Readers may be somewhat interested in my and Steve Burton's discussion with Lawrence Auster about the Palin nomination.
Since Auster is away from his computer for today, my most recent response to him won't be posted until some time later, perhaps tomorrow. I also didn't happen to save it as a sent item or a draft, so I don't have those ipsissima verba available. In this post I am going to say just a couple of things I said there, not terribly philosophical, and I hope to put up a post later today squarely on the subject of what it should mean to disapprove of illegimacy.
First, reader Gintas (who has been a commentator on our posts here in the past) implies that talk about men and women as not interchangeable will "set me off." I can't imagine why. I sometimes call myself "Mrs. Eagle Forum." I am one of the most traditional women I know of currently writing on the Internet. I believe in traditional gender roles. I say things deliberately to get people's goats like "The husband should be the head of the home" and "The mother's place is in the home." I defended Auster against hysterical feminist responses to his speculations about the ill effects of the female vote. And I brought up spontaneously on Jeff Culbreath's blog the idea that Sarah Palin would do best to be at home with her own children. But I also said there that I might under some conceivable circumstances (not in this election, because of McCain) vote for her.
In other words, I'm strongly anti-feminist, and Palin is clearly something of a feminist, but that doesn't mean I'd never vote for her. It's not a deal-breaker with me. This seems to me a reasonable enough stance.
The second thing I want to throw in here that I didn't perhaps make clear enough in the earlier exchange with Auster is that I do consider it blameworthy for him to use the unpleasant phrase "knocked up" for Bristol Palin's pregnancy and to try in several different ways to distance the girl from her boyfriend. For example, he has made fun of people who call the boyfriend her fiance, though (the upcoming marriage having been announced to the entire nation) that seems a literal enough term. And he implies that the wedding is not simply hastened by the pregnancy but definitely pushed through for the sake of Palin's political career. At least, that is how I understand him. One could, of course, think that perhaps the young couple had genuine affection and love for one another and were already thinking of marriage when they committed the sin of fornication and that the "shot-gun wedding" is so only in the sense of being hastened because of the pregnancy. One could also think that perhaps the family really is considering what is best for the girl in promoting the marriage and has decided upon consideration that this is best rather than pushing the marriage cynically for the sake of the mother's career. In other words, the impression I get from Auster on this subject is that we have to put the most negative possible interpretation on the whole situation and that any conservative who doesn't do so is to be mocked as a sentimental fool. But that is hardly necessary to any contentful point Auster might have to make about illegitimacy, Palin, or anything else, and while I wouldn't use quite Steve's terms--'shameful' and 'disgusting'--I would say that this sort of uncharitable and unjustified implicit speculation is pointless and deplorable.
More later, I hope, on the subject of illegitimacy.