The Return of Sarah Palin

by JANE KROL

After a long absence from the face of politics, Sarah Palin has regained publicity- at an alarming rate. Last month, in her speech endorsing GOP 2016 front-runner Donald Trump in Oklahoma, Palin took the time to speak on behalf of the recent arrest of her son, Track Palin, charged with fourth-degree assault, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and domestic violence. In a far out, unusual explanation, Palin accused President Barack Obama of neglecting currently serving military members and returning vets. In doing so, Palin is suggesting that Obama was responsible for the list of legal problems her son, Track, now faces, while utilizing Obama’s so-called faults as a justification for her son’s domestic assault. Elaborating on the issue, Palin interjects her endorsement of Trump beginning with the returning soldiers from war claiming, “They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airman and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country.”  She then continues, “That comes from our own President. Where they have to look at him and wonder, ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America?'”

Under no circumstances whatsoever should  Track Palin’s issues be blamed on the President. Regardless of whatever Track Palin is dealing with internally, (which is still a mystery since there’s no prior evidence of a diagnosis of PTSD) mental health issues are prone to come with the participation in war and affect not just the soldier but their families as well. But as stated, these issues come from war, not the President. Even if it were to come to the position of pointing fingers, why blame Obama when technically President Bush was in office at the time?

Contrary to Palin’s claims about President Obama, mental services for vets have actually expanded since Obama took office. This includes the initiation of a 2009 bill to provide a whopping $4.6 billion towards the treatment of psychological wounds for veterans, including  post- traumatic stress disorder cases. Furthermore, Obama has continued his support of veterans.  His  2016 budget allocates $4 million towards Veterans Mental Health First Aid

While journalists, comedians, and the rest of the internet have had a field day responding to Palin’s irrational claims, the New York City-based Veteran’s Organization has commented on the issue as well. Veteran Paul Rieckhoff, a member of the IAVA, agrees with the  Palin backlash, claiming, “It’s not President Obama’s fault that Sarah Palin’s son has PTSD.  PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health issue , and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular.” If Palin is concerned about her son’s well-being and image, then it would be wise to keep her sharp focus exclusively on the problems with her son instead of taking it up with the President.