A comment on “Sarah Palin: the liberal voter’s worst nightmare” by John Carlson

by Yule Heibel on September 7, 2008

Crosscut Seattle published Sarah Palin: the liberal voter’s worst nightmare, by John Carlson, a “longtime Republican” who in this article “enumerates the many ways by which Gov. Sarah Palin could become the most beloved national figure since Ronald Reagan.”

Ok, let’s just agree to disagree here.

What really interests me is a reader comment by “Blue State.”  Entitled “Sarah Palin will not be the wave of the future,” he (or she?) writes:

The entire Republican convention, including Sarah Palin, highlighted the fact that there aren’t “red states” and “blue states” — there are urban areas and rural areas. The Convention was a bizaare effort to make the entire country believe that it should become a small town, with all of the worst attributes of anti-cosmopolitanism that involves: religious fundamentalism, hating Europe (huh?), belittling education and achievement as “elitist,” parochial discrimination against people who aren’t just like you.

Fortunately, demographics are fighting back against this vision of America. More people are living in cities. More people are tolerant of gay people and people of other countries. More people think that it’s not un-American to speak two languages or to eat French cheese. Hey — FEWER PEOPLE ARE HUNTING! It’s a fact!

Sarah Palin is a throwback. She’s not America as most of us know and love it; she’s the face of the past, not the future. The Republicans may well succeed in moving the country back a few decades, but we won’t stay there forever.

I grew up in a small town, by the way. As my mother used to say, small towns are places where everyone rallies around you during bad times and stabs you in the back when you’re doing well. That’s what Sarah’s smug whinnying about Obama’s popularity reminded me of — the small town determination to “bring somebody down” when they’re rising above the crowd based on merit, rather than being “just like everybody else.” (emphases added)

I think that’s one of the most trenchant observations I’ve come across so far.  And I think it shows what’s at stake: that smart cities might be the victims in this election.

And oh my, was Blue State’s mother ever right about the small town mentality.  It explains and illustrates so much of what I see in my town, which is experiencing growing pains as it finally becomes truly a city.  Here, too, the prevalent thinking has been to bring down those who are successful, also known as the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

It’s cynical, and useless, and very bad for cities.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarahpalinfan September 10, 2008 at 4:29 pm

You know I think this cuts both way. Big town people (elitists in the media – since media is not in not headquartered in rural areas) are inventing sarah palin scandals as if there is something seriously wrong with her. Since when do kids in big cities and blue states NOT get drunk in high school or underage in college. Like it or not the country is split in rural and city areas and neither side is playing fair right now.

notafan October 5, 2008 at 7:41 am

I am neither a “Joe six pack” nor a hockey mom. Neither do I use the silly, “folksy” language that Palin uses. Her “by gollys” and “you betchas”
are insulting to me as they are an obvious attempt at pandering to a certain segment of our population. What does she know about this country’s citizens? How many minorities live in Alaska? Does she know anything about our Latino, Asian, and African American citizens? I think not. Nor do I think she cares about these groups. What she does care about is distorting the truth (Obama pals around with terrorists.). She is an attack dog who has been ordered to try to bolster the Republicans diminishing popularity. Both McCain, who I have respected in the past but no longer, and Palin are liars and are trying to use scare tactics to influence the vote.

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