Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gov. Palin - It's Not About Her Daughter

McCain's VP pick, Gov. Sarah Palin, just announced the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daughter. Republicans and Democrats have some common ground here. They don't want her daughter to be hurt. Sen. Obama says families are off-limits. So does McCain. Most parents can identify with that.

Agreed. It's not about the 17-year-old. It's about the policies.

It is highly relevant to ask about the pregnancy in light of the 2008 Republican Platform.

Adopted today, the Republican Platform says:

"We renew our call for replacing family planning programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100% effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. . ." (Platform, pg. 45).

When the VP pick's daughter finds herself in the exact situation central to this Republican Platform on "Principles for Elementary and Secondary Education," it is directly relevant. It is relevant to question whether this policy works. It is relevant to question where the country might be if kids get the idea that it's cool to get pregnant at 17. Gov. Palin portrays herself as Middle America. But most of the pregnant kids in Middle America won't have the family or financial support her daughter will have. For most kids trudging through the daily grind of high school, it looks pretty glamorous to jet around with adorable kids and a huge family to attend political rallies where everyone supports them. It's relevant to question whether this policy of "Abstinence Only" education actually works.

If this was about Palin's daughter's style of hair or college antics, it would be of questionable relevance. Because it is about whether a major Republican Party platform will actually work, it's not about the daughter. It's about the policies.

Here's the Republican Party Platform: http://www.gop.com/pdf/PlatformFINAL_WithCover.pdf