Monday 13 October 2008

I wish I had a vote in the US presidential election

Sarah Palin (pictured with Todd, her husband, and their baby Trig) makes me wish I was a US citizen and that I had a vote in the forthcoming presidential election.

As I was getting ready to fly home from Canada on Saturday, I watched Sarah Palin "live" delivering a speech in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which included some timeless comments on Trig, her son who has Down's syndrome. In my opinion, hers was the most significant political speech of the 21st century.

She said: "I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?

"When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.

"Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection … and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake.

"As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable."

Given that the most fundamental responsibility of political leaders is to protect the lives of citizens, Sarah Palin's speech is the most significant speech of the 21st century. What other major political figure in the world today is speaking up for people with Down's syndrome ? Not only does she stand up for the one of the most-discriminated-against groups of our time, she does so with total honesty with regard to her feelings towards Trig - from being scared about the challenges to come, to a sense of awe at Trig's beauty, and her powerful sense of maternal protectiveness towards him.

As Alison Davis, who leads No Less Human, a group within SPUC, has pointed out in her speech at Oxford University earlier this year, 92% of babies with down's syndrome are aborted each year in Britain and the percentage is about the same in the US.

You can read her full speech in LifeNews here.