As we're waiting for Sarah Palin to speak tonight, I thought I would take this opportunity to muse on myself and this blog. I've received quite a bit of feedback over the nascent few days I've been writing about Sarah -- mostly complimentary, some more Obama-Left sabre-rattling.
Most of the sabre rattling is over the fact I'm a gay guy, and supporting the most "crazed, abortion-stopping, God-loving, gay-hating candidate EVAR!" Yeah. Because when I'm writing a blog called "Stop Smearing Sarah" I'm really receptive toward Leftist projection that Gov. Palin wants to have me arrested and force my 17-year old sister into having a pregnancy. Right. Really, now.
Yes, I'm gay. And a Democrat. And a liberal.
But more importantly, I am an American. And as an American, I try to live my life by the same American values that bind us: service and respect.
And I respect Sarah Palin's call to service -- to her family and to her constituents.
We've all heard the tokenism: "I have x minority friend." To wit: "I have Republican friends." And why they and I may disagree on certain positions, we often find commonality. And, in Governor Palin, I found a commonality with her positions and background. She's my "Republican friend," just as much as I am her "gay friend." We can find respect, even if we don't agree in lock-step. That's the beauty of America, neh?
Yes, she is a Christian.
Yes, she is pro-life.
No, she doesn't believe in same-sex marriage (but then again, what high-profile Democratic politician says they do, either?).
And? I always hearken back to my younger years. High school. Remember: White people love (bad) memories of High School (they also love Barack Obama). So indulge me.
My former teacher and drama director is a devout Christian. Politics came up with her one day, and she said she had a gay roommate, loved and respected her students (and myself), but did not believe in gay marriage. It was against her beliefs. We raised Hell against her, citing hypocrisy, and hung our heads in disbelief. How can she be in drama, and -- by the same token -- be against gay marriage?
Years and retrospect made me realize that it wasn't intolerance. It wasn't hate. It was her way. And in screaming, shouting, kicking, and admonishing, it made her like us less. Respect us less. We wanted to damage and embarrass her for her position -- and, by our rights then, we felt she should be embarrassed -- and instead lost our teacher and mentor who supported us. No one won; gay marriage has since been Constitutionally banned in Michigan.
In this electoral season, I've seen the same impulsive rancor lobbied against those of us Democrats with a more level head. "War-mongering," "Racist," "Uneducated," "Bitter." And I learned that while they could shout someone like me off of the DailyKos, they didn't win my respect or support. I did not have an epiphany in the way that they wanted me to; I didn't see that their belief system -- in this case, Barack Obama -- was an example of superior judgement. It only made me reflect on my own attitudes and demeanor toward others.
In some respects, I "turned the other cheek."
I researched Gov. Palin and became a supporter. She had her personal social beliefs but did not actively seek to enact policy upon their behalf. She is pro-life, and advocates that position. But has she ever demonstrated a need for others to believe as she does?
Has Sarah Palin ever said gays have no place in the American culture? No.
Instead, Sarah Palin has demonstrated a strong, populist appeal with regard to economics. Less hand-outs, more can-do attitude. Sarah Palin being from Alaska was only more fitting: I saw her as a tough, determined person -- a manifestation of the harsh climates of Alaska. As she told us herself, she and her husband grew up "working with [their] hands."
Wanting to cut wasteful spending. Wanting to tap into our domestic production. Wanting to end corruption in Washington.
I agree with this. Whether or not Governor Palin thinks that gays are an abomination from God (and I highly doubt she does) does not affect how she governs. If she changes that tune, I'll change mine.
But I see nothing in Sarah Palin that stops me from living my life as I see fit. I see her as someone who walks her walk, stands by her values and -- while may disagree with others -- respects their right to them. As said in her gubernatorial debate with Democrat Terry Knowles, Sarah Palin would "choose life." And, in her life, she has.
There's no hypocricy there. There's no lie.
The Obama-Left want to salivate over her daughter's pregnancy. They want Sarah Palin's OB/GYN to prove that Trig Palin is her son. They want to scream that she would be the end of the world for us LGBT Americans out there.
Instead what Sarah Palin does is set an example for Americans that value a strong work ethic, devotion to family, and a desire to end corruption even if your silence could promote your person. She stands by her principles and does so proudly.
As Americans, we should honor that personal example, and not admonish it or obfuscate it by calling Sarah Palin as nothing more than a "small town sportscaster." We all wish we could lead lives such as Sarah Palin.
And despite me being a gay male from urban Michigan, I identify with the heterosexual female woman from Wasilla.
I am Sarah Palin.
... At least, I wish I could be, as she is a fine example for any American.