Saturday, July 4, 2009

Palin Does the Right Thing

At this time last year, there was a chorus of voices calling on Sarah Palin to resign her position as governor or Alaska. There was a range of reasons given, but most of them boiled down to the values and principles she expressed as governor, which were so out of step with those of the people she represented that she could not serve as an effective leader. For my part, it was Palin’s idea that protecting people against sexual assault was not a proper function of government that persuaded me that she was not fit to serve as governor. Others were responding to other deficiencies in Palin’s point of view. Now that Palin has announced her resignation, I want to thank her for doing the right thing.

Some are saying that Palin showed disrespect for her office in the way she resigned. She did not go to the state capital in Juneau, or to any public building, to announce her resignation. Instead, she set up cameras and microphones in what appeared on television to be an abandoned field. (It was actually the back yard of her private home in Wasilla.) Was her job as governor so unimportant that she could not be bothered to go into the office to tell people she would be leaving? But that is the wrong way of looking at it. The important thing is that, after this month, Alaska will be led by one of its own, a person who understands the importance of the basic dignity of the people of Alaska and has a view of government that includes the role of protecting its citizens. The bizarre scene of a state led by a woman who cannot quite bring herself to recognize that voters, crime victims, and taxpayers are people like herself, a woman who sees herself as the ultimate victim of everything that has happened in Alaska in the months since she took office, will be left in the past.