Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why we love/hate Sarah Palin

Ever since she burst onto the national scene (thanks for nothing, John McCain) just over two years ago now, I have been trying to figure out what it is about Sarah Palin that makes some people practically swoon (Sean Hannity) at the sight of her while making others practically bang their head into the nearest wall (the list is too long to include here) the second she opens her mouth. And I think I may have finally figured it out. Sort of.

Herewith, a bulleted list of why people love/hate Sarah Palin.

Why People Love Sarah Palin

* She's very attractive
* She's charismatic
* She's feisty
* She's confident
* She always smiles
* She's unapologetic
* She doesn't make people feel stupid (indeed, quite the contrary)
* She's makes people who were not good students, who hated school and felt looked down upon by "the smart kids," and who quit when things got tough, feel good or better about themselves

Don't get me wrong. These are all fine traits -- great traits even, well, except maybe for that last one -- especially when used for a good cause. Of course, they also describe many cult leaders (and if you don't think that the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon is some kind of cult of personality, take another hit) and some serial killers.

Okay. So I can see why so many people like and admire Sarah Palin (and the Jersey Shore's Snooki, for that matter). Confidence is very attractive, and sexy, especially in stiletto heels and a tight skirt. You betcha. Oh, and if you think looks don't matter, guess again. I guarantee you that if Sarah Palin looked like Sharron Angle or Carly Fiorina no way would she be this popular -- or have her own television show(s). Nor would her daughter, Bristol Palin, be a contestant -- excuse me, finalist -- on Dancing with the Stars. (But that is a different blog post.)

So why do so many people (namely people who attended and graduated from just one college, which they worked really hard to get into and graduate from, who value and respect book learning and intellectual curiosity, and look down on liars and quitters) hate her? And no, that is not a rhetorical question (though on second thought...).

Why People Hate Sarah Palin

* She's feisty
* She's charismatic
* She's unapologetic
* She's confident
* She always smiles
* She's very attractive
* She makes people who were good students, who pride themselves on being informed and accurate and intellectually curious, want to pull their hair out
* She's like that pretty, popular mean girl in high school, who was good at sports and dated the captain of the football team, thought studying and getting As were for losers, who wouldn't give a nerd the time of day, and made other girls who weren't as pretty or popular feel bad about themselves (especially if they were good students)

Though many Palin supporters would simply say -- or rather shout -- "You're just jealous!" And that may be true. But I'll tell you this, I would rather have a smart, confident, unapologetic woman like Hillary Clinton be President of the United States than a proudly ignorant, confident, unapologetic woman like Sarah Palin -- any day.

UPDATED: Et tu, Fox News? (And you thought Alaska was cold.)

Love this paragraph from Frank Rich's latest column -- on Palin:
[L]ogic doesn’t apply to Palin. What might bring down other politicians only seems to make her stronger: the malapropisms and gaffes, the cut-and-run half-term governorship, family scandals, shameless lying and rapacious self-merchandising. In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success.


The Daily Del Franco said...

I will say this...the thing that sticks in my craw is the Katie Couric interview where she couldn't name a significant Supreme Court decision when questioned. She bumbled out"all of them."

Why not, even to be a wise guy, (to shut Katie up) say, "Bush v. Gore"

How can someone not know that? It's not like I wanted "Brown vs Board of Education" or something.

Do I know significant Supreme Court cases? You betcha!

Dave S. said...

First of all I would like to state that I do not hate Sarah Palin, as she is not worthy of my hate. She has, however, my unreserved contempt.

That being said I disagree with the reasons set forth for hating Caribou Barbie. At the top of the list I would place her proudly aggressive ignorance, which actually surpasses that of George W. Bush, most likely on the basis of her comparatively lower native intelligence. (Here it is important to distinguish intelligence from cunning, which Ms. Palin possesses in abundance.)

Palin is, or at least should be, a tremendous embarrassment to our national politics. That being said, as a Democrat I have no problem with her prominence as the face of the Republican Party.

Please also keep in mind that one of her earliest proponents was William Kristol, whose record of being catastrophically wrong about everything is spotless.

Verification word "promsot," aka the kid who spiked the punch then sabotaged the parachute decoration.

Anonymous said...

"Proudly ignorant" is SP perfectly.

I just want someone who is smarter then me-or smart enough to recruit the smartest. She just treasures dumb.

larissa said...

I cringe I shiver
Not cuz she's in Alaska
Maybe she'll freeze there

deidre said...

My issue with SP is her outlandish factless comments and her proud and positive she is that her IQ is less than the price of her new paperback. She is the poster child for lower the bar. In a time when America is behind in education, Sara Palin makes being unenlightened cool to some people. The admiration and attention that she receives continues to baffle me.