Palin’s Pat on the Back

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The morning after the country’s greatly anticipated and, thus far, most-watched vice presidential debate who knew the news media would be so riddled with such fervent pats on the back for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. With such a low threshold for success, the praise for her public speaking capabilities seems a little over the top, but apparently of greater interest is Palin’s commendable use of what the media has popularly termed “folksy” talk.In an attempt to connect with the Average Joe, or what Palin prefers to call the Joe Six Pack (specific terminology from which we can only conclude that Joe is either an excessive alcoholic or an obsessive body-builder), the Republican VP candidate has strategically decided to incorporate subtle phrases of popular vernacular from middle class America. If Palin’s greatest feat, now that she has managed to avoid public scrutiny by keeping her composure on camera and dodging any glaring faux pas for once, is to win over the “Wal-mart mom” by using down home phrases like “say it ain’t so”, “doggone it”, and “you betcha”, what should we think about a woman who condones animosity and hate?

I would think that such an educated and accomplished political leader as Governor Palin would know better than to employ such a reckless use of words even if the last few weeks have shown us that Palin is little conscious of her word choice. But when discussing diplomacy Palin can’t seem to resist to categorize “some of these dictators” as people and countries “who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance, our respect for women’s rights”.

Hate is a strong word that has a strong impact. Such claims and use of terms only alienate one nation from another, isolate America and her citizens as victims of hate, and essentially justify reciprocated disfavor. To further demonize an identified enemy by implying they maintain little more than all-consuming hate and whole-hearted opposition to freedom is not just reckless, but completely paralyzes any progress toward alliance, peace, or collaboration.

Yet, maybe this is just one of her tactics to make nice with the locals. If that’s the case, Palin is clearly failing the American people, especially her own sex. Although, what better way is there to bond with Joe Six Pack and the Wal-mart mom than to establish a common figure to incite indignation and hate in return. Here, Palin’s only success is a sorry one. One in which she perpetuates the stereotype of the quintessential caddy woman who forms a clique, an often malicious and self-serving distinction between “us” and “them” just to have something to gossip about in the lunchroom. Pat her on the back if you must, but clearly Palin still needs to learn to think before she speaks.

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