What is the reason why the ruling class, including the GOP establishment, hates Sara Palin so passionately? The left and its propaganda machine have always looked down on conservatives, but the attacks on Sarah Palin are unprecedented for sheer malice, scope, and decibel level. Everything about her incenses the left — her bubbly personality, her high-pitched voice, her lively manner of speech and facial expressions, her colorful biography and way of life, her large family, her unabashed loyalty to Christian and conservative values.
She is ridiculed mercilessly by hordes of comedians who, plumbing new depths of vulgarity, make a nice living exploiting the Palin Derangement Syndrome. The press watches her, eagle-eyed, and pounces at the drop of a hat, twisting the most innocuous slip of the tongue into a monstrous gaffe, almost a federal crime. For all intents and purposes, she is hounded as Public Enemy No. 1. The left views all Republicans as enemies, but Sarah Palin stands apart; she is treated like dirt, like an alien life form. Why?
And why do the feminists outdo even their male allies on the left, evincing astonishing ferocity in attacking Alaska’s former governor? One would think Palin is the one person they should defend and extol as a poster child of feminism, an icon of women’s liberation.
Indeed, Sarah Palin rose from humble origins eventually to win the office of governor of Alaska and take the number-two spot on the Republican presidential ticket. She overcame all obstacles without any connections, entirely by dint of talent, hard work, and perseverance. She fearlessly took on the GOP establishment and the oil interests that had dominated Alaska for decades, and she beat them all at their own game. She achieved great success and popularity in all public offices she ever held. And on top of all that, she efficiently juggled public service with homemaking duties, married an Eskimo (the left should be particularly ecstatic on this point — a minority!), and gave her husband a hand in his business undertakings. She raised a large family and does everything a full-blooded Alaskan male is supposed to do, including killing her dinner.
A woman who can successfully challenge and beat any man, climb any mountain, ford any stream, shatter any glass ceiling — a feminist dream come true, don’t you think? And yet, the feminist leaders seethe with boundless hatred for that “upstart.” Why? Granted, Palin is a conservative Republican and thus a natural enemy of the left, of which the feminist movement is an integral and prominent part. Still, this explanation somehow fails to account for the extraordinary viciousness of the feminist attitude, for the stupendous amount of vitriol the feminists spew at the mere mention of Sarah Palin’s name. There has to be something else. But what is it?
For decades, the political drama in Washington followed a well-defined pattern, with the two major parties playing distinct roles. Under the conventional scenario, the Democrats, noble and high-minded, fight for the “little guy,” defend the helpless minorities, feel the pain of the poor and defenseless, selflessly provide succor to the “victims of social injustice,” and pursue an internationalist foreign policy. For their part, the Republicans are Wall Street stooges and loyal henchmen of Big Oil and other paragons of greedy capitalism, who rob the poor to give to the rich and follow the imperialist line in the international arena.
From time to time, the Democrats would go too far in their redistributionist schemes, throw public funds around with too much abandon, push the country too far into the morass of economic distress. Then the irate voters would throw them out and hand the reins of power to the Republicans, who would proceed to clean up the mess under withering fire of criticism and ridicule from the sidelines. Once the ship of state was put back on an even keel, the Democrats would return to power and pick up where they left off. This political two-step has continued over many decades, widely perceived as an eternal, providential order of things. To be sure, the Republicans have been contemptuously treated by their adversaries as junior partners. But the operative word is “partners.” Though maligned and denigrated, Republicans’ political legitimacy has never been called into question.
Then the Obama era dawned. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself to the revolutionary left; its political wet dream finally seemed to be within easy reach. The Democrats controlled all branches of government, and the ongoing economic crisis gave it maximum freedom of maneuver. The new president and his allies grabbed the bull by the horns and set about remaking the country on the radical blueprint. But in their zeal, Obama and the Democrats in Congress badly overreached and made a fatal mistake: they woke up the sleeping giant. The vast, hitherto-silent middle class, alarmed by the inexorable slide of the country into the abyss, woke up and rose to defend the American way of life. The resultant Tea Party movement has been the elite’s nightmare come true.
The ruling class love to swear their abiding love for and eternal fealty to the people. They indeed love the “people” — as an abstract sociological concept. But they despise the populace. Everything about the common people, the denizens of the “flyover country,” is alien and offensive to the elites. They can’t help contemning those thick-skulled yokels, no doubt rabid racists and homophobes all — who cling to their religion and their guns, who crow about their stupid moral principles and reject the sacred rights of abortion and gay marriage, who are unable to appreciate the sublime beauty and poignant social message of, say, a crucifix immersed in the artist’s urine or a Madonna splattered with elephant dung. So long as the knuckle-draggers stay in their caves and lairs, allowing their betters to rule unopposed, they can be safely ignored. But when they start loudly protesting, threatening the prerogatives of the ruling class, the great unwashed turn into an acute danger.
The left was fit to be tied; it sensed a mortal challenge to its dominance. But a movement is an amorphous mass, difficult to pin down and target. Somebody has to personify it, and so Sarah Palin was chosen to be the face of that horrible entity. When she emerged on the national scene, she was merely a target of widespread ridicule. But with the rise of the Tea Party, derision was augmented by dread. Sarah Palin came to be viewed as the leader of the barbarians at the gates, the commander of the vast hordes of pitchfork-brandishing peasants storming the ramparts of civilized society. In short, in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, she is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.
This is, above all, why Palin arouses such elemental fear and hatred on the left (and the moderate right, too). To be sure, part of the reason is just plain envy. The darned woman seems to have Teflon skin — all criticism just rolls off her back without doing any damage.
Worse, everything Palin touches turns into gold. How can one preserve equanimity in the face of her astonishing popularity and jaw-dropping earnings? How can one help wondering about the injustice of it all when “that stupid and ignorant lowbrow from the boondocks” commands such attention, with media hanging on her lips and her every word, her every entry on Twitter or Facebook becomes breaking news — so much so that she actually seems to be driving the national discourse?
And yet, I submit, the elites detest Sarah Palin primarily out of fear and loathing. They view her as a usurper, as an embodiment of a threat to deprive them of the power and privileges they regard as their God-given right.
And what happens if Sarah Palin actually decides to run for president? Katie bar the door, you ain’t seen nothing yet!