In May 2010, Jon Stewart of The Huffington Post analyzed a Sarah Palin video to better understand how she defines “Real America” and who she considers a real American.
From the Daily Show (Huffington Post)
Jon Stewart on Sarah Palin’s definition of a “Real America”
Here at AWildDuck, we love characters like Sarah Palin — as folksy as Perot and as clueless as Quayle. One needn’t be a comedian or a liberal commentator to make light of this woman. Swimsuit model, marksman and aerial hunter of bear & caribou, she provides a mountain of fodder for satire and editorials. Her glib and feisty sarcasm serves her well. I trust that these quips are original and I think that they are quite clever.
We don’t know yet if Palin will enter the presidential race, but wouldn’t it be scary if a majority of Americans take her seriously? Don’t laugh! It happened with Bush Jr and almost happened with Quayle; a proverbial heartbeat away from leading the free world.
With apologies to Mr. Stewart, I’ll add AWildDuck observation to his stand up analysis.
At first, I took it in stride when hearing Sarah Palin explain that small towns in Midwest and mountain states are the “Real America”, After all, she was playing to her base and it certainly includes small towns and rural Americans. Of course, whenever you connect with one group, you may inadvertently slight anyone who is separate from your target audience. But Palin doesn’t just slight by omission. She really wants to redefine America into a very narrow and xenophobic society…
Palin tries and succeeds to connect with small town Americans, some Christians — especially those with a “my ancestors-arrived-before yours” mindset. She also connects well with gun rights advocates and rednecks. But in connecting with these people, she ostracizes other patriotic Americans (and even many Christians) with her anti-urban, anti-immigrant, anti Hollywood, anti Democratic, and generally intolerant view of our multicultural society.
Get over it, Sarah! America is a melting pot, and our immigrants bolster our collective achievements. Your narrow, intolerant view is not representative of a “united” country.
Before watching Jon Stewart’s commentary, I would have only realized that Palin was slighting Democrats and anyone who accepts the multicultural melting pot that our big cities have become. But with the benefit of this analysis, I realize that she is both ignorant and intolerant. She plays to central Iowa and Nebraska, because she feels that these rural farm lands have not yet been “polluted” by Jews, Africans, Latinos, and Asians. Her thinly veiled statements of love for “Real Americans” sugar coat a core of racism and hate.
And what about her Tea Party? Their political goals lie to the far right, but are credible and have broad support: Budget cuts, strong military, personal responsibility, and limited government. But just as with their bunk mates at Fox News and the Christian Coalition, prominent party spokespeople have a dim view of social freedoms. They have no respect for individual choice, individual privacy and tolerance.
Like many Americans, my ancestors were white and European. Yet, I hope that other “majority” Americans will recognize intolerance in a dress. The thought of Sarah Palin in a position of command frightens me. This woman is a danger to our future.
– Ellery Davies
Ellery contributes occasional political and social commentary to selected web sites.
He often responds to readers.