The Meaning of Sarah Palin

Yuval Lenin has written a thoughtful analysis of Sarah Palin's transformation into one of the most divisive figures in recent American history.

Reading his article, The Meaning of Sarah Palin", gave me a much desired sense of closure on this recent chapter in our political history by filling in the blanks that have puzzled me for some time.

Some of the point addressed:

There was almost no middle ground between those who had come to adore her and those who believed she represented just about every dark and dangerous element of contemporary American politics.

Palin became an instant cultural and political magnet, attracting some and repelling others and dragging a helpless McCain into a culture war for which he had little stomach.

Palin became the embodiment of every dark fantasy the Left had ever held about the views of evangelical Christians and women who do not associate themselves with contemporary feminism

Palin did not merit her instantaneous conversion into the Joan of Arc of the American Right, just as she did not deserve the opprobrium that was heaped upon her by the Left.

She really did seize the attention of swing voters, as McCain’s team had hoped she might. Her convention speech, her interviews, and her debate performance drew unprecedented audiences….But having finally gotten voters to listen, neither Palin nor McCain could think of anything to say to them.

She represented a threat to the cultural elites of both parties.

Read the entire article. I believe there is much that can be learned from it, no matter what your political leanings are.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

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0 Responses to The Meaning of Sarah Palin

  1. Tom King says:

    Welcome back to the blogosphere. We have missed your thought provoking comments. Ms Palin continues to be the bread and butter of late night comedy. Everyone has been put on earth for a purpose. Her’s seems to be keeping comedians employed

  2. Your comment validates the final point made by Yuval Lenin.

    Those who can, do, regardless of their backgrounds. Those who can’t hide behind a facade of cultural exclusivity, and make jokes about the folks in flyover country.

    The tittering of the the would-be elite at late-night comedian jokes shows once again that people laugh when their worst fears are dispelled.

    A confident, happy, and politically effective woman who was also a social conservative was evidently too much to bear for those who view themselves as the cultural elite.

    And, perhaps even more telling, it revealed the unfortunate and unattractive propensity of the American intellectual elite to treat those who are not deemed part of the “in group” with condescension.

  3. will says:

    The article was interesting. Referring to Palin as “lower middle class” was a little strange. If she is “lower middle class” I must be dirt poor. I feel like Palin was dismissed by many people due in part to her poor performance in interviews. The fact that McCain’s campaign kept her hidden from the press after her poor interview performances reinforced the view that she must be an intellectual lightweight incapable of defending herself, let alone being a heartbeat away from the presidency. I know she appealed to social conservatives who are an important base in the Republican party, but her appeal doesn’t go much further than that. In my opinion her record as mayor and governor show her to be a big government conservative in the mold of George W. Bush. Palin reminds me a lot of Dan Quayle. He was obviously brighter than the press gave him credit for and I imagine the same is true of Palin. That being said, I don’t think either would be a good president.

  4. Zack says:

    Yuval Lenin said:

    “A confident, happy, and politically effective woman who was also a social conservative was evidently too much to bear for those who view themselves as the cultural elite.”

    I believe you made a mistake. You must have meant to say “An inexperienced political newcomer with a propensity for gaffes was found wanting by many.”

    I have many friends who were appalled at the audacity of the right in pushing an unqualified woman when her main “gifts” were that she was a former beauty queen who could parrot conservative phrases.

    If Palin was qualified I think there would have been no drama. She is a very charismatic woman. But she HORRIFIED feminists since the ONLY reason she was chosen was because she was female. Feminists want to be judged on their merits and Palin had no merit, she was just a crude ploy to grab Hillary fans from the democrats.

    Then you have the scandals… She was not in the Alaskan capitol 312 of 397 workdays. (most of her first 19 months) Add abuse of authority, nepotism, dodging tax payments and you have a shifty person willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. Then you have her playing up being an average Joe while spending like Neiman Marcus. The list goes on.

    Lets say you don’t believe the “propaganda” and get information straight from the source, well she utterly bombed interviews to the point where the RNC were afraid to let her speak. And in the debate she was utterly incapable of answering questions. She spouted memorized soundbites while ignoring what she was begin asked. It was horrifying that she was even begin considered for office.

    I can not see how any intellectual could back her. Maybe the intellectual elite you demonize were just looking at the whole picture, and as far as I can tell there was not much to like. *shrug*

    Sarah was a beautiful woman whom has only a couple of months experience as governor of a state with only 686,293 people. (For the record that ties it with Mayor of my hometown) Her experience as Mayor of Wasilla was in a town smaller than most suburbs. These are not experiences that prepare you for running the country. If this was a job application her resume would have not have gotten her in the door.

    Once she has the experience that she claimed to have then maybe she can run again. But I expect people to recall how poorly she handled things this time and be reluctant to back her. *shrug*

  5. Zack says:

    My last comment was miss headed. I addressed it to Yuval Lenin but when I re-read this page and Yuval’s article I see the comment I quoted was David’s and not Yuval’s. Apologies for the mistake.

  6. Once again a commenter shows that Sarah Palin really has become the embodiment of every dark fantasy the Left had ever held … and all concern for clarity and truthfulness gets left at the door.

    Zack seems to remember only the facts that he agrees with.

    “…the scandals… She was not in the Alaskan capitol 312 of 397 workdays. (most of her first 19 months) Add abuse of authority, nepotism, dodging tax payments and you have a shifty person willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. Then you have her playing up being an average Joe while spending like Neiman Marcus. The list goes on.”

    Working from home is not a scandal by any stretch of the imagination. “Spending like Nieman Marcus” was a non-event, invented by the media. The money was spent by the campaign committee without consulting her. Abuse of authority, etc. were issues created from whole cloth by Obama supporter Alaskan State Senator Hollis French in his politically inspired “investigation”.

    Every one of these so-called scandals has been shot down and discredited months ago, but they linger on in the fevered minds of those infected with Palin Derangement Syndrome.

    Before her elevation, Palin had not been known as a combatant in the cultural battles of recent years. She had been serving as the popular chief executive of a geographically vast, sparsely populated, and economically vital state. She held conventionally conservative Republican views—pro-gun, anti-tax, and pro-life. She had risen to prominence by taking on Alaska’s corrupt and profligate Republican establishment. In running for and winning the governorship in 2006, she had promised (and had begun to deliver) reforms of the state’s relationship with Washington and with the oil companies that dominated its economy.

    I believe her on the job approval rating is higher than Obamas’, or Pelosi’s, or Dodds, or Franks…

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