Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Superpower Suicide

Who do you get when you combine a raft of cliches with an ingorance of political, American, and rhetorical history?*

Sarah Palin. She is now speaking to the Tea Parties about supporting the same policies the original Tea Party and resulting revolution defeated. And she's doing so with the same words the British used back in the day.

And while she gets cheers, Ron Paul gets booed. At least the numbers demonstrate a more even split.

Which is a shame. I've seen Sarah Palin and Ron Paul each at their rhetorical best - the former parroting empty, incomprehensible and hyperbolic cliches in front of television cameras and the latter using complete thoughts to express clear, non-hyperbolic philosophical and policy differences in person to a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands.

Libertarian philosophy and true conservatism are specific political and economic policies rooted in fact and principle. They are worth considering seriously alongside liberal and progressive policies in the marketplace of ideas entertained to find solutions to our nation's problems.

But that is very difficult to do when the main mover of your politics is a made-for-TV character reading from a script demonstrably incompatible with both libertarianism and conservatism.

I can't wait until she takes up the anti-microchip crusade.

* Maybe I should have made that a multiple choice question. Lord knows there are plenty of folks who would fit the bill. Like her 2012 running mate, former New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin. CMP,B!



Dante said...

Folks on the left don't really get Palin, and that's a shame because she should be easy to diffuse and IMHO she should be diffused at this point. You can deride Palin all you want to, but she has one amazing gift: she does a great job of pointing out what's wrong with politics today. She can rally people behind the notion that there certainly is a problem with the way Washington works and that's pretty powerful. To point out her weak solutions to problems entirely misses the reason for her popularity. And since her supporters take offense to actually criticizing her and project that offense well, bagging on her solutions without addressing the valid issues she does raise isn't exactly making friends and influencing people. Start with the assumption that your opposition isn't stupid and you'll get a lot further along in understanding them.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

First of all, I think just about everyone on either side already has a problem with the way Washington works. That's just about the one unifying message I've heard my whole life.

As far as not really "getting" Palin, what is there to get? Does she mean something secret by saying what she does? Because I'm taking her at her own words.

For example, tying to build international consensus through diplomacy is not "apologizing for America."

"Apologizing for America" is an empty cliche that excuses the fact that she has no viable policy alternatives. Her whole persona is based on applying that model to every issue and wrap it up in some personal persecution issues.

There's a reason I constantly associate her with Nagin.

I don't assume the opposition is stupid, which is why her overwhelming support from otherwise intelligent people astounds me. Especially when Ron Paul gets booed.

Dante said...

"As far as not really "getting" Palin, what is there to get? Does she mean something secret by saying what she does? Because I'm taking her at her own words."

You could get that her brand of pointing out what's wrong is far more effective than most. You could also get that she has a following that doesn't like to be talked down to. Palin is "one of us."* And her solutions sound nice and easy even if it won't really work that way.

"There's a reason I constantly associate her with Nagin."

Yeah, and how did that work out for you? Remember when Nagin lost the last mayoral race? Oh wait, he won? The only way Nagin is leaving office is through term limits. Do everyone a favor and take Palin seriously before she ends up in the same situation.

Since "just about everyone on either side already has a problem with the way Washington works" then it should be easy to take her criticism seriously and counteract it.

* And by that I mean she bought diapers at Wal-Mart once. A former beauty queen who was governor of Alaska most certainly isn't "one of us" but she can pull off the image where most politicians just pull a Bulworth.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I take her very seriously, but I've lost patience taking many of her supporters seriously.

I can cognitively deconstruct so many of her cliches and "policy" positions. I can bring up instances of her factually incorrect and hyperbolic persona (eg: death panels). None of that matters to people who support her.

They still call me anti-American, socialist, baby-killing, terrorist sympathizer for even questioning her. They are more fervent in their belief that she is the messiah than any Obama supporter ever was. They want their country "back" from the hands of individuals like me, and refuse to hear any difference between intelligent arguments I make and and name calling I do.

If I speak at one constant volume at one constant pitch at one constant rhythm right into their ear, they still won't hear.

Hell, I've seen them do the same thing to right-wing talk radio hosts out of the Rush Radio network in New Orleans.

Since communicating with them is ineffective, they are not the individuals I attempt to communicate with. I will draw Palin/Nagin comparisons, continue to point out her lack of seriousness or real conservative positions, and explain that her brand represents a money making machine rather than a cogent political philosophy.