Although “family values” has become the political buzzword of the conservative right, I always felt certain that we democrats also held our families and the accompanying responsibilities as the highest priorities.
I may be wrong and the right may be just that – right. In view of the bias the republican party has suffered over the past few days, especially the “sharper microscope” over Sarah Palin, and in the interest of fair and balanced investigation of this important issue I must share with you a troubling story. The story of a democrat so intent on electing Barack Obama to office that he left his family behind.
No phone calls, no letters and no visits, even when his campaign stop was his own hometown.
Several weeks ago young Thornton was left in the care of friends while his sole family member, Justin, went off to work for Barack Obama at a Hollywood spectacle called the Democratic National Convention. Shockingly, prior to the dark night Justin sent Thornton off to Five Husbands house, Thornton had never even been introduced to his temporary family. One needed only to look at the disconsolate expression as he peered through the door day after day to see that Thornton was devastated to be left behind in the care of virtual strangers.
The first few days Thornton barely made a peep. He ate his meals away from other family members and stayed in the background whenever possible. As the convention week wore on he warmed up to Five Husbands, sometimes snuggling against her as the long nights without Justin wore on.
He watched the convention carefully and reached out to Obama as he gave his acceptance speech, happy that Justin’s candidate had done so well, hoping that this meant his family would soon be reunited.
You’ve heard the stories about those left behind when a parent fails to show up for scheduled visitation – the inability of those waiting to understand why daddy doesn’t come home. Yes there were tears, although he did his best to hide them, and yes there were temper tantrums, which I only wish he would have hidden.
Justin never came to pick Thornton up; Justin never even visited. I type this post away from his prying anxious eyes as he looks first out the window and then out the door and then finally, in despair, lays down to sleep.
Justin, oh Justin, how could you do this to one so young? Try as I might I cannot be you, nor can I provide the kind of security that only his real and true family can give him. He got your gifts (if you can call them that) but what he really wants is you!
Like so many Americans I listened in amazement as Sarah Palin courageously put her family first Wednesday night as she called out Bristol and her precious bump, “Track I’m going to Iraq” on 9/11 and all the rest of the Palin clan – I know she would not have left Thornton behind.
Is there any question now who will get my vote?
I think not.