Yesterday I raised a few questions about a reference made to Alexis de Tocqueville in Sarah Palin's book America by Heart. Staying with this theme, I would like to look at a John Adams quote which appeared in her book..
When the book was published, David Frum asked if her ghostwriters were messing with her and wrote a very sarcastic item about it.
“It should be your care, therefore, and mine to elevate the mind of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue.”
[From a letter written by John Adams to Abigail Adams]
Frum's comment: "Yes, truly, if there is anything I associate with Palin more than excellence in every capacity and faculty – more even than her contempt of meanness and abhorrence of injustice – it is her commitment to industry and plain hard work."
Let's take it one step further and look at each statement contained in this paragraph. How do they apply to Sarah Palin and her children?
to elevate the mind of our children and exalt their courage
I'm not sure about elevating the minds of her own children as none of the younger ones appears to attend school on a regular basis and the older two didn't bother with college, but Sarah does exalt Track's courage, albeit to exalt her own feat of being the mother of a combat veteran , something nobody can take away from her!
“say whatcha want about me but I raised a combat vet and you can’t take that away from me.”
to accelerate and animate their industry and activity
This one applies to Bristol, she's the embodiment of industry and activity. She worked full time as the manager (ahem) of a dermatologist's practice, got up at some ungodly hour to bathe Tripp and change his diapers, became an ambassador for a foundation that uses soft porn images to promote abstinence, danced (ahem) animatedly with the stars, delivers some riveting speeches about the big mistake she made because she misunderstood the meaning of sexual abstinence and recently she has committed to write (ahem) a book about her industrious life. Yes, Bristol is a very accelerated, animated and active girl.
to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity
Willow provides the best example of how her mother excited in her a contempt of meanness. Willows charm and generosity when commenting on one of her peer's Facebook wall made the headlines...
Bristol was not mean to a teacher in Homer and did not address the peaceful protester in a disrespectful manner.
Little Piper learned this lesson well from the example set by her virtuous mother. Their attitudes to Lyda Green were not mean, they were just and humane...
and an an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue
Sarah Palin's reality show about her Alaska made it very clear that all her children are potential scholars, never unwilling to excel in anything (unless they're bored out of their skulls) and are very virtuous indeed, although their mother resents the fact that their virtues tend to be exposed in the pages of the National Enquirer.
[I apologize if the footage above doesn't show enough of Sarah Palin's children. I noticed that immediately after being filmed with her family, Sarah had a very strange reaction. ]
Despite the sarcastic tone of this post, there are some serious considerations here. The values Sarah Palin passed on to her children appear to have taken root in some of them. Track seems to have distanced himself from his mother and there might be some hope for him. Bristol is following in Sarah's footsteps, with the added advantage of having become an overnight celebrity when her mother paraded her pregnant belly to the world in order to dispel certain rumours. Willow seems to be as reactive as Sarah and hasn't learned yet to pretend to be as charming as her mother. We hear how people find Sarah Palin friendly and approachable when in public. Willow will soon learn a few more lessons from Sarah and turn out to be as industrious as her older sister. Piper doesn't have much of a chance of escaping the Palin influence, not with her mother and two older sisters setting the example. Let's hope Trig will be able to acquire better values from whoever is providing him with care and guidance.
The letter from John Adams had an extra sentence: "If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives."
I suppose the Palins have enough money now and their children will never need to grovel, but it's a shame that their young minds won't have the opportunity to expand and that they won't seek fulfillment in areas other than the acquisition of monetary riches. If they follow in their mother's footsteps, their minds will not be elevated, but condemned to continuing poverty instead...
(H/T to Trigmund Freud)