“Trig, who is just like the others, in every way that matters.”
Wednesday, September 10, 2008; Page A15
In addition to Barack Obama making history as the first African American to be nominated for president and Sarah Palin taking her shotgun to the glass ceiling, there was a third civil rights barrier broken at the political conventions this year.
Trig Paxson Van Palin — pronounced by his mother “beautiful” and “perfect” and applauded at center stage of the Republican convention — smashed the chromosomal barrier. And it was all the more moving for the innocence and indifference of this 4-month-old civil rights leader.
It was not always this way…
…The family struggles of political leaders can be morally instructive. Contrast the attitude of Joseph Kennedy with that of Charles de Gaulle, who treated his daughter Anne, born with Down syndrome in 1928, with great affection. The image of this arrogant officer rocking Anne in his arms at night speaks across the years. After her death and burial at age 20, de Gaulle turned to his wife and said, “Come. Now she is like the others.”
And now we have met Trig, who is just like the others, in every way that matters.