Next stage in the Palin saga: Tripp Johnston is off to a very rough start
Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Tue, 12/30/2008 – 11:11am
Lately it occurs to me: What a long, strange Tripp it’s been.
— Truckin, The Grateful Dead, 1970
Of course, when the Grateful Dead wrote the song, they said “trip,” but to me, Tripp seems a poetic interpretation to the song.
According to the fountain of truth known as People magazine, Bristol Palin gave birth to a son over the weekend and named him Tripp. “Hi, I’m Tripp, and these are my uncles, Track and Trig.” Then again, Uncle Trig would only be 8 months older than Tripp.
Tripp Johnston is coming along at a time of unsettledness. He is the child of poor, unwed, undereducated young people. His grandmother is being charged with 6 felony drug counts linked to Oxycontin. His other grandmother is the governor of the state, a former vice presidential candidate, and the butt of a few jokes.
He is also born into a worldwide recession/depression, where education and job prospects are at their bleakest even in a stable parental environment. Besides being made fun of for his name, Tripp will also be the mark for how we found out he was arriving, when his grandmother threw his mother underneath the bus to the national press.
Pretending for the moment that all of this is on the level, you do have to feel bad for poor Tripp. Sometimes children get the best of everything and turn out to be poor citizens. And those on the “other side of the tracks” sometimes turn out quite normal. But the conditions where a child is born into do make a difference.
We’ve seen his grandmother cart his uncle around like a political prop. We’ve seen the lack of concern over schooling from this side of the family. And this is the side of the family not charged with felony drug counts (though Grandpa Todd does have a DUI).
Think about how bad your life is right now, and then imagine that People magazine had the official announcement that you were born. While your Uncle Trig was born in secrecy under very questionable circumstances, your birth announcement was a giant deal tracked by journalists and bloggers you will likely never meet.
You are born into a family where you will be more of a political prop or a doll than an actual child. You arrived being the answer to a trivia question, and not a fun one. And some will even question your actual birth date.
And if you can overcome these incredible odds and somehow swim through the murk, what a long, strange trip that would be.