Monday, October 27, 2008
The Real Danger in Dissing Sarah Palin
Those conservatives who have sought to distinguish themselves by dissing Sarah Palin have proved themselves empty vessels and eager tools for the media and cultural notables who have expressed their disdain for Palin as Vice Presidential nominee.
When I saw this effigy hanging in West Hollywood, CA I naturally thought about the fact that this is "protected free speech" and even more significant to the cultural elites "art". Now if this same effigy featured Barack Obama the artistes who were only looking for "a voice" would be guilty and no doubt charged and convicted of a hate crime.
Yet, I was not sorry to see this display. I was glad to see some honesty, some bareknuckled, riveting honesty. Because it is not the double standard that struck me most acutely. That observation has become so commonplace that it hardly bears noting. What struck me was the depth of hatred we have seen expressed for Sarah Palin. And I don't believe that hatred is directed towards her as a person. (not yet anyway). That hatred is directed towards what she represents and to her opponents she represents a pro-life outlook, even a radically pro-life outlook.
Sarah Bernhardt said that if Sarah Palin came to New York City she would be gang raped. An effigy is hung and no moves are made to remove it. A joke about incest is made on SNL, about the Palin family and really anyone Alaskan. A tee shirt is circulating that I won't dignify by describing. I trust everyone knows to what I am referring.
Just as Joe-the-plumber has been held up to scrutiny (with the use of government computers no less) and criticism and every attempt has been made to tarnish and discredit him, he is also hated for what he represents- a citizen who dares to question a liberal, African-American, "Messiah" who is running for president. Toe the line comrades or see how you will be treated by those in power.
The criticisms of Palin are revealing in that she is assigned opposite attributes- she is naive and inexperienced or she is cold, calculating and self serving. She is uninterested in the world around her and lacking ambition to become anything more than Governor of Alaska, but she has manipulated an incredible ascent to national politics. She is a mommy-housewife-hockey mom or she is a feminist who is neglecting her family. She brings her children with her while she travels the state or she is pursuing political glory while abandoning her family.
This shows so distinctly that it is not Palin who is being discredited and that the criticisms of her are not substantive. It is the essence of what she represents in her political views that is so hateful. So when you hear the Left criticizing Palin for being stupid and inexperienced, naive and sheltered, ignorant and provincial, and best of all vulgar, what they are really saying is that someone who is a solidly pro-life is stupid, inexperienced, naive, sheltered, ignorant,provincial and vulgar.
We're participating in our own demise people.
I attended a political rally in Salem, NH a few weeks ago at which Sarah Palin appeared and spoke. We waited in line for 2 hours along with 10,000 other people who had come to hear the vice presidential nominee speak. Now to those from NY or LA who think 10,000 is not a large number- recognize that in New Hampshire for a rally that was planned with 48 hour advance notice, 10,000 is a lot of people.
In the audience I saw a good cross section of America. I also saw two babies with Down's syndrome. I admit that made me cry. There was a recognition by the parents of these children that they have been given legitimacy. That there is someone on the national stage who believes their babies have the right to live. Even among conservatives there are far too many who would not give a baby with Down's syndrome, life.
The next day, Joe Biden appeared in NH. I don't know how long the advance time was for the organizers, or how convenient the venue was for people to attend. But either it was such short notice, or so inconvenient or else no one cared enough except for 700 supporters of Joe Biden that showed.
People like Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, Christopher Buckley and lesser knowns are saying that John McCain's defeat will be the responsibility of Sarah Palin. But can anyone really make that claim in seriousness? Aren't they just hedging their bets?
If McCain loses, and I am not yet convinced that he will- if we believed the polls we would have been ruled by John Kerry and Queen Theresa for the past 8 years, but if McCain loses, it will be the result of the difficult economy. Given the economic climate I think it is nothing short of miraculous that McCain is as close as he is.
Charles Krauthammer said that he would rather lose an election than his bearings.
So, go ahead and give people like Katie Couric legitimacy. Suspend your distrust of the media in this one self-serving situation. Reorient yourself to the detractors of the conservative movement and then when you wake up on November 5th ask yourself what exactly it is that you have gained? It won't have been your bearings. And your short lived popularity may seem surprisingly hollow.