s when they ONLY teach that and leave out other options that are highly possible. If Bristol would have known about condoms, she would have had a greater chance of not becoming pregnant. It’s still possible (condons break, not put on correctly, etc.). Maybe she and Levi did use a condom… who knowns. What we have to assume is that since her parents push abstinence, that’s the only option Bristol had.
Anyway, I don’t want to take away from Dave’s awesome post here. Just wanted to add my two cents on this whole matter and that I agree with Dave in every way. Another brilliant post.
I totally agree with you on abstinence not being the only form of birth control. Did you ever see that Eli Stone episode all about the topic? That was the one with George Michael (not as an hallucination)?
I’d comment, but I’m going to go hit on her daughter. I know she puts out.
Yay, a Dave political post at last. Excellent job and made for fascinating reading. I agree with 100% of what you wrote and actually think it’s really rather irresponsible to *only* teach abstinence as birth control.
I’ve been somewhat mindboggled over McCain’s pick of Palin to be honest. Skeletons in her closet and lack of vetting aside, he totally shot down his main angle of attack on Obama – his perceived lack of experience.
My friend and I have gotten into discussions about this. She is convinced people can abstain during the heat of the moment and there’s no need for them to be educated about birth control and I completely disagree.
I agree with you Dave. We can’t work with what we wish would be; we have to work with what is.
And I think it bears mentioning all the fun things girls are doing (and letting be done to them) in an effort to hold on to their “virginity.” It would make your toes curl. And NOT in the good way. Well, maybe Adam’s…
It’s not even enough to provide sex education. Young women (and men) need to know that it is OK to respect themselves enough to NOT have sex if safe sex options are not available. If they can’t stop and have a conversation in the heat of the moment about birth control and disease prevention, they shouldn’t put themselves in that situation to begin with. Lack of self-esteem and peer pressure are every bit as dangerous as lack of education.
Education means nothing if it is not put into practice.
Palin got exactly what she deserved?
Spoken like someone who has no children.
I don’t have children so that should somehow exclude me from caring about children’s safety?
It’s actually spoken like someone who believes that those who preach that abstinence-only sex education is effective method of keeping children safe from disease, pregnancy, and death deserve to be responsible for their actions. All evidence and statistics clearly show that abstinence-only sex education does not work. Palin refuses to acknowledge this while continuing to push a personal agenda that doesn’t achieve the objective to keep kids safe. She deserves the ramifications of her actions… not just from her own daughter… but from daughters everywhere who she has failed as a public servant.
It’s like I was saying last night, it’s all well and good to say that politician’s families should be off limits, but let’s get real here…they aren’t. Anyone who enters into politics or a career in acting for that matter, knows exactly what public limelight they will be thrust into.
So when you go around acting like abstinence education actually works yet you have a pregnant teenager at home, it DOES matter. I wish no harm on the girl and am sad that she has to be in the middle of all of this solely because of HER MOTHER’S ACTIONS AND WORDS.
And I don’t get the “spoken like someone who has no children” thing. I would think that wanting to teach better ways to not get pregnant, more realistic ways, would be very pro-child.
Seriously, I agree that Ms. Palin’s daughter must find it terribly uncomfortable and distasteful to be the topic of so much speculation and conversation. It is not right that someone’s child be the center of criticism rightly leveled at the parent. However, in this case, it is the child herself who IS the evidence and the basis for the criticism of her mother’s ass-backwards policy on abstinence-only public sex education. It is unfortunate, but extremely relevant. Not to whether Ms. Palin is or is not fit for the office for which she runs, but whether the policies she embraces are sound and likely to further or hinder our society.
As biological creatures in a society where sex is everywhere, even — or perhaps especially — marketed to little girls (I’m looking at you, Miley Cyrus), it is inevitable that adolescent sex will happen sometimes. And, with simply a little information and preparation beforehand, it doesn’t have to destroy OR perpetuate life. That’s irrefutable.
Well said Dave. Sex education is so necessary in this day and age. I remember my parents not giving me much info at all and I’m lucky I didn’t run into problems. I plan on teaching my son all that he needs to know to be safe….the tricky question is at what age….but we’ll figure it out.
Great post Dave…totally agree with you 100%. Just you reminding me of how frightening it would be if McCain (ie, Bush the Third) & Palin actually win is making me think about sending another check off to the Obama campaign this week. (Not much, but every bit helps I guess.)