Opinion: Bristol Palin responds to snark with grace

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Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin is pregnant again — and again she’s on the receiving end of a barrage of snark and judgment, just like she was seven years ago when her mom was the Republican vice presidential candidate.

There aren’t many young women — or men — who could handle nationwide shaming.

There are even fewer — if any — who could handle it twice.


Yet Bristol, who knows better than almost anyone the pain and the humiliation associated with being a victim of incessant bullying, is showing extraordinary courage — and love.

She could have easily arranged for an abortion, and avoided the anguish of once again being the punch line for a thousand liberals.

Instead, she’s bravely and courageously keeping her child alive, and being true to her pro-life conviction. She’s caring for her unborn child — who has her or his own unique DNA from the moment of conception, and her or his own heart beating from about three weeks after conception — and affirming that she or he is a human being, who doesn’t deserve death because his or her presence is inconvenient or unwanted.

And she’s doing it in a deeply human way.Bristol isn’t Taylor Swift, cheerily belting out “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate.” Instead, in an emotionally raw blog post announcing her pregnancy, she was brutally candid about her own feelings.

“Honestly, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one,” Bristol wrote. “I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you.”

Immediately, her pregnancy news generated plenty of snark. “Bristol Palin Makes Great Argument for Abortion in Baby Announcement,” was the Gawker headline. Others took to Twitter, where the language was crude.

Yes, Bristol made a career advocating abstinence before marriage — and clearly she didn’t live up to her own standards at least once. But that’s something for her to reflect on.

The rest of us would probably be better served thinking about which of our own standards we consistently fail to adhere to.

For most of us, it won’t make national news when we fail to live up to our ethics code. It will be something only we and perhaps a handful of others know about. It will be something we can wrestle with in private, not having to deal with headlines blaring about us.

In a culture saturated with sexual music and movies, where being a prude is cause for mockery and jeering, Bristol Palin bravely, unfashionably made the case for a different way of life.

No, she wasn’t perfect. But again: Who among us is? I let myself down every day, and I suspect most people who aim to be good and who are honest about their behavior would concede the same.

Life is messy. We’re imperfect. Mistakes happen.

But Bristol Palin had a choice. She legally could have avoided this new round of jeering and snark.

Instead, she put her new child first.

She lived according to her convictions about life.

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. This column was posted at The Daily Signal, at dailysignal.com.

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