I cannot deny that Sarah Palin is still in the news and an apparent sweetheart of the (cliche coming) right-wing media, the tea-baggers and whatever part of the conservative population it is that likes her. I get that. I see the headlines, I hear the soundbites, I see the pictures. What I don't understand is: why?
To be forthcoming, I believe I know the answer. And while I find Sarah Palin's popularity personally annoying, what truly frightens me is that she is popular at all. Because - for her to be popular, people have to like her and keep her popular. And for that to happen, people have to think her thoughts have merit, that she has something to contribute to our country's political and social conversations, that she is someone to be followed, that her opinions matter on a national scale. THAT is what scares me - that those people who believe those things, that populace, that group of supporters, are "out there." They exist. They think what they think about Sarah Palin. That is frightening.
As the editors here have seen fit to give me ample room to wax intellectually, I will comply with the least common denominator of negative political profiling by presenting some quotes - things Sarah Palin actually said. Not is alleged to have said, not might have said, not is rumored to have said, but on the books documented, no question, actually said. So, to advance my point about my fear...
Sarah Palin's opinion on resolving the problems in Crimea: "Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke."
Sarah Palin's telling of... all right.. retelling of the story of Paul Revere: "He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."
Sarah Palin's answer after being asked by Katie Couric in an interview which magazines and newspapers does Palin read regularly: "All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years."
Palin, in the same interview with Couric, after being asked to name a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that she disagreed with OTHER THAN Roe v. Wade: "Well, let's see. There's ? of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ?"
There are more, of course. But it is painful to read them again. And it energizes that fear.
I understand that my annoyance at her popularity is my thing. I allow myself to be annoyed. She *is* popular and she's sucking it up for all she can. I might do the same. But the fact that she has followers and people place merit on her opinions - that isn't mine to own. That is a revelation about part of the foundational intellectual level of many Americans.
That group of people - I believe whole-heartedly that they'd pull my car out of a ditch if I needed that help, they'd help me move, they'll keep watch on my house when I'm on vacation. They aren't bad people. Many of them - most of them (?) - are very good people. But I do NOT want them deciding who runs our country. These are the people who elected Bush 2, after all. And you know how that turned out.