Sarah, Todd, and Trig, the chubby child she now calls her "little Michelin man."
A friend, a professor at a Christian seminary, and I have been exchanging e-mails on why secular progressive hate -- not too strong a word -- Sarah Palin. Basically, they hate her because she's a much better human being than they.
My own background is Roman Catholic, and I grew up in a very positive, loving religious setting that still touches me deeply whenever I think about it. I've had a very diverse group of friends, including pentecostal Catholics, a movement that started in the Pittsburgh area and is "big" here. My wife put a crucifix up on my "study" (in the basement) wall lest I do any backsliding, I guess.
There's a gentleman -- guy in his 20s -- who does documentaries about Hollywood and politics (mostly liberals, but some conservatives). He was asked why Hollywood types, especially the celebrities, were so liberal. Thinking hard on the spot, he said, "Well, they're basically child-like, and the notion that they can't do absolutely anything they want irritates them. They see conservatism as saying some things shouldn't be done, and they can't tolerate that." I'd add that they don't believe much of anything, so religious belief mystifies them.
Sarah Palin, like many of the people around my seminary friend, is deeply Christian. She clearly knows that God wants her to be an exemplar of her faith. When she had Trig, her Down Syndrome child, I barely said anything about it, because it's who she is. She almost never disappoints. A person like that is frightening to the secular progressives. She reminds them what they are not -- they're not people with strong principles, although they often have strong "opinions."
The hatred, and it was that, directed at her did surprise me. Of course, she is so tough, so grounded, that it barely put in a dent in her.