What America Can Learn From Bristol Palin

As a Mother of two daughters, I was dismayed to hear that Bristol Palin had “reunited” with Levi Johnston, her baby’s Father. He had not “gone gently into that good night” after their break-up…to put it mildly. He showed little grace or integrity with his immediate rush to join the media voices that regularly smear her family…the family, remember, on one side anyway, of his own son. He seemed to me to be at best immature; at worst seriously self-involved to a sadistic degree.

But as the Mother of two daughters, I also know that, sometimes, in matters of the heart, lessons can only be learned in the most painful ways. My Mother used to repeat that old axiom “You have to suffer to be beautiful.” I would add now “You have to suffer to be wise.” Levi Johnston is very good-looking young man…Bristol’s first love, the father of her child. I imagine he knows just what to say to her…just what she wants to hear. Only Levi himself has the power to teach enamored Bristol about the luster or lack of his own ethics and the depth or shallowness of his feelings for her.

Nothing Bristol’s family might have said to her could resound with her in the way the devastation of their reunion has: the betrayal after believing him fully…the feeling of foolishness after embracing him once again…and the eye-popping, searing self-realization of just exactly who and what Levi Johnson REALLY was….that she had to learn for herself.

Levi himself had to be her teacher of the scope and temerity of his shortcomings and treachery.

Yes, WE understand…don’t we, America?

America fell in love with a sweet-talking handsome young man two years ago too. He was exciting and smart. He said all the right things. He was going to take care of us. He had all the answers. He was going to reconcile both sides of the family. We would live happily ever after.

So, America, how’s that working out for us? How’s it going?

For me, I have now become a believer that you have to lose to win. The only antidote to infatuation is reality.

I imagine Sarah Palin hurts for her daughter, but doubtlessly, feels a great sense of relief. Chances are dwindling every day that Bristol will take him back again. Except in certain virulent constituencies, I believe Americans are coming to believe this about Democratic leadership. And every victory that Dems win…from Obamacare to the ruling against Arizona’s immigration law… in the long-term, is an American teaching moment…the pain of which will not soon be forgotten.

Soon the reality of Obamacare will come upon us…not the sweet-talk…NO…the taxes, the side-deals, the effects on Medicare, Medicaid,and our personal health care choices. Americans will remember that Obama and the Democrats swore this program would pay for itself. They will remember Obama and the Democrats swore that if we liked the Health-care we had NOW, nothing would change for us.

Alrighty then. That’s the starting point.

As we begin to live with the reality, every American who believes in any way that Obamacare has left him over-taxed or under-served will attach the anger of his discontent to the Democratic Party. The enemy of the Spin of Obamacare will be the Truth. Every voter in America will judge if he is a winner or loser on his own. No slick political ad, appearance on Late-Night TV, or soaring “speech-ifying” rhetoric..will be able to turn the Voter’s mind away from Obamacare as HE IS LIVING IT. Moreover, the Voter will now see anyone who tries to deny his reality as a diabolical, self-serving, untrustworthy, un-election-worthy liar.


Right now, America is standing, hand on hip, questioning frown-on-face, defiant at the door…facing down the Party that did the Deed…as we wait for the consequences. “This BETTER be good.” “This better be WHAT YOU SAID.”

I wonder if the Democrats understand this.

The Obama administration also appears to be winning their battle in court against Arizona’s attempt to control illegal immigration. Democrats under Obama are now the de facto champions of illegal immigration….Obama as Knight in Shining Armor. Democrats now own this issue too. Going forward, every crime against an American citizen by an illegal, every rancher terrorized on his own land, every U.S.state property posted too dangerous for Americans to use, will rebound upon Obama and the Democratic party. Arizona will be the little guy who tried. Washington… the Bully who defiantly swung the Door Wide Open. If social services remain strained to serve American citizens that THEY EXIST FOR, if jobs remain unavailable to able American citizens WHO WANT THEM…many of those people will begin to ask…why did Democrats not look out for American citizens FIRST? Why did Democrats FIGHT to open the Immigration doors and FIGHT to keep them OPEN no matter the consequences to ME?

Going forward, every American will look into his own life and see what voting Democratic has gained or….cost him. This will be the most potent campaign tool of all. The reality of Democratic governance upon our individual lives. None of us can escape the consequences. But, neither can Obama and the Democratic Party.

America has a lot to learn from Bristol Palin. Like her we fell hard for a sweet-talker with a pretty face. But….after the heartbreak and a hard, hard look at the reality of what HE means in our daily lives and, horrors!….for our future….America, like Bristol, will walk away. There will be new determination fueled by enduring disillusionment and utter disgust.

America , like Bristol, will be sadder but infinitely wiser, and, in regard to Levi, Obama and the Democratic Party… much less likely to make the same devastating mistake again.

Win to lose.

“Once bitten, twice shy, Babe.”


23 Responses

  1. “Right now, America is standing, hand on hip, questioning frown-on-face, defiant at the door…facing down the Party that did the Deed…as we wait for the consequences. ‘This BETTER be good.’ ‘This better be WHAT YOU SAID.’”

    Oh, my. An America that at any point could expect or demand such things of Obama or any other politician was already a goner. Bristol Palin is still a young woman. We make excuses for the young. But middle-aged voters cannot plead youth or inexperience. If Ronald Reagan, who promised to reduce the size and role of the central government in our lives, failed to deliver, why should anyone expect more of the Democrats? And why should anyone be surprised at the broken promises of one of its least accomplished and most ideological standard bearers?

    I understand what you are trying to do here. But if America must look to Bristol Palin for life lessons, the game is surely up.

    • Now, Benny, I hardly consider Bristol a Beacon in the Storm. I merely saw an analogy with the lovestruck and idealistic embrace of Obama and his “world-view.” But in our gossip/celebrity/reality show culture, one must use whatever “teaching tool” might work.

      But I agree…there seems to be no correlation between age and maturity anymore.

      Like poor Bristol, methinks a rude awakening has come upon us…
      “Take what you want, says God…and pay for it.” So sayeth the Spanish proverb.

      or as I see it:

      “Yes, the curse has come upon us said the Lady of Shallot.”


      But your point about Reagan is very well made.

  2. I wish I felt as sanguine as you about Bristol learning a life lesson about Levi – but unfortunately, I do not. I find myself in agreement with the sentiments expressed by Benny. While I hope above hope that Bristol finally is able to see the baby father for what he is – a callow youth who is incredibly self-centered – unfortunately, she will be tethered to him for the rest of her life as their son will be the cord that binds them – more in the next eighteen or so years than after that but still….

    Voters in this country over and over again go for the sweet talking, roses and chocolate bearing politicians each Novermber that they punch a chad, pull a lever, or fill in the circle. They constantly believe that THIS TIME it will be different – only to be disappointed time and again. Occasionally, there is a candidate for office who means what he says – but he (or she) does not last long in the foetid environment that is DC.

  3. My only current political infatuation (be still my heart) is with Chris Christie.

    It’s pretty intense…but I am afraid.

    • Egad! Infatuation? Repeat after me: Even the “noblest” politician should immediately call to mind a wag’s description of the writer Robert Graves—namely, “A first-rate writer of the second rank.”

  4. Or Benny, quoting those contemporary lyrical “poets” of today…Brooks and Dunn…

    I’ll play this game that I can’t win
    I’ll be somebody’s fool again
    Working on my next broken heart.”


    • I just returned from upstate New York, where I spent three spectacular days in the company of college fraternity buddies and their wives, and then three heartwarming days in my hometown with the extended family celebrating my parents’ 65th wedding anniversary and the first visit since 1995 of a sister who lives in Australia. That sister was accompanied by her own daughter, whom I hadn’t seen since 1989, and her daughter’s one-year-old son, who last year became my parents’ only great-grandchild. In June I enjoyed two days at a reunion of high-school classmates, some of whom I hadn’t seen since we graduated 45 years ago.

      My three summer reunions have driven home to me the very great obligation to devote more time and energy to staying connected with friends and family, especially with those who have never over-promised but have more often than not over-delivered. Perhaps these reunions have simply reinforced my longstanding distrust of, if not contempt for, politicians “of a certain stamp”—that is, politicians who have scampered up the ladder to that level at which they routinely subordinate their friends and families to their own ambition and desire for the limelight. Over the years I have come to think that attaining that level will transmogrify even the most dedicated and constant public servant into what my daughters call “a player”—that is, someone whose dealings with others are motivated far more by self-gratification and self-aggrandizement than by loyalty, fellow-feeling, or regard for the public interest.

      So in this matter of Christie and clones you are bound to be disappointed far more often than I–which, I should add, is consistent with your probably NOT needing any reminders to devote yourself to friends and family.

      I bow humbly in your direction.

  5. We have become a branding society looking for a symbols to save us. Perhaps it is the age of TV where products are sold by buzz words and slick ads. Dancing cheerful girls for tampons and P-Diddy for AmEx Cards move markets. Obama was chosen and sold to us by some great ad agencies and a MSM who hide his real faults.

    Words, Promises, & Slogans do not make a President.. We must examine all of the candidates for proof of real accomplishments. He had none, but a cool demeanor and a sweet siren’s song. He had never even run a corner store yet he was given the keys to the largest economy in the world. It is clear he is way over his head and the “Smartest President Ever” was a cruel joke.

    Like Bristol’s teenage tryst we don’t like the results. I look back at the great Presidents and wonder if they could be elected today?

    It is my hope that whether our next President is a Democrat or a Republican we must be able to see he is competent by having proven results. Boy did we make a mistake on Obama.

    • We are experience our first “Celebrity-President.” I hope we learn something from from it.

      ‘Back in the day”, my roommate and I had a chart wherein we tried to analyze the Dating Scene…as we saw it.

      I mercifully cannot remember all the categories of the “Fish-in-the-Sea”…but we divided the young men we met into Barracudas, Sharks, Trout, Jellyfish and Seahorses. There may have been more. Thankfully memory fades.

      We agreed that Barracuda and Sharks were great fun to date…but we both felt Trout were the ultimate marriageable material.

      I went that route and…lived happily ever after. At least unless he does not care to learn of this designation after all these years. 🙂

  6. The problem is two-fold. On the one hand, our politicians forget that very basic fact that one puts on one’s pants one foot at a time. The other is that the voters also forget that each person, no matter who he or she is, puts his or her pants on one leg at a time.

    It is easy to be swayed by adoring fans. As a parent of a very young child, one experiences that adulation when one’s child sees in you the be all and end all. But, as parents, we know that such adulation comes to an end at some point – the parent that we thought knew everything turns out to (for a while at least) know nothing at all – only, slowly to regain knowledge as the maturing child enters adulthood, leaves the family nest, sets up his/her own house, marries and has children. It is then that the omniscience that parents once had returns – or at least some former part of it returns.

    So it is the way with our politicians/leaders. Only it is the long after the fact that they are “rehabilitated”. Some see their reputations tarnished while others, re-assessed, are viewed with greater favor. But that is of little help for the voter in the here and now who must make a choice as to whom to support.

    Today our politicians spend too much time and money employing “handlers” who create a persona for them. I would rather that a politician let his warts show – that he is not always cool, calm, and collected. That there are things that bother him (I use the generic here as I feel that it doesn’t matter the gender of the candidate). That there are things that excite him. I do not want a political leader who is regarded as some Christ-like figure.

    Obama’s supporters have done him a huge disservice – and in turn, he has failed as president. He will be re-elected in 2012 primarily because Americans are loathe to change in midstream and particularly when there is no alternative that even promises the hope of something better. The Republicans have no one even looming on the horizon at this juncture. Instead, there will be some Republican gains – though not enough to effect any real changes instituted these past two years – there will be instead, even more rancorous partisanship.

    I will grant you that Christie of New Jersey seems interesting. He will be one to watch. However, I will not get too excited about anyone – and perhaps, that is for the best. Hope for the best, do not expect too much, be pleasantly surprised and happy when things go well, and do not be so thoroughtly crushed when they do not.

    • What I like about Christie (so far) is that he doesn’t seem to care whether he is reelected or not.

      So far, he seems to speak his mind no matter who might not like it and act in what he really considers to be the best interest of NJ and not himself. This is so rare as to be actually stunning!

      Most of these politicians are there for themselves first. They WANT the JOB too much.

      Not good,,,to want anything more than your own integrity….

  7. I am exceedingly distrustful of any politician who wants a political office too much. It seems that they are too willing to give up any and everything (particularly their integrity). Perhaps that I why I admire JC Watts.

  8. Perhaps the problem with politics is that with the art of compromise (which politics requires) that one ultimately is forced with a decision as to whether one will ompromise one’s principles. Those that cannot, leave, those whose principles are not firmly grounded remain. Once they have started on that slippery slope they find it difficult to find an anchoring spot so that they slide no further.

    I do not know what the answer is – I just know that I am tired of holding my nose and voting for the person I find least objectionable – not voting because it is someone for whom I feel pleased and proud to support.

    • “I just know that I am tired of holding my nose and voting for the person I find least objectionable – not voting because it is someone for whom I feel pleased and proud to support.”

      It is precisely because so many voters are looking to be wowed by politicians that we’re in such a pickle. If the average voter simply managed to vote for the least objectionable—in other words, if the average voter presumed all candidates to be predators rather than benefactors—our politics would improve spectacularly overnight.

      An estimable tradition of political thought was built on the notions that, at best, politics is a second-rate activity and most of its practitioners third-rate. It is the tradition to which many of the Founders bowed. Our system of checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights itself, are premised on a low opinion of the folks likely to hold political office. And this dim view of political operatives came about long before government commanded the resources to intrude itself into almost every aspect of our lives.

      If we all looked with gimlet eye rather than dilated pupil at candidates for public office, if we slapped ourselves every time we lapsed into conjoining “hero” with any politician’s name, we might eventually find ourselves with more candidates we could safely introduce to impressionable children and happy dogs.

      It is an error of the first order to apologize for approaching candidates for public office as if they were little more than dolled-up brigands. Keep in mind that government is that institution that commands a monopoly of force in civil society.

  9. Benny – point well taken.

    While I am not looking to be wowed by anyone, I would like to think that a candidate for office does have more than a modicum of integrity (if that); views himself as a servant of those that would elected him; and that the office held is a sacred trust.

    • I did not mean to say YOU were looking to be wowed. I could have done better than I did in using your words as a point of departure. I’m confident, though, that innumerable voters do fall prey to the temptation—a temptation fostered by a culture that long ago gave up the distinction between fame (the result of excellence) and celebrity (the result of puffery), and by a political class that touts itself as necessary to our welfare and, therefore, deserving of our adulation.

      Whenever I sense myself nodding off at the watch, I splash myself with this cold-water question: What promise above all others would I prefer hearing from a political candidate? The answer is this: “I promise to reduce my office’s meddling in your life.” For me, at least, the implication of that answer is clear, and it is not one that flatters the office or its typical holder.

  10. I think the problem is the Tee-Shirt Wearers…ie the voters that will tolerate anything from their Congressman or Senator as long as he is wearing THEIR same tee shirt. Politicians have been so successful in having us define ourselves so narrowly…that race, gender, ethnicity and social issues trump integrity every time.

    I’ve sadly come to believe that “identification” trumps all.

  11. Another wonderful example of our culture’s predilection for lionizing lightweights can be seen in today’s price action in the stock of Hewlett Packard Corporation. Over the weekend that company’s CEO, Mark Hurd, was shown the door for sexually harassing a not-so-young and probably not-so-sweet lady.

    As a shareholder of Hewlett Packard, I’m quite okay with Hurd’s getting the boot (presuming that he did what has been alleged). But I’m not at all happy seeing Hewlett Packard’s market value drop by ten billion dollars because of its CEO’s shenanigans. Hewlett Packard’s business is far too substantial and diverse, its customers and markets far too numerous, to lay its successes (or failures) at the door of its just-departed CEO. But we live in a time in which the ridiculous salaries and bonuses paid these top executives are “back translated” into construing each of them as a Warren Buffett, a Steve Jobs, or a Bill Gates.

    Ah, give me those days of yore in which the market value of a company went UP when it freed itself of a “leader” who had shown such poor judgment and loss of self-control.

  12. Benny, while you were ensconced in the world of high finance today, I myself, leading my glamorous life, was at the Seafood counter of the local supermarket.

    The gentleman behind me in line actually tapped me on the shoulder to “congratulate” me for shopping at a “Union” market. Before I could respond he confided that of course, “we” knew that the seafood was much fresher at X market and considerably cheaper at Y Market….but we are doing the “right thing.”

    I must say I am exceedingly more restrained these days than in my youth…as in the time I decided to engage in debate a man who approached me on the street to tell me Jesus had told him to move to California.

    Anyway, I’m not wearing that tee-shirt. I will be cruising over to X and Y Market to check this info out. I have no personal definition or code that requires me to eat old fish.

    I’m sure this fellow votes however the Union tells him.

    • You might have responded that eating “old fish” has been shown to contribute to impotence in men and slavishness in the population as a whole–and, as that this was your first visit to the store, you were exceedingly grateful for the tip.

    • “ . . . a man who approached me on the street to tell me Jesus had told him to move to California.”

      I sure hope Marco sees this. It might make more explicable the current woes of his state.

  13. Benny – no harm no foul. I realized that you were talking in the generic though I wanted to explain my position.

    I would agree with the designation of tee shirt wearers.

    Finally, I would agree that age tends to mellow one a bit in terms of responding to the inane comments to which one is subjected when out and about. The one I get routinely about my surname (a long Germanic name with few vowels and a number of consonants) rarely these days (unless I am in a peckish mood – generally around the end of each grading period of the school year) elicits the withering response from me that I once routinely gave to clerks, salesmen, etc. when they said it must have taken either me (or my children) a long time to learn how to spell it or pronounce it. It is not that I do not get as irritated as in the past, I do, but it is just that I have learned that in all things, I need to husband my resources for the greater issues in life. Ah…..the downside of old age!

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