Letters to the Editor

Readers write about parenthood and political campaigning.

Does parenthood matter in a candidate's campaign?

Regarding Barbara Curtis's Sept. 5 Opinion piece, "Sarah Palin can have it all": I believe Ms. Curtis missed the point most people were trying to make in questioning whether Palin can have it all. It isn't a question of whether women – or anyone – can, but whether this particular family has shown the capacity.

It isn't an issue because she is a woman, but because she raised the topic herself by touting her family values and faith, and held up her own family as an example of her beliefs and abilities.

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When politicians run on business ethics, they have no right to complain if their past business dealings become newsworthy.

Since this politician claimed, directly or indirectly, to know the best way to raise children and run a family, she and her supporters don't have the right to be upset that others have scrutinized her family and perhaps found her parenting skills and family life wanting, thereby questioning her ability both to raise a family and be a heartbeat away from the most important position in the free world.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "I can either run the country or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both." He, at least, was able to admit his inability to do it all. Not all of us can.

Karen Rippberger
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Regarding the recent Opinion piece on Sarah Palin: I believe motherhood (and fatherhood), when done earnestly and lovingly, are often the most undervalued jobs.

I have no doubt that Sarah Palin could handle the job of being vice president, mother of a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome, and mother of an unmarried, pregnant teenager, as well as any father could.

To me, however, these are not the qualifications I look for in a political candidate.

The writer proclaims "What happened to choice?" Governor Palin is committed to taking away all choices from Americans with her pro-life stance.

Sure, motherhood could be a great "proving ground for political leadership." I have no issue with Palin's motherhood expertise. My contentions lie with her ruthless policies that allow our environment to be exploited, wasted, and destroyed.

It's her policies, not her parenting, that turn my vote away.

Judith Lindsey
Candia, N.H.

Regarding the recent Opinion piece on Sarah Palin: She's a woman with enough gumption to oust a four-term good ol' boy by a 2-to-1 margin. She's a woman who is unapologetically, unreservedly pro life, and who has the gifts and the integrity to do more than just talk about it.

She is principled. She is tough.

She's a mother. And yet, if we want someone who lives out her convictions, doesn't it stand to reason that children are going to be involved?

Yes, she has a special needs infant and a 17-year-old daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock.

She also has 12 years of experience in public service in a state half the size of the continental United States.

If parenting special-needs children has taught me nothing else, it's that no one else can understand the internal dynamics of a family better than the individuals within that family.

What we've learned so far about Sarah Palin, through her family, is that she will defend the needs of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Heidi Saxton
Milan, Mich.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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