No poster kid for abstinence

by Tommi Avicolli Mecca on February 23, 2009

You gotta love Bristol Palin, the unwed daughter of former Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, who is now a new mommy.

The 18-year-old recently told it like it is about the right wing’s favorite message for young people: Abstinence. On Fox News, no less. “I think abstinence is, I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all,” said the mother of Tripp (where does the Palin family get those names?), who is two months old.

Added the younger Palin: “Everyone should be abstinent, but it’s not realistic…(sex) is more and more accepted among kids my age.” You just have to watch prime-time TV (even on Fox) to figure that out. And who says everyone SHOULD be abstinent? Only people who don’t practice it themselves, such as televangelists who eventually get caught with their pants down with a sex worker or someone else’s spouse.

Or a new teen mom.

Mommy dearest, who has spent her political career (such as it is) defending abstinence (never condoms or sex ed), was also on hand during the interview to give her daughter’s words the proper right-wing spin. Does Fox think we’re all too stupid to see a set-up?

Mommy assured viewers of the station that brings news with a conservative Christian slant that she’s proud that her daughter is “wanting to take on an advocacy role and, you know, just let other girls know that this is – it’s not the most ideal situation, but certainly, make the most of it.”

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of the Palin’s. I had hoped that with the election over, the world would never hear of the family that John McCain dug up from the back woods of Alaska to bring a little bit of bad old-fashioned morality (or maybe just a female running mate) to his bid for the presidency.

Though there’s talk of Palin (the elder, not the younger) seeking the nomination for president in four years, I figured everyone had had enough of this woman who hunts moose and goes on expensive shopping sprees on someone’s else dime.

Is Fox so desperate for ratings that it has to keep on trotting out what it thinks is a poster-child family? If the Palins are the exemplary American clan, then indeed this country is morally bankrupt. Not because Bristol got knocked up before being hitched (does anyone really care about that anymore?), but because the family stands for nothing.

These are not people who have fought and won hard battles for the rights of the downtrodden or disenfranchised. They don’t represent any great causes, such as saving the environment or ending world hunger. They haven’t even given the world a John, Bobby or Ted.

The Palin’s simply provide another good reason for the rest of the planet to laugh at stupid Americans.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca is co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italians Sailing Beyond Columbus, and editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation, which will be published June 1 by City Lights Books. His website:

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