Insane. Delusional. A crank. A dangerous extremist. These are epithets often hurled at Sarah Palin and her defenders, including yours truly. Maybe they have a point. After all, look who is defending Sarah Palin now.
The following excerpt is from The Reclusive Leftist blog, which describes itself as being about “feminism, politics, and space alpacas in the Smoking Lounge with your host, Violet Socks”:
Ironically, people will accuse me of having an ulterior motive for even saying this. So you’re defending right-wing hatred? So you’re arguing that the left is just as bad? Blah blah blah. Actually, here’s my ulterior motive: truth. I like truth. I like facts. I like knowing what really happened …
If you want to make the case that violent political rhetoric in general begets real violence, then make that case. Don’t fudge the data and don’t cherry pick your facts. Don’t talk ominously about right-wing vitriol and look meaningfully over at Dallas 1963, or at Tuscon 2011. Unless, of course, you want to argue that right-wing rhetoric is dangerous because it drives leftists and schizophrenics to murder, but somehow I don’t think that’s the goal.
Personally, I think the American track record for killing our politicians is born of many things. We’re a society that fetishizes violence and guns; we stockpile weapons, demonize our enemies, and leave disturbed people without help or comfort. As I wrote earlier about the attempt to blame Sarah Palin for the Arizona shooting:
It’s like, come on, dudes, try this theory with my mom. My mom, who has lived through the past blood-soaked half-century of American history, from the JFK assassination to this moment. Wave your Palin map in front of her and explain that the lady who showed up from Alaska two years ago made this happen with her scary map icons.
It’s just such a f****** insult to everyone’s intelligence.
Come to think of it, I like truth, support feminism, and have a soft spot in my heart for space alpacas, so maybe Violet and I have much more in common than one might think at first glance. Nah! However, I do agree that this whole kerfuffle about Sarah Palin is an insult (or rather, “a f****** insult”–can I say that here?) to people’s intelligence. Does this make me a progressive squared? I guess so. (Not! On the other hand, as we shall see, it seems that conservatives are more progressive nowadays than most people who call themselves progressives. Figure that out.)
Today the phrase “blood libel” can be used to describe any monstrous defamation against any person, Jew or non-Jew …
How dare Sarah Palin, cried the commentators, use that phrase to describe the criticism of her by those who blamed her for creating the atmosphere that set Loughner off in his murderous madness. Some took the position that it proved their ongoing charges that she is not an intelligent person and probably did not know what the phrase meant historically. In my opinion, she was right to denounce her critics and use blood libel to describe the unfair criticism that she had been subject to …
Why do I defend Palin in this case? I don’t agree with her political philosophy: She is an arch conservative. I am a liberal with sanity. I know that I am setting myself up for attack when I ask, why did Emile Zola defend Dreyfus? Palin is no Dreyfus and I am certainly no Zola. But all of us have an obligation, particularly those in politics and public office, to denounce, when we can, the perpetrators of horrendous libels and stand up for those falsely charged. We should denounce unfair, false and wicked charges not only when they are made against ourselves, our friends or our political party but against those with whom we disagree. If we are to truly change the poisonous political atmosphere that we all complain of, including those who create it, we should speak up for fairness when we can …
It was McCain who lost the presidential election, not Palin. Since that time she has established that she has enormous power to persuade people. A self-made woman who rose from PTA mother to Governor of Alaska, she is one of the few speakers in public life who can fill a stadium. Her books are enormous successes. Her television program about Alaska has been a critical and economic success. When Sarah Palin addresses audiences, they rise to their feet in support and applause. She is without question a major leader of the far right faction in the Republican Party and its ally the Tea Party.
I repeat my earlier comment that she “scares the hell out of me.” Nevertheless, she is entitled to fair and respectful treatment. The fools in politics today in both parties are those who think she is dumb. I’ve never met her, but I’ve always thought that she is highly intelligent but not knowledgeable in many areas and politically uninformed. I don’t believe she will run for president in 2012 or that she would be elected if she did. But I do believe she is equal in ability to many of those in the Republican Party seeking that office.
Many women understand what she has done for their cause. She will not be silenced nor will she leave the heavy lifts to the men in her Party. She will not be falsely charged, remain silent, and look for others – men – to defend her. She is plucky and unafraid.
While I disagree with her and I am prepared to oppose her politically, in the spirit of longed-for civility I say, Ms. Palin you are in a certain sense an example of the American dream: You have the courage to stand up and present your vision of America to its people. Your strength and lack of fear make America stronger and are examples to be emulated by girls and boys, men and women who are themselves afraid to speak up. You provide the example that they need for self-assurance.
While I do not agree wholeheartedly with all Koch has said, I certainly agree with the main gist, and love the last paragraph.
Insane. Delusional. A crank. A dangerous extremist. Surely, these words have been used to describe Ed Koch at one point or another, so Palin and her supporters, like myself, stand in good company.
One would think that leftists would be fleeing political conformity and jumping at the chance of following someone like Sarah Palin, but all we can find are these two. It is a crying shame that a group which purports to be dedicated to individualism and self-actualization is so full of people who mindlessly follow the leader, without thought, self-awareness, or even a remote sense of humor. When I was young, being seen as a crank or a dangerous extremist was thought of in a strange way as a compliment by many in the left. What has happened to these people? Smoking too much weed?
When people like Violet Socks and Ed Koch decide to fly their freak flags and stand up for the truth–for what they know is right–it just makes me want to rally round them and get my own freak flag unfurled. If this makes me a crank or a dangerous extremist in the eyes of others, it does not concern me one bit.
Labels, names, and epithets do not bother me. I just want to stand for what is right, and stand with those fighting the battle for what is right. This is why I still stand for Sarah Palin, and am willing to stand with people like Koch and Socks.
And I think that the space alpacas are pretty cool.
- “Why The Left Hates Sarah Palin” – Robin of Berkeley Gets It Right (conservativepup.com)
- More Quote of the Day Honorable Mention, Part 198 (texas4palin.blogspot.com)
- Why the left hates Sarah Palin (findingmyselfinalaska.com)