Mr. Bookworm loathes Sarah Palin: “She’s not one of us.” I don’t know what he means. She’s a married mom with children. She went to college. She and her husband work. They pay taxes. She doesn’t drink (or not to excess), smoke, or do drugs (so far as we know). She’s well-groomed. She has a sense of humor. She’s interested in the world around her. She’s religious but we actually have some friends and neighbors who are religious too.
Of course, she’s really religious. She actually takes it seriously. I think that’s what irks him so much.
And that’s kind of what irks others about her. Or, as James Taranto makes more specific, its her moral objection to abortion, which is undoubtedly a byproduct of her religion, that drives the women bonkers. To the pro-choice crowd, abortion is the last gasp of freedom.
I know this for a fact, because it’s the way I thought. Abstinence is great as birth control, but it denies a woman access to one of life’s fundamental pleasures. Birth control itself is great, except for all the problems with it: the hormonal nightmare of the pill, the mess of the diaphragm, the risk and embarrassment of the condom.
When all else fails, when you’ve given in to your instincts, but the birth control didn’t work, you’ve still got abortion. Abortion keeps you from a life of less money, less sleep, less freedom, less control over your time, less self-indulgence, less time for movies, reading, dinners out, dates, etc. And all that’s after the baby’s born. Abortion also keeps you from nine months of vomiting, non-stop peeing, back pain, hemorrhoids, massive weight gain, heart burn, sleepless nights, all of which suffering is followed by a few minutes to several days worth of incredible pain. Oh, yeah!
I totally get it. I really, really get it.
The only problem is that the other end of this equation, the one causing the nine months of discomfort, followed by the 18 years of sleepless nights, no money, etc., is a human being. It’s a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent and a young adult. It is a person, whose smell is instantly recognizable to you, who turns to you in times of happiness and times of need, who constantly grows and changes, often making you very proud. It is a potential mother, father, sister, brother, doctor, soldier, maintenance person, bus driver, lawyer, good Samaritan, criminal. It is potential. It is life.
These facts, the imbalance of parenting, means that those who are invested in freedom from pregnancy because it makes their own lives better (and it does) are very angry at Palin. She reminds them that, not only is another life involved, but also that one can be happy and productive, both despite and because of that other life — even if that other life is disabled. She makes liberals, especially women, feel inferior. And there’s no one better to savage than the woman who makes you feel lazy, whiny, self-centered, and ugly.