In a mere 18 months, McCain’s Hail Mary gone haywire has become a cultural phenomenon. America’s favorite half-baked Alaskan is more cunning than we thought. She is now reaching millions with her bestselling book (though her political action committee, SarahPAC, boosted her royalties and exposure by spending $63,000 on its own copies of “Going Rogue”), via her Facebook and Twitter pages (1,376,704 fans at last count), as mavericky leader of the Tea Party movement, and as the newest addition to the Fox “News” team. Love her or hate her, this shooting star is spreading her own special mania, Palinsanity.
Palinsanity. Think Beatlemania, only a stylish coif instead of mop head and a global song of “Drill, Baby, Drill” in lieu of “All You Need is Love.” Palinsanity is a psychological conundrum that debilitates victims in one of two manners: Type I turns otherwise good-hearted real Americans into frothing Palinistas who utter incoherent claims about our country’s demise. Type II causes afflicted intelligentsia to obsess over Palin’s idiocy to the brink of insanity – and to utter irrational claims about our country’s demise. Most of us know the Type IIs. Gosh darn, if you’re reading this, you may have already been diagnosed.
According to Palin’s ever-astute political analysis, Americans aren’t safe. Wait. Doesn’t this seem familiar? The indifference to reality, the foxy charisma, the arrogant, “not blinking” rhetoric. Palin is W. without the Y chromosome! But even Bush Jr. knew a bit about American politics by osmosis. Sarah Palin is nothing more than a public figure operating in a sick society that has made a mélange of politics, media and celebrity. No matter what she does next, she has access to an electronic soapbox, a staff of expert advisers to guide her, an eight-figure income, and none of the bother or accountability of political office (yet).
Sarah Barracuda infiltrates the 24-hour news cycle.
So Palin couldn’t effectively govern a state with a population of 600,000? So her ticket lost the election? This is Americ-uh. So, why shouldn’t she have a New York Times bestseller? Why shouldn’t she be a guest on Oprah? Why shouldn’t the most popular cable news network in the United States hire her? Granted, it is borderline entertaining to watch Glenn Beck read to Sarah from his diary. When Bill O’Reilly lobs her softballs like, “It’s almost funny that these people feel you are such a threat to them. It’s almost amusing, is it not?”, she sits and smiles wryly. Very amusing.
Game Change, the latest tell-all book on the 2008 campaign, alleges that in preparing Palin for her first major network interview, McCain aides discovered that, among other things, she did not know what the Federal Reserve did, or why North and South Korea are two different countries. Her rebuttal, prompted by O’Reilly? “That is a lie.”
Lady Blah-Blah is a vocal proponent of the “culture of life,” when it comes to fetuses but not criminals: “We cannot condone ending another life,” Sarah says. Yet she’s for capital punishment. So, women should not have the right to legally terminate a pregnancy, but felons should be murdered ASAP? I could “refudiate” her dim-witted spin until I’m blue in the face, but what’s the use if the Palinistas are so hypnotized by her winks that they don’t comprehend the gap between her public babble and private lies? Despite her hollow answers to the simplest of questions, Fox has concocted the perfect conditions for the virus to spread while protecting her from scrutiny.
Palin is right, in a sense, when she claims that Americans are afraid. She and Beck strike fear in the frightened white folks with their ridiculous rhetoric. A black man with a Harvard education is turning our one nation under God into an over-taxed Socialist-Communist-Fascist State that will outlaw our God-given rights to eat Big Macs, drink Big Gulps, and listen to Rush Limbaugh.
Who needs science when you have a holy UFO that will whisk you to heaven?
Thirty percent of Americans self-identify as evangelical Christians. Palin’s evangelical base is comprised of orthodox believers, many of whom feel in their hearts that in their lifetime the anti-Christ will come cloaked with a smile (and with dark skin?) and that Jesus will descend to Earth to sweep up his flock and abandon the rest of us to burn on a scorched planet.
As a “Bible-believing Christian,” God is Sarah’s answer to everything. This is a characteristic of any Fundamentalist mindset — Christian, Islamic, or otherwise. Post 9/11, Palin exerted her gubernatorial power to declare a National Day of Prayer and to designate a Bible Week and a Christian Heritage Week in Alaska, the latter touting the supposed Christian beliefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Oh, how she loves harking back to the Founding Fathers – though when Glenn Beck asked which one was her favorite, she replied, “You know, well, all of them.”
Before the International Summit on Climate Change in December 2009, Palin urged President Obama to boycott Copenhagen — via Facebook. She bloviated about “real science and real solutions, not junk science and doomsday scare tactics.” It’s impossible to reason with people about saving the planet when they don’t believe the planet is worth saving. The most die-hard Evangelicals believe that the Rapture — a literal event in which Jesus will literally lift their bodies up to heaven — will be soonish.
These particular revivalist Palinistas live in a peculiar paradox: They trade the “doomsday” scenario based on scientific evidence for one based on varied interpretations of the controversial final book of The Bible. So, it makes sense that Palin zooms around in a Chevy Suburban that chugs 15 miles per gallon, boasts that there’s room for all wildlife in Alaska (as long as it’s served next to mashed potatoes), and dropped that boring, thankless job of governor.
Though Sarah Palin has seen, firsthand, the most compelling evidence for climate change up there in Alaska, she has denied that global warming is man-made. Since earth will burn like Gomorrah in this lifetime, why rain on her parade? Eat, drink, and be angry – for tomorrow we may not be around.
Maybe Palin’s right. In which case, she’s really right – I do not feel safe. If she were to become Mrs. President, there’d be a lot more to fear than fear itself. At present, there is no known cure for Palinsanity. I’m still searching. I suggest you do the same.
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