A guy I know took one of those stupid Facebook polls, the question being, “Would you support Sarah Palin for President in 2012?” He said yes, he would. So I asked him to tell me why. Here’s his response, in its entirety: “She has proven that she will fight against the political establishment. Many more reasons too, but [I] don’t have the time to get into it now.”
I’ve followed up by asking him how exactly Palin has proven to him that she will fight against the political establishment. So far no word on that.
Has she perhaps proved it by running for national office? No, joining the political establishment at the very highest level doesn’t sound like a way to prove you’ll fight against it. Was it because she quit as Governor of Alaska? That’s not fighting, it’s quitting. Did she perhaps refuse to accept campaign donations from the large corporate donors who are ladling money out to the political establishment? Somehow I doubt it.
Has she supported an open-door policy in the executive branch by speaking out forthrightly against the illegal secrecy and illegal surveillance carried out by the Bush/Cheney administration? It seems unlikely, doesn’t it?
Assuming my friend comes up with any explanation for his statement, there’s a good chance it will boil down to Ronald Reagan redux — the doctrine that says, “Big government is the enemy. The way to maintain our freedoms is to shrink, hobble, and dismantle government.” (Except in the area of managing women’s reproductive rights, of course, where active government intrusion is very much on the agenda.)
The fact that so many people actually believe this load of tripe is a tribute to how successful the machinery of fascist propaganda has been in this nation.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Government is messy, inefficient, often corrupt, and not infrequently dead wrong. But government is the only protection we have against the tender mercies of the giant multinational corporations — the AT&Ts, the Chevrons, the health insurance industry, agribusiness, and all the rest of them.
Those corporations, and the faceless men (mostly men) who rule them, are the political establishment. On the day when Sarah Palin stands up and says, “I’m not taking a nickel of corporate money, and I support universal health care. I’m standing up for the little guy” — then I’ll believe she’s fighting against the political establishment. And not a minute before.
Another, more sinister explanation for my friend thinking that Palin “will fight against the political establishment” would be that he thinks the political establishment in the United States is dominated by liberals and progressives. This amazing distortion is popular, I believe, among the worshippers of Rush Limbaugh and similar simian sickos. There’s about as much substance in it as the paranoid idea that the Jews run everything.
The government of the United States is solidly right-wing, and has been since the 1950s. Bill Clinton was not a liberal, and Obama isn’t either. They’re both solidly in the middle of the road. The reason Clinton drove the right-wing-nuts crazy was simple: He was a moderate Republican! He stole the middle of the road from them and left them marginalized and furious. When Obama isn’t kissing the ass of Wall Street, he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth about gay rights or defending secrecy and executive privilege.
The level of cognitive distortion that’s needed to believe the U.S. is being run by liberals is … well, it’s evidence of clinical insanity, what else can I say? If you believe that, you’re a freakin’ nut job.
What gets these people so riled up, I’m pretty sure, boils down to racism and a love of firearms. There are bound to be other factors as well, but those two would seldom be absent.
I took a similar poll regarding public health care, and after seeing that the poll shared screen space with polls such as “Right-or Left-handed”, “Toilet Paper:Over or Under” I realized I had wasted my time. Worse, I looked at the postings of many of the people who were resistant to any kind of functional health-care reform, and I felt as if I’d just descended underwater in a shark cage… very scary, with many using the same rationale as your friend.
It’s ironic to me that people like Reagan, Palin, Bush,and their acolytes warn about “Big Government”, and then run for the highest offices in the country. It’s also ironic that those who warn against corrupt politicians forget that the corruption usually originates from insurance, pharmaceutical, banking, and energy lobbies that they would allow to proceed unimpeded.