Over the last 6+ years, countless blog posts and articles have been written about Governor Palin by armchair pundits and just as many stories have been broadcast on radio and television by the legacy media. Each story penned or verbalized through the filter of the author’s or anchor’s experiences and biases–be they positive or negative (as they usually are). To be sure, a good deal of these stories have been shared through the lens of liberal biases and sexism. However, overwhelmingly, on both sides of the political spectrum, the negative views of the Governor (and her family) stem from elitism. To them, Governor Palin’s rise to fame and political influence is a Pygmalion story that never fully came to be. She was and is an Eliza Doolittle who needed a Henry Higgins.
This elitism has re-emerged time and time again, and most recently it has come from the disrespectfully reporting of Carol Costello and the self-important blogging of Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall. Costello’s words are “sit back and enjoy” before CNN plays the audio clip of Bristol Palin’s call to the police. Marshall’s post characterizes Governor Palin as “the ultimate avatar of base Republican culture since she views herself as an eternal victim, with all the grievance and resentment that entails.” These individuals mock and pontificate because they fancy themselves as better than Governor Palin and her family. They would never get into a “brawl”–perish the thought they tell themselves as they clutch their pearls! If it ever came to blows, would they defend their family, or would that require them to put down their cosmopolitan and step away from the D.C. and New York cocktail parties? That, of course, is a rhetorical question. These people praise themselves and put down others because they thank their lucky stars that they are not like the Palins.
Meanwhile, there are millions across America who take pride in the fact that they are like the Palins, or perhaps better said, the Palins are like them. The Palin family is far from perfect, and they’ll be the first ones to admit that. Some of these imperfections have been played out in the media over the last six years. There is accessibility in imperfection. Imperfection can’t be put on a pedestal because it walks among us, and we like the company. The imperfections of the elite are “eccentricities”–not flaws– and such flaws are not broadcast as pervasively as the imperfections of the “Higginsless Doolittles”.
In 2011, SarahPAC released this video from Governor Palin’s visit to the Iowa State Fair. Please pay particular attention to the words of the farm wife about twenty seconds into the video:
The woman’s words were, “it shows that she can do what we can do”. Governor Palin’s appeal is not that she deserves to be placed on a pedestal or viewed as a demigod. Her appeal is not even that we can aspire to be like her, although that may true. Her appeal is that she is like us, perceived imperfections and all. Count me in as one of the who would rather side with the family that defends each other and their honor over the ones who do verbal, self-absorbed “battle” with a teleprompter as the commanding general.