Monday, October 13, 2008
On October 13th, 2008, the Anchorage Daily News reports that Levi Johnston, the fiance of oldest Palin daughter Bristol, has finally had enough of the smears and innuendos spread about him, and has chosen to set the record straight. An expanded version of this story has been published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; additional coverage from People Magazine. An excellent analysis from HotAir.com complements a cheap shot from the Philadelphia Citypaper.
No, he wasn't held against his will on the campaign trail.
No, he's not being forced into a shotgun wedding with 17-year-old Bristol Palin.
"None of that's true," Johnston, 18, said in a rare interview with The Associated Press. "We both love each other. We both want to marry each other. And that's what we are going to do." And they're expecting a boy.
Johnson decided to speak out despite the presidential campaign's advice in the days following Governor Sarah Palin's nomination to avoid the media. The campaign's advice to Sarah regarding Troopergate did NOT prove helpful to her, and has unfortunately caused longtime Alaska resident and former KTUU Channel 2 reporter Meghan Stapleton to become a hiss and a by-word amongst Palinphobes. I have to admit that when I see pictures of the Truth Squad delivering daily briefings, they have all the charisma of your typical FBI agent.
Johnson admits he was a little shocked when he learned about Bristol's pregnancy, but he says he quickly embraced the prospects of fatherhood. The baby is due on December 18th. To fulfill the suddenly-accelerated economic expectations of impending familyhood, Johnston has dropped out of high school to take a job on the North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician. However, he can easily secure a high school diploma via GED any time he wants, and besides, Alaska could use more electricians and fewer intellectuals.
What about that so-called MySpace page, the one that claimed he said: "I'm a ... redneck," and "I don't want kids"? Johnston said his friends created the page a few years ago and he had nothing to do with it. He also states that he's been dating Bristol since his freshman year in high school and has been planning on getting married for a long time. The wedding is planned for sometime during the summer of 2009.
His politics? While he respects Barack Obama, he still wants McCain/Palin to win.
Commentary: So he got Bristol Palin pregnant out of wedlock. Big deal - happens on a daily basis. It doesn't mean abstinence education is a conceptual failure - it simply means that sometimes people disobey counsel, and experience the consequences of disobedience. Of course, to maximize its effectiveness, abstinence education should be augmented by some degree of more comprehensive education on pregnancy prevention measures. Abstinence education as a stand-alone measure is clearly insufficient.
But what's most important is that Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin are doing the RIGHT thing. They've mutually decided to set aside their fears and get married, trusting that they will learn to love each other with the passage of time. This ensures the baby has both a father and mother in residence and married to each other shortly after it pops out of the chute. Contrast this with the typical ghetto mom who gets knocked up and then is abandoned by the father. She ends up becoming a burden upon society, sucking down food stamps and Section 8 vouchers, with no chance to move beyond subsistence and accruing the discretionary income necessary to move into the middle class.
What Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin are doing may not be the popular or trendy thing, but it is the right thing. And in the final analysis, what we think about it is irrelevant, because they won't be standing before any of us on Judgment Day.