Earlier today I saw the above clip of Sarah Palin, appearing on behalf of Donald Trump, speaking about her son’s recent arrest.
I felt awful for her. And I said that. And I Tweeted that. I mean, I can’t imagine sending your son or daughter off to fight, and then he/she returns a different person. It has to be absolutely heartbreaking, as well as frustrating, exasperating, sometimes even hopeless. You had this person, who you helped form and develop, and now … you don’t.
So, again, I felt awful for her. Because, although she’s a politician I don’t support, she’s also a wife and mother.
Then, however, someone asked whether I’d watched the entirety of the clip. “No,” I said.
“Watch it,” he replied.
I just did. And now, regrettably, my empathy has sort of vanished. “It starts from the top,” Palin said. “The question though it comes from our own president, when they have to look at him and wonder, do you know what we go through, do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedoms that have been bequeathed us?” she added. “So when my own son is going through what he goes through, coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who feel these ramifications of some PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with.”
Let me say this: If your kid goes off the fight, and returns sans support, you have a right to be angry. You have a right to blame Obama, John Kerry, George W. Bush … whoever. But when this shit is just used a political ammo, it’s infuriating. I never heard (and still haven’t heard) one peep from Palin about Bush rushing into the Middle East after 9/11. I never heard (and still haven’t heard) one peep from her about the cuts in funding (GOP-led) for support services. Seriously, not one peep. Which makes this a unique form of ugliness, where a person (Palin) is sorta thrusting her son forward as an example of presidential incompetency but—in truth—turning his difficulties into political gamesmanship.
Again, I have no problem with families being angry if they feel their loved ones have been wronged. But can we at least have an honest dialogue?