Saturday, 12 February 2011

Two years in the lives of Sarah Palin's political props

I wrote a post about Sarah Palin's large, loving family on March 9, 2009. They have changed a lot since then, but are still being used as props.

The Palins then:

Todd's nativeness is constantly exaggerated. The stories get more and more embroidered and outrageous. Todd is an example to all natives, his lyfestyle should be copied by all those whining natives. They should seize opportunities upon the North Slope, the mines, anything that doesn't involve preserving their way of life. Todd did it and still returns to his village, still embraces all things native, still lives in rural Alaska when he has the chance. Yes, Todd spends one season doing real work and the rest of the time he indulges in the quaint native lifestyle in his village and all its pleasures. It's a win win situation!

Track made the sacrifice of not pursuing higher education in order to serve his country in Iraq. We all heard it at the rallies. Track is risking his life so the people of America can have freedom of speech. He's also obeying God's will. After all, the war in Iraq is a task from God.

Bristol served more than one purpose. She was paraded before the nation and the world as a pregnant teen to prove that Sarah was Trig's mother. Now Bristol is the poster girl for planned, unplanned, accidental, whatnot teenage pregnancy. Abstinence is good, is bad, it works, it doesn't work, it's not realistic, whatever. Sarah is the ultimate supportive parent, the living proof that these things can happen in any family, but they are blessed to have a strong, loving family and so on.

Willow should be renamed Wisdom. She was the first one to notice that Trig had Down's Syndrome, giving Sarah another opportunity for an emotional platitude. "If he does, you know you will still love him, Willow. It'll be okay." Then Willow made an incredible remark when she heard on the radio that 95 % of the people in America would benefit from tax cuts, according to campaign promises made by Barack Obama. She turned to her mom and asked "What about the other 5%?" Mom explained that those were the ones who had worked hard to make America great, but they were rich. "Why should they be punished for their success?", said Willow. Oh, the wisdom of a child!

Piper is Sarah's favourite sidekick. She goes everywhere with Sarah, she appears in every interview, whenever possible. Of all the members of the family, Piper is the busiest state official, clocking more airmiles in the service of the state than all the others. We saw Piper standing next to Sarah at the 50th year of Alaska Statehood gala, in January this year, wearing a lovely summer dress and high-heeled sandals. When Matt Lauer interviewed the Palins at their home, there was Piper in high heels again, so cute! Piper gives radio interviews as well. I wonder when she manages to find a gap in her busy schedule to attend school!

Trig doesn't rank as high as Piper in Sarah's preferences, but he'll do as a valuable prop. Trig was the vice presidential campaign mascot. He was passed to everybody who cared to hold him, was dressed like a cute elephant for Halloween, had his hair smoothed with Piper's spit (that cute Piper again!). He worked tirelessly during the campaign, staying up late, braving the noise, the bright lights and all the commotion of the rallies. Trig does a great job humanizing Sarah Palin.

There are no photos of the whole family from March 2009. This will have to do, just delete Levi

The Palins now:

Todd is not so native anymore. I suppose it isn't a very hot selling point for Sarah's new image. She made some passing references to it on Sarah Palin's Alaska, but the show was all about HER, after all. These days Todd doesn't work for a living anymore. Now he's a combination of enforcer, handbag carrier, supermom to the children, still doing the Iron Dog thing and appears to be the only adult from the clan who has a proper relationship with Trig. According to the tabloids, gossip websites and various bloggers, he's not too keen on "hot" Sarah and has strayed a bit. Who's going to carry Sarah's purse now?

Track is still the token army guy in the family. Now he's a veteran and nobody can take it away from Sarah. The last time we saw him, he showed utter disinterest in the family business he was about to inherit. We didn't really buy that story line from Sarah Palin's Alaska. Track is not a willing prop and Sarah can't use him much, apart from wearing bracelets and hanging stars around the place to show she has a son in active service. Is he still active? Never mind...

Bristol has changed the most and is now a mini-Sarah, complete with her own prop. Bristol does speeches (as opposed to screeches, but still...), is dilligently writing her memoirs and has hinted at a political career. Bristol changed diapers, couldn't get a decent night's sleep, got up at 4 or 5 am to bathe Tripp, bought a condo, sold the condo, posed for magazine spreads, "danced" her way into American hearts, then packed her stuff and her prop, bought herself a new chin and moved to Maricopa. The mother/daughter bonding on Sarah Palin's Alaska was truly moving: Clay pigeon shooting and whacking halibut, such tender moments...

Willow's image has changed also, too. Once a child wise beyond her years, she transformed into a rebellious young woman, sneaking boyfriends into her bedroom, pulling faces at inappropriate moments and smashing her younger sister's face into cakes. Apparently, she also acquired a taste for some breaking and entering. As a prop, she serves as an illustration of Sarah's magnanimous attitude to dealing with teenagers. She let's them make their own mistakes and find their own way, but laments their mistakes being on the cover of the National Enquirer. Hey, they don't need the NE, Willow and Bristol can display all their charm on Facebook, where they use well constructed sentences, full of beautiful words.

Piper... the cute kid from the campaign now looks deeply unhappy. Piper was OK on the first book tour, but the child we saw on the second looked sullen and distant. On Sarah's show she sported a bumpit under her highlighted hair and the cuteness was a thing of the past. We also noticed that Piper wears make up on occasions. On Sarah Palin's Alaska, Piper's mother/daughter moments were very awkward. Trig is now too heavy for Piper to carry around and she appears to have lost her babysitter role.

Trig is still his lovely self. He doesn't seem to be a very useful prop these days, at least not in person. Sarah still talks about what a blessing he is and how incredibly brave she was to have chosen to have him, but on Sarah's show he didn't seem to like her very much and showed his displeasure on more than one occasion. She took him to some Tea Party rallies, but the lack of chemistry between them is showing more and more. Trig was the underdressed star of the first book tour, but he was smaller and more compliant then (and never felt cold or uncomfortable, a real trooper!). I expect we'll see less and less of Trig in future. I didn't watch all the Sarah Palin's Alaska episodes. I gather all Sarah's children had their turn, with a dedicated episode each. Even Sarah's daddy and her brother had their moment of glory. Did Trig have a special episode? Unless we count the one with cousin Matthew, a freshly discovered cousin/ nephew/whatever with Down syndrome, where Sarah teared up spouting her usual platitudes, there was no episode for Trig. There was nothing about his daily routine, the therapies and programs to help him reach his full potential. Trig is a blessing, pity he was not blessed with a decent mother.

In the past two years we have seen many changes in the Palin family. All for the worse, I would say.

We would love to leave them alone, but Sarah Palin keeps shoving them in our faces to market her Christian/real American family values...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When Sarah walked on to the national stage. I was appalled at the interaction between Sarah and her family mambers. Having been a photographer for many years, the camera catches the truth and despite Sarah's ability to fake a certain level of caring when the cameras are rolling, she is a "cold fish." The only person who Sarah Palin cares about is Sarah Palin. All the others are expendable.