Do I respect the decision of another mother and daughter to make that choice based on their own values? Yes, I do. And that - as far as I am concerned - is what it means to be a "liberal". Which brings us to the subject of those hokey old redneck values that the Guardian and the blogosphere find so amusing (or pernicious, depending on their degree of dedication).Best line of Palin's speech last night has got to be, "The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery."
I personally am, and always have been, fervently pro-choice on abortion. I do not consider this to be the only sanctified Woman's point of view because I am aware that huge numbers of women disagree with me.
Whenever I touch on the subject, they write in and tell me so, often in eloquent and passionate terms. But according to the official feminist sisterhood (which was taken over by the totalitarian Marxist tendency long ago) you can represent the views of Women only if you accept the tenets of their ideology. Ergo, Mrs Palin is not a Woman Candidate.
She is a renegade, the gender equivalent of an Uncle Tom. In the US, her position is particularly incendiary because it is part of the culture war between metropolitan liberals and provincial America: that vast fly-over country where people (or "folks", as they call themselves) still live by the standards the Palin family embodies. Life is about hard work and hard play.
They hunt with guns from childhood. They talk about sin (and redemption) in ways that embarrass the urban elite, and they regard patriotism as a fundamental part of their moral code. (It is the liberals' ambivalence about patriotism that they detest most.)
Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs Palin is coming in for both barrels of Left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery. Where Lady Thatcher was dismissed as a "grocer's daughter" by people who called themselves egalitarian, Mrs Palin is regarded as a small-town nobody by those who claim to represent "ordinary people".
What the metropolitan sophisticates failed to understand in the 1980s when Thatcher won election after election is even more the case in the US: most (and I do mean most) ordinary people actually believe in the basic decencies, the "small-town values", of family, marital fidelity, and personal responsibility. They believe in and honour them - even if they do not manage to uphold them.
Middle America - of which Alaska is spiritually, if not geographically, a part - builds its life around those ideals and regards commonplace moral lapses as part of the eternal struggle to be good. The life of small-town USA is based on the principles of those Protestant colonial settlers who founded the nation: hard work, self-improvement, personal faith and family devotion. Mrs Palin speaks to and for them in a way that patronising "liberal" elitists find infuriating.
I have read Palin's bio, I have watched the bloodbath of coverage in the Liberal media, I have listened to her speeches, and all I want to know now is; what is name and colour of Palin’s lipstick?