Skip to comments.The Meaning of Sarah Palin
Posted on 02/04/2009 4:11:03 PM PST by fiscon1
Two political figures dominated the final months of the 2008 presidential campaign. One was the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. The other had been unknown to all but 670,000 Americans only a few minutes before she was first introduced by the Republican nominee, John McCain, at a rally in Ohio on the Friday before the Republican National Convention, only 66 days before the November election.
By the close of that first weekend, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska had become a national sensation. Two days after that, she delivered her debut address at the Republican National Convention as the partys vice-presidential nomineea dazzling stemwinder, it was all but universally acknowledged. McCains dramatic and unexpected bet appeared to have paid off in spades.
(Excerpt) Read more at commentarymagazine.com ...
You know I have spent considerable time in Alaska and much of it in Wasilla. I can well understand how somebody with Sarah Palin's personality and energy could rise to become governor of that state by virtue of her merit. In Alaska, at least in the Wasilla area, everybody knows everybody else and you better be a standup guy. You can be as eccentric as an out- house rat, but you better be a straight shooter and you better not put on no airs.
These down-home virtues are what is needed but not what is prized in Washington. I believe Sarah Palin is up against two psychological forces which she must overcome.
The first is a phenomenon applied to all Republican candidates that I can remember since Eisenhower. I can remember being told quite earnestly that the man who commanded the biggest, most complicated, and most successful amphibious operation in history was really quite stupid. Every succeeding Republican president since Eisenhower (excepting Nixon who was evil) was stupid. This calumny is tried on against every Republican candidate who comes along. We saw what happened to Dan Quayle. Can you recall how stupid Ronald Reagan was? Bedtime for Bozo? George Bush Sr. was out of touch and stupid, although his wife was conceded to be house smart in a grandmotherly sort of way. We all know her son is a moron. Sarah Palin, like Dan Quayle, was left out there exposed, unprepared and unsupported and no one should be surprised that the result was the same. So when Palin drops her gs and says "aw shucks," that is all the Eastern establishment needed to hear to match up the person with the holes in the template.
Of course, President Kennedy was in near genius who sped read at an amazing clip. We found out later that this was a lie and that his Pulitzer prize-winning book was ghostwritten. We now know that he must have been in a thick drug-induced cloud for much of his tenure in the Oval Office. Do you remember being told how intuitive Bill Clinton was and how he could summarize an expert's presentation better than the expert? Al Gore was a genius who was too good for the schools he flunked out of. And Barak Obama, well one can only express astonishment that his coming was not announced by John the Baptist.
And this messianic allusion brings me to the main problem which Sarah Palin confronts in structuring her image. It is the Billy Budd effect. If you recall your Melville, you will know that Billy Budd was a figure of good whose very presence antagonized the first mate who persecuted Billy Budd unmercifully. The mate was driven to do this unconsciously because the mate was a figure of evil. The mate had his demons. So it is with the left in America today, they are driven to a visceral hatred of Sarah Palin because she is the 21st century figure of Billy Budd. Sarah Palin committed an unforgivable affront, she knowingly carried a Mongoloid to term. This cannot be forgiven. This is the ultimate reproach to the entire belief system of the left. Sarah Palin need not even open her mouth and she is hated with a cold and unremitting fury.
This is why I said that the left hates Sarah Palin not for what she says or how she appears on television but for who she is. The left must react as evil always reacts in the presence of good. Like the second mate, they must persecute Sarah Palin and they do not even know why.
But Sarah Palin should must know why if she is going to be able to cope with a brick bats that will come her way. She must know that she can never charm these people. The more she tries the more they will hate her. She must focus on her target, the conservative base which she will keep so long as she is faithful and the independent middle which is persuadable if she can appear to be a normal and a wholesome person.
THE MEANINGFUL SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS SELECTION IS MORAL.
She is the living breathing embodiment of all things good in the conservative tradition. Her baby is a living reproach to the sophistry of a man who cannot discuss when life begins in the context of abortion and who listens to testimony by a nurse describing how she held a dying post abortion baby in her arms without a single syllable apparently penetrating to his soul. When his sordid history in this affair was investigated, he lied.
The abortion issue is only one issue which crystallizes the moral difference between the McCain/Palin to get Obama/Biden ticket. Other issues include, corruption, special interests, spending, and putting country above party. These issues are all made flesh in the person of Governor Sarah Palin. They all resonate in the biography of John McCain. The fit is perfect. The timeliness in this election is also perfect.
McCain now has a unifying theme to his whole campaign: Reform. Reform not change. This means that you change the government not the society. Reform means that you clean up government, you root out corruption. Change means you favor one set of interest groups over another, that you substitute one set of corrupt players for another. Change means that you do something different for change sake. Reform means that you change government to improve it according to an intelligent plan built on a rigorous foundation of integrity.
The Palin selection means that the McCain ticket screams integrity at the voter. The issue is no longer experience but character. I say again: Sarah Palin is not selected because of her experience or in spite of the lies that her experience is insufficient, rather she was selected for what her experience reveals about her character.
Her decision to have a Down syndrome baby means that she is the real deal. Obama betrayed himself in the recent Forum debate on this issue to be a common bullshit artist. McCain declined to accept freedom from torture and solitary confinement out of loyalty to his troops. McCain proved that he is the real deal. I honestly believe that McCain's time in solitary has brought him to a place at the age of 72 where he is utterly removed from the petty political motivations which dominate Obama and Biden to the degree they both resorted to plagiarism to further their careers, Biden being a recidivist, MCCAIN HAS JUST CHANGED THE ELECTION FROM A REFERENDUM ON GEORGE BUSH TO A CALL TO AMERICA TO FIND ITS SOUL.
Outstanding post Nathanbedford.
Thread. Worthless. More Pics.
Or, as I say today, "Don't blame ME...I voted for Sarah!"
Excellent analysis in your post.
Very, very impressive article on the Governor from Alaska’s VP race!
It’s a delight to see after all the fluff posted here by her fans and even more notably by her critics (well, the media supplies them more fluff to post).
Sarah is much like GWB in that their Christian beliefs make it impossible for the left to EVER acknowledge that they do ANYTHING right because to do so undermines everything they stand for. So the left’s approach is ridicule, lie and hate and with the help of a willing media they have for the most part succeeded.
So this really is a good vs evil battle. I hope I am wrong, but Sarah has a huge uphill fight to establish herself as a national political figure worthy of consideration for higher office. It will take something unique and catastrophic for her to become the next President, but I wouldn't put it past God to make that happen!
And for at least the last forty years, the two parties have broken down distinctly along this double axis. The Republican party has been the party of cultural populism and economic elitism, and the Democrats have been the party of cultural elitism and economic populism. Republicans tend to identify with the traditional values, unabashedly patriotic, anti-cosmopolitan, non-nuanced Joe Sixpack, even as they pursue an economic policy that aims at elite investor-driven growth. Democrats identify with the mistreated, underpaid, overworked, crushed-by-the-corporation people against the powerful, but tend to look down on those peoples religion, education, and way of life.
Palin = earthy....
barry = preppy
barry = superficial
Palin = anti-Harvard arrogant elites...
barry = Harvard arrogant elite
Palin = born of humble beginnings, like almost all real Americans.
barry = born of priviledge and entitlement...
Palin = true conservative,idealist,God-fearing,believer in individual rights
barry..=..none of those things....
Palin = real American
barry = no proof that he is a real American,let alone a natural born one, let alone an American in spirit....
It's more accurate to say that Republican leaders use the rhetoric of cultural populism but are often uncomfortable with it in practice, while Democrats use the rhetoric of economic populism but don't live it themselves.
NPR and PBS, which reflect the Democrat worldview almost perfectly, are good examples. Their talk is all of helping the poor and oppressed, but their actual programming is transparently aimed at attracting the top 10%.
I especially appreciated the author's observation that an attitude of cultural populism is not enough by itself. It must be backed up with a coherent philosophy of the goals of society and the government. Reagan had such a philosophy, which is why I think the media's desperate efforts to portray him as stupid generally bounced off in the public's perception. While I'm a big fan of Sarah, if she has such a philosophy she did a poor job of communicating it.
Obama was not born to an elite family of wealth and privilege. Certainly much less so than Bush. There are lots of reasons to reject Obama as a leader. His being from a dynastic family isn't one of them.
One other thing...
The democrats are scared to death of her! LOL
They made that more then clear.
I haven’t seen that kind of reaction since Reagan.