Not everyone is missing the real deal of the political earthquake that is Sarah Palin. I've noticed conservatives still -- still -- missing the significance of this woman and then I come across a paragraph in a piece from Australia. Written by Guy Rundle in the Melbourne Age, this is true clarity when it comes to understanding Sarah Palin:
We can't stop talking about Palin because her candidacy is not simply a clever tactical move — it's a genuine historic moment, arguably more significant than Barack Obama's rise to the Democratic candidacy. Why? Put simply, it's because the identity of men and women in a society — what they are allowed to do, what is seen as appropriate to them — really runs deeper than what different types of men — black, white, other — are allowed to do.
That, as we used to say, is solid. Kudos to you, Mr. Rundle. Unfortunately, he immediately gives evidence of his a colossal misunderstanding of American conservatism and an unwarranted belief in a caricature. Take a look:
There's already been one female vice-presidential candidate, of course — Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 — but Palin's candidacy has an entirely different complexion, not merely because she has a good chance of winning, which Ferraro never really had, but also because she is a woman who has grown up and lived in what is effectively a post-feminist era. Amazingly, Palin's life — a professional career woman with a family, a husband both blue-collar and SNAGish, and a set of conservative attitudes — is both the triumph of the second-wave feminist revolution and the finish of it. [RattlerGator: so far, so good]
For the simple fact is that even a decade ago Palin's candidacy would have been impossible. [RattlerGator: quite wrong] Too many of the religious right — and many voters in conservative southern and Appalachian states, and conservative blue-collar cities — would have found a career mother of five unacceptable. The fact that a number of conservative commentators who still find the idea of working mothers unacceptable have gone silent is a measure of political cynicism [RattlerGator: spectacularly wrong] — but the fact that Palin's dual role is seen as unremarkable across the country is a register of extraordinary social and cultural change.
Rare is the piece where you get such clarity and confusion. Just as quickly, he is back on point and nailing the real deal:
Panic is the usual reaction to the sudden feeling of loss of self, of annihilation, and the Democrats fell for it, unable to contain comments about experience, attitude and so on that, while not inaccurate, could be equally applied to Obama. They simply reinforced the appearance of a born-to-rule attitude.
In doing so, the party made visible the deep cultural divide in America, and the degree to which they failed to understand it. For the difference between the McCain-Palin and the Obama-Biden team no longer turned on a distinction between the old and the new, the hidebound and the progressive, but between the heroic and non-heroic, with advantage to you know who.
Wow, up to this point, what a simply a fantastic opinion piece. Inevitably, however, the guy has to demonstrate his foreign ignorance once again:
"I'VE been telling them a lot about John McCain, and a lot about Alaska!" Sarah Palin roared to the crowd in the Fairbanks hangar, who roared their approval back. It was a hometown crowd of course, but the enthusiasm has been replicated all over the country, allowed to spread by the Democrats' simple failure to go beyond the identity, to bypass Palin's status as a woman, a mother, a frontier-dweller, a hunter, and point out that in the last analysis she and John McCain are Republicans, subscribing to policies that have squeezed ordinary families, wrecked the budget, destroyed health care and mired the country in two, and counting, futile wars.
My goodness, he can see the stupid traps the American left has created for itself but he's simultaneously trapped within his own form of the very same thing -- and can't recognize it. Isn't that remarkable?
This may be the most amazing opinion piece I've read during the entire 2008 election cycle. Any illusion, however, of just who Guy Rundle is was immediately vaporized by a quick review of this post at that crazy site known as Democratic Underground. Imagine how stupid Rundle must feel when he reflects back on that post. What a shame; the guy clearly has a good mind but has put it in the service of global foolishness.