Is dislike of Sarah Palin all just a hand stamp to enter the club of elitism, or should we take those who don’t like her at their word?
I think Ace and Rush draw a false dichotomy here. People who don’t like Palin don’t like her for real. They also don’t like her because they want to be cool, and picking on Sarah Palin is in some quarters considered cool.
But while some may find a way to express their true reasons, there may be others who can’t explain their reaction to her. They search for reasons, and adopt what the in crowd has come up with for themselves.
Similarly, there is a lot of enforcement of in-group cohesion-. If you want to call yourself a liberal or even a public intellectual, you have to find something wrong with Sarah Palin.
Politico quoted George will as saying:
“This is a problem for the movement,” said Will about what Palin represents. “For conservatism, because it is a creedal movement, this is a disease to which it is susceptible.”
The line of modern conservatism that can be traced back to National Review founder William F. Buckley would be broken by Palin, Will said.
“There’s no Reagan without Goldwater, no Goldwater without National Review and no National Review without Buckley — and the contrast between he and Ms. Palin is obvious.”
Asked if the GOP would remain the party of ideas if Palin captures the nomination, Will said: “The answer is emphatically no.” (Related: Liberals like Palin candidacy)
The sneering condemnation is most unappealing. Like all such snobbery, it finally detracts from the snob, not the — pardon me — victim of the snobbery.
When George Will says that Palin is placing far too much emphasis on a “creedal” appeal, well, I think that’s a fair criticism. I’ve made that argument myself, that a successful politics must be evangelistic and convert-hungry like Christianity, instead of rooted in born-to cultural belonging-by-birth mode like Judaism.
Palin’s primary thesis is that most Americans believe, at heart, the same things we do, and that they will buy our creed if it’s presented in unapologetic terms. So to Palin, and to me, presenting our creed is evangelistic.
Read the whole thing, though.
Rush Limbaugh: I Don’t Get the Criticism of Palin; It Must Be a Shibboleth of the Educated Class
You know, I’ve lived my whole life not knowing the actual meaning of shibboleth. I could sort of understand it in context — sort of — as a blip-word, a word you sort of blip over. I knew it was used in the context of liberal shibboleths and conservative shibboleths but I just sort of read that as “bromides” or “dogma.”
Rush explains what it means in this clip about Sarah Palin.
One of the biggest sources of frustration in arguing with a liberal is that the liberal refuses to take your stated reasons for your beliefs as your real reasons for the belief. If you say “I don’t support quota or racial-plus-factor-based affirmative action, because I think it’s unfair to discriminate against white people, too, just as it’s wrong to discriminate against anyone based on their race” they almost reflexively offer up the secret motivation they assign to you: “You don’t like black people, that’s what your problem is.”
If you state you want to keep taxes low because the private sector flourishes under a low-tax regime, and it’s the private sector that creates wealth while the government merely transfers it (and destroys part of it in the process), they of course ignore that stated rationale, and decide, in the twinkling of an eye: “You hate poor people. Also, you probably hate black people too. In fact, you probably hate poor people in the first place because you hate black people and many of them are poor.”
I do this myself a lot. Hell, everyone does. It doesn’t work out well, at least not if you’re attempting to persuade a would-be ally. It’s really a technique to be used only against those you’ve decided are unreachable opponents, because once that card is played, that’s it as far as a genuine exchange of points of view.
When George Will says that Palin is placing far too much emphasis on a “creedal” appeal, well, I think that’s a fair criticism. I’ve made that argument myself, that a successful politics must be evangelistic and convert-hungry like Christianity, instead of rooted in born-to cultural belonging-by-birth mode like Judaism. (I realize I am pigeonholing Judaism and not acknowledging there is a conversion/evangelical component to it– but for purposes of this analogy, please allow me my simplification.) An evangelistic faith which requires only that converts believe in a series of plausible claims can gain many converts, whereas a faith based largely in born-to culture will tend to have a sharply, sharply limited upper bound of possible growth. And to many (myself included), Palin seems to frequently be attempting a politics based upon the latter mode — self-identification in particular born-to cultural traditions.