Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Palin 2012: Somewhat Less Godawfulness You Can Believe In

I’m actually a little sad to see Sarah Palin go. I was no fan, but of the four candidates and running mates during the election- McCain, Palin, Obama, Biden- I found her the least objectionable. I admit that my opinion may be shaded by my reflexive sympathy for virtually anyone who manages to inspire such an impressive eruption of raw hate from the Democrats, but put alongside the relentless denigration of private life in voluntary society and creepy calls for “service” to the state that dominated the rhetoric of both McCain and Obama, she seemed like the only one of the four to have any real regard at all for the value of activities other than glorious self-sacrifice to the Fatherland. Perhaps that’s part of the reason her large number of children seemed to hit such a raw nerve with some; it suggests an unseemly interest in selfish, uncommunal, drearily bourgeois activities like family.

However much both McCain and Obama may talk about community and family and the like, at the core of both of their visions is the idea that service to the state is the highest of all callings and the basis of a virtuous and meaningful life, unlike the petty selfishness of voluntary society. One of the things that has always repulsed me about both the great bulk of the American Left and the neocon and “national greatness” portions of the Right which John McCain exemplifies is their disrespect for the things of normal, day-to-day life for the average person- work, family, business, social groups and organizations, personal interests, neighbors.

It’s a common attitude, widely shared by fascist militarists, spoiled lefty bohemians, and five-year old boys, but it was troubling to see how pervasive this juvenile attitude has become in both parties. Despite the frequent cracks made about her intelligence, it sometimes made me feel like Palin was the only adult in the whole campaign.

I realize that it’s rather sad to praise a politician for being merely authoritarian rather than implicitly totalitarian. What can I say? If you’ve been kicked in the crotch five or six times in a row, a mere kidney shot comes as a sort of relief.

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Anonymous said...

Well said. Both the left and the right annoy me with their worship of the state, and the associated implicit scorn if you somehow don't share their view.

Michael Price said...

I agree that Palin was the least worst of the 4, but that says more about them than her. God can't a decent candidate get a run in your damn system?