Responding to a domestic violence report last week, police officers arrested a 26-year old suspect for punching and kicking his girlfriend and brandishing a firearm while intoxicated. Is this your typical crime blotter from Any Town USA? Not this time! The alleged offender is Track Palin, oldest son of Sarah Palin.
Whether Son of Sarah ends up in lockup, or receives a slap on his affluenza, is beside the point. Where was Mamma Pit Bull with Lipstick one day later? Was she arranging bail to spring her son from jail? Retaining legal counsel or family counsel?
On Tuesday, the former half-term governor of Alaska had flown to Ames, Iowa, to stump for Donald Trump. Her strained voice screeching of chalk on blackboard, the family values mom betrayed no hint of the family mess back home.
Not until Wednesday during a campaign stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, did she finally speak of the ‘elephant in the room:’
“That starts from the top. It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder, if they have to question, if they’re respected anymore. It starts from the top,” she insisted.
Agreed! Accountability starts from the top, and family priorities always come first (at least in my book). Was it PTSD that derailed her hapless Track, or perhaps another elephant in the room as yet unnamed? Let’s take a Tripp (no pun intended) down Memory Lane:
September 11, 2007 — Son of Sarah enlists in the U.S. Army. One year later, his Alaska-based 25th Infantry Division deploys to Iraq. His CIC is President George W. Bush.
September 2, 2008 — In the same week John McCain names Sarah Palin as VP running mate, tabloids break the news: Teenage daughter Bristol is pregnant.
September 6, 2014 — Let us recall the infamous Palin Family Brawl starring Papa Todd, Mama Grizzly, bristling Bristol, and punch-drunk Track.
June 27, 2015 — After earning $262,500 as teen pregnancy ambassador for the Candie Foundation (an abstinence awareness charity), Bristol announces her second pregnancy out of wedlock — from another failed relationship.
No doubt, tabloid journalism opens windows on the private lives of famous people but rarely prospects for meaningful clues behind the headlines. Are Palin family values behind closed doors the same as they appear in public?
Ask any mental health professional. Repetitive patterns of unplanned pregnancies, failed relationships, drunken rage, and domestic violence do not arise spontaneously from a vacuum. Here is the profile of a troubled family; of disconsolate offspring acting badly; and of absentee parents inattentive to their needs. Tabloid accounts merely scratch the surface of a family mired in drama and controversy.
Of course, Mamma Grizzly does what grizzlies do best: Shift blame. Accuse. Denounce. Ridicule. Play the victim card. And avoid mirrors. Blame the POTUS for the elephant in the room, but never admit responsibility. Behind these details, we catch a glimpse of misplaced priorities and erratic parenting.
If Sarah Palin has achieved anything in life, she has raised denial and self-affirming victimhood to a fine art, and her firebrand populism appeals to millions of like-minded followers.
Last week, a moment of personal anguish behind the public mask was the story inside the story. On this point, journalists, lawyers and mental health professionals can agree: Negligent parents are good for business.