What’s your take on the Sarah Palin “soap opera”? How do you sort out these “working” values?

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his week, we’re talking about values related to labor — and our day-to-day decisions about working — and now we’ve suddenly stumbled into a lightening-rod issue that has all of America abuzz about these questions. You can’t turn on talk radio without hearing someone discussing John McCain’s vice presidential pick — Sarah Palin — and the lightening-rod issues surrounding her acceptance of his selection.
    From time to time at OurValues.org we’ve raised such lightening-rod issues. These are difficult for researchers to sort out so that we can take America’s pulse on what’s really motivating our political choices. I’d like to know how you’re approaching this emerging story.

 

    Palin is a soap opera scriptwriter’s dream — former mayor of a tiny town, briefly governor of Alaska, a staunch conservative, a self-proclaimed “hockey Mom” and a mother of five — one with Downs Syndrome and another one (Bristol) pregnant at 17. Now, she’s also the second woman in American history running as a vice-presidential candidate. I agree with Slate.com XXFactor bloggers Dahlia Lithwick and Rachel Larimore when they refer to the Sarah Palin story as “a marathon on Lifetime Television.”
    The latest XXFactor writer to weigh in Tuesday afternoon was Meghan O’Rourke who said the underlying issues here are too complex to categorize. Meghan called this “a gritty reflection of the reality of life for women today: The categories aren’t as tidy as they’re made out to be. Life in America isn’t simply ‘red’ or ‘blue’ but something in between, rife with contradiction and complication.”
    So, what do you think about these intertwined issues of family values and work values: Should Palin stay at home and raise her five kids? Should Bristol’s pregnancy be blamed on the lack of parental supervision because Mom was working?
    The
great contradiction is that social conservatives are backing Palin and
her family, while they would be railing against the same behavior in
a Democrat. For example, social conservatives like James Dobson
laud the Palins’ anti-abortion decision—Bristol will keep the baby
and marry the father. Others identify with Palin and her family
saga. It makes them more human and likeable, they say.
    Where
do you come out on the Sarah Palin soap opera? Is she a smart
pick for the number two slot? Does she represent the dilemmas,
pressures and complexities of working women everywhere?   

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