Sarah Palin and PTSD

By : February 1, 2016

Track Palin was charged in January 2016 with “fourth-degree assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.”

Sarah Palin blamed President Obama, even though she has tried to deny it since. On Feb. 1, Donald Trump supported her, and also blamed Obama.

Only a fool could think that a president’s attitudes (whether real or invented by his enemies) determines whether an American veteran is troubled by PTSD.

Only a knave would argue that in a campaign, knowing it to be absurd. Palin’s campaign remark is itself a shameful, trivializing expression of disregard and disrespect for what some veterans have experienced.

If Sarah Palin thinks that veterans cry themselves to sleep or threaten suicide if they think their president is aloof, she has little respect for those veterans.

Are we in an age of rampant victimization claims and excuse-making?

I don’t think we are, but I read this assertion all the time, not infrequently from conservatives. Traditional conservatism believes in the ultimate responsibility of the individual for his or her own actions, never mind someone’s upbringing or neighborhood — but some contemporary conservatives seem just as eager as anyone else to shift blame from themselves, especially members of Congress.

I recall that a notoriously racist Georgia governor, Lester Maddox, blamed communism and “race mixing” agitators when his son was arrested for burglarizing an appliance store. His son and I were in the same high school class, graduating a few years before the burglary, so the father’s remarks caught my attention.

Sarah Palin, victim?

Randall Balmer, an historian of religion, wrote of Sarah Palin in 2011 that “There is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim.”

Imagine a psychologist’s office

A guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office.

Patient: “I am a 30-year old unhappy, violent, distrustful, misogynistic, alcoholic, unemployable, pervy, asocial, gambling, high-school-drop-out virgin living in my mommy’s damp basement.”

Psychologist: “Tell me about your president.”

What psychiatrists would probably ask instead

“Tell me about your mother.” If Track Palin ever enters psychoanalysis, I imagine that his analyst will learn far more about Track’s problems from hearing about Sarah Palin than about Barack Obama.

Imagine a courtroom during sentencing

Could a defense attorney offer up a president as a mitigating circumstance?

Could a president be indicted as a co-conspirator, or accessory before the fact?

Is Track Palin responsible for his own actions?

The Military Times says that “Veterans groups have repeatedly warned against using PTSD diagnoses as an excuse for criminal behavior in veterans . . .”

Trying to figure out whether military service caused in some particular person subsequent crimes, homelessness, mental illness, or suicide is a Gordian knot. Mental health issues? Bad parenting? Bad genes? Bad classmates? Bad war? Some unknown unknown?

And what about the Second Amendment?

One of the three charges against Track Palin is “possession of a firearm while intoxicated.” I had no idea there was such a law, and I wonder why Sarah Palin did not denounce it as unconstitutional.

It doesn’t take a strict constructionist to note that the Constitution does not require a citizen to be sober to enjoy Constitutional rights.

The NRA will not raise this objection because they prefer to condemn gun regulation in general, without having to take a position on every particular proposal or law. The NRA and surely almost all of their members believe in some gun regulation.

The gun control most commonly supported by the average NRA member is probably keeping guns from felons, people on the terrorist watch list, and the mentally ill. Or maybe the most supported gun regulation among NRA members is the prohibition of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

The most supported gun regulation is probably not keeping guns from drunks.

Maybe Sarah Palin or the NRA will raise this Constitutional issue if Track actually goes to trial. But who expects that to happen.

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