notes on a scandal, or, the day i met sarah palin

Sarah, Tyler and I

So. Today was without question one of the most interesting days of my life – an unexpected day filled with a roller-coaster ride of thoughts, conflicting emotions, and a rare brush with my political side.

Last month, during the height of graduation season, Sarah Palin came to a local school’s ceremony as commencement speaker. I had to listen to the speech for my job writing the article on the event for the station. I didn’t want to – I had every desire to ignore her presence based solely on what I know about her views on LGBT issues.

While the speech didn’t go without some slight political undertones, the bulk of her speech was very inspirational and motivational. She gave those seniors good, sound advice on how to enter the working world. I distinctly remember going home that day thinking to myself how I would carry myself if I would ever meet Palin myself.

Little did I know that just a month later, I would.

The realization hit me like a ton of bricks – a few of us, myself included, thought it was just a joke. Yeah, right, Sarah Palin here. Get over yourself. But, it was soon confirmed – this was going to happen; she would drop in so we could provide a certain cable channel she has been affiliated with the opportunity for a live interview about this, that or the other.

I spent a good half-hour worrying. My first instinct was disgust and contempt simply because I knew she and I did not mesh as far as our views. I almost immediately chided myself.

I am by no means considered an activist. Nor am I a pacifist. My belief is that I simply can’t change other people’s opinions by shouting at them and demanding they bend to my way and expect it to happen right then and there. I also know that by the very job description, that’s what a politician has to do.

So, what was I going to do? Would I be polite and make contact if she came my way? Certainly I wouldn’t lambast her about her views – personally or professionally, that’s just not how I can behave. I figured I would just say hello, shake a hand if offered, and let it be. Otherwise I would just go about my daily duties.

At the end of the day, it boils down to this… I met a new person today. I chatted with her very briefly. She was courteous and I was in return. I feel no different about my belief system now than I do about hers. I looked past that and had a nice experience in meeting a new person in passing.

Not to mention – it kinda turned into quite a blast, watching co-workers get a little starstruck – this doesn’t happen very often, at least as far as local television is concerned.

And hey – a picture with a famous person is always going to be a picture with a famous person.

You betcha.

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